Website and E-mail Outreach

Visibility on the Internet keeps you in view of your base, funders, the press, the bloggers and other campaigns.

As Robby points out in this video clip, having a web presence reinforces messages delivered by other means: lit drops, radio ads and phone calls. The website should reflect the overall message of the project and should be kept fresh with the latest news. To the web visitor, nothing threatens credibility more than an outdated website. Offline materials are a great tool for promoting your online presence. Once you commit to a web strategy, be sure to promote it on all your other materials.

Speak to Your Audiences

You have multiple audiences to consider when developing your web site. Certainly some of the voters that you are targeting for turnout will be looking you over. Journalists are relying more and more on web sites to develop background material, find contacts and assess your strength. Don't be afraid to trumpet your message there. Some bloggers have developed following and they can bring outside attention — and funds — to your work. Reach out to bloggers that cover your issue and let them know what you're working on.

Tip: make sure that the landing pages on your web site help the uninitiated understand why this electoral project is so important and what they can do to help. Test what you've written so that you can make sure that it's clearly explanatory to the sympathetic soul who seeks your site out.

Seize the opportunity to collect information about the people who come to it. Tell them why they should call or sign up. Have places for volunteers to sign up, for donors to donate, and supporters to provide personal information including home address, email address and cell phone number. Make it easy for those that are reluctant give information over the web to contact you by keeping your phone number and location prominently displayed. Whatever way people contact you, be responsive and call them back as soon as possible.

Social Sites

A lot of young people are using social networking sites such as facebook and myspace. This is another opportunity for exposure or even an alternative to a web site. It's easier to create than a web site, and if your organization is strapped for technical prowess, use these sites instead of a web site. Follow the messaging suggestions for a web site to make sure that you are giving a consistent message, but keep in mind that these "friending" sites require that you do more interaction with your new found friends on the web. Daily check ins are not too frequent.


Check the statistics to see what influences the traffic and where people are coming from. If you are finding that local people are visting your site, don't let yourself be terribly disappointed by low numbers of visits. Your web site is part of your microtargeting and even a couple of dozen visitors can help your project. With volume questions in mind, keep your web site investment appropriate to the payback that you expect from it. As noted above, keep it fresh and on message and you can be sure that you're leaving a good impression not matter how many people find their way to you.

E-Mail Outreach

E-mail can be a useful tool for reinforcing your message and encouraging turnout, but it shouldn't be overrated. It's not as influential as a personal conversation at a door step, but it can continue a personal conversation with people who want to hear your message. Collect e-mail addresses whenever you collect other personal information. Use e-mail to remind people to vote or to recruit volunteers for weekend canvassing, but don't let it replace phone calls to turn out volunteers.

Text Messaging

Many people, particularly young people, will also give you their cell numbers as their main point of contact. With permission, you can use them to deliver get out the vote reminders directly to them on election day.

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Robby Rodriguez says that a web presence helps reinforce the electoral project's message

Robby Rodriguez: a web presence reinforces the electoral project's message