Your campaign’s website probably has lots of purposes.  You may sign up volunteers through your website, post your position papers, advertise your rallies and events, offer information to the press, and accept donations on your website.  A good campaign website serves many purposes and does many things.

Your campaign’s website serves as the central hub of all of your campaign’s online efforts.  Your online hub shouldn’t be your Facebook page or your Twitter account.  It needs to be your website.

Everything you do online, including e-mail marketing and social networking, should be focused on driving people back to your campaign’s website.  When you’re working on Facebook… drive people back to your website.  When you’re sending out an e-mail newsletter… include lots of links that drive people back to your website.

Why Should You Be Driving People Back to Your Website?

Why do you think it is important to drive people back to your website?  What do you want them to do there that they can’t do almost any place else?

Do you think it is so they can click on your big green “DONATE NOW” button to make a donation to your campaign?  That would be great, but no, that’s not the primary reason to drive them back to your website.

Do you think it is so they can read all of the great information you have there, or see all of the pictures you have posted from your latest campaign rally?  Nope… that’s important too, but it isn’t the main reason to send them back to your site.

The first and most important reason you want people to visit your campaign’s website… the reason you spend the majority of your efforts online trying to drive them back to your website, is so you can collect their e-mail address.

You Need to Collect E-Mail Addresses from Your Supporters…

Think about it… with any luck, thousands of people will be viewing your website and looking at your social media pages each month, week, or day.  For most of those people, you will never, ever know who they are… you won’t have any way to get back in touch with them, either.

Even if they like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter, they’ll only read your stuff if some serendipity happens – if they’re online when your message comes across their feed, and happen to be in the mood to read what you are writing.  (Remember, too, that unless you are paying for advertising, Facebook will only show your posts to about 3% of the people who like your campaign page).  In other words… for most of those people, you don’t have any control in communicating with them.

With e-mail, on the other hand, you are in the driver’s seat.  Most people check their e-mail at least once per day, and most people scan each and every e-mail they get (at the very least, they look at who each e-mail is from and what the subject line is, then decide if they want to read further).  When you have someone’s e-mail address, and their permission to e-mail them, you get to control the pace of the communication and you know that you have at least a fighting chance of getting through the clutter and getting people to read what you send.

The goal of your online activities is to drive people back to your website.

The purpose of your website is to get people to give you (a) their e-mail address and (b) their permission to communicate with them.

How Do You Get People to Give You Their E-Mail Address (and Permission to Use it?)

The best way to get people who visit your campaign’s website to give you their e-mail address (and permission  to use it) is by asking them to sign-up for your campaign’s e-mail newsletter.  Promise your site visitors that they will get insider updates and special event notices, etc., when they sign-up for your weekly campaign e-newsletter.

In order to get people to give you their e-mail address, you need to make sure that they see your e-mail newsletter sign-up box as often as possible.  My suggestion is to do what we do on Local Victory, which is to place a sign-up box for your e-mail newsletter on every page of your website on the top right hand side.  You can also include links to your newsletter sign-up form elsewhere on your site.

Work hard to collect e-mail addresses on your campaign website.  Then use those e-mail addresses to stay in touch with your supporters.  They will reward you by voting for your candidate, donating to your campaign, and volunteering to help your efforts.

Photo Credit:  kev-shine