Impact Stack has an exciting set of features that allow supporters to contact their MPs, MEPs, or members of their devolved parliament and assemblies. Here’s how they work and how they can help increase the impact of your campaigns.
The basics – how it works
The email to target actions work in a similar way to the existing ‘email protest’ action type. Except instead of having fixed targets, the targets are selected based on the location of the supporter.
They allow supporters to email their political representatives about your campaign, all through a beautiful, easy to use form on your website.
The page builder is very similar to other Impact Stack action types, with a few extra steps:
On the ‘Target’ step you simply select which group of political representatives you’d like to target. Currently available are MPs, MEPs, and a few combinations of devolved nation’s parliament and assemblies. You can also say whether you want supporters to be able to edit the message. Encouraging your supporters to edit the email with a personal addition can really help get the attention of your target.
If you select a target group where people will have more than one representative (such as MEPs, or devolved parliament and assemblies), users will be able to edit each message individually through a clean simple interface.
These are the data sets currently available in the UK, though we'll be adding Local Councillor data in the next few weeks too:
Currently this feature is available for UK political targets only, but we plan to roll it out to other countries in the next year.
Editing the message
On the ‘Message’ stage of the page build, you can set the template email that you would like supporters to send to their political representative.
When designing the message, you have a selection of ‘tokens’ available to you. These represent data from either the record of the politician, or from your supporter. You can use these to customise the email and add a personal signoff based on the user’s form submissions.
You could even use these tokens to encourage supporters to customise their message. For example, you could ask a question on your form, such as 'why does this matter to you?' and pull the supporter's answer into their email. This can really help to capture the attention of your targets!
Below left is the builder you will use, and below right is what your supporters will see.
We’ve also added some advanced features that let you write different template emails depending on the target. You can filter the targets based on their political party or by individual MPs, can create bespoke template messages for each person/group.
For example, you could set up a different email for Conservatives MPs, for the Prime Minister, or an MP holding a specific post. Or really, any one of your targets!
In a similar way you can exclude targets from your campaign. For example if a specific MP has already said they support your campaign, you can set up an exclusion so that all constituents for their area don’t send an email, but instead are presented with a message, which could say something like “Good news! Your MP Lyn Brown has already said she’d vote yes”.
Then you simply put the specific messages and exclusions in a hierarchy, in order or importance and how specific they are. The system will check whether the user meets any of the criteria you’ve set up starting at the top. And will stop when it has a match. If none of the exclusions or specific message criteria are met, they’ll see the default message.
All other set up is the same as other types of Impact Stack actions, including thank you emails, custom form design, and thank you pages/redirects.
How this will help your campaigning
Elected politicians have a responsibility to listen to the concerns and views of their constituents, and to represent them. So supporters being able to target their specific representatives is really powerful. It also means that you can try to sway the opinion of hundreds of politicians in one go, who can help influence the debate and official party positions, rather than simply targeting one leader/Minister and hoping to change his/her mind. It opens up so many more options for your campaign strategy and tactics.
Advanced features like being able to customise your message depending on the target, his or her political affiliations or individual past behaviour, can really help ensure that your message hits home. For example, if the Labour party leader recently made a commitment on your issue, you can remind Labour MPs of this in your message. Or you could even frame your argument slightly differently depending on the philosophy of the politician being emailed. The possibilities are endless.
If you’d like to find out more or sign up for these new email to target features, get in touch!