The life of a governing official is one that has a circular nature to it, though if you talked to Matthew Mcconaughey, he’d probably tell you it’s both circular and flat. It starts—so far as circles have a starting point—with the need to understand your constituents. What are the issues they are most passionate about and which way do they lean? Second, you need to communicate your plans and assure them you’ll follow through with those plans.
If you effectively carry out steps one and two, you’ll find yourself in the good graces of your constituency, at which point you’ll need to actually execute the plans which you established during your campaign. And then the loop begins anew as you continue to take measures to understand the population you’re serving.
Of course, all of these steps are easier said than done. There are plenty of ways to communicate with your constituents, but making sure you’re using the right tools is crucial. It’s an extremely difficult task to understand what your constituency wants and there’s plenty of data that supports a gap between politician’s perceptions about their constituents’ beliefs and the reality of those beliefs.
What are some strategies for better understanding your constituency?
The best way to get a grasp on your constituency’s opinions is to simply ask. Email campaigns can be an extremely powerful method for collecting intelligence. If you use ActiveCampaign, you can integrate a popular survey tool like SurveyMonkey into your campaigns, effectively turning them into questionnaires.
When you begin to receive responses, in addition to tracking response totals, tag each of the respondents appropriately based on their answer. This strategy not only gives you insight into your constituents mindset at a broad scale, but also tells you about individual citizens, enabling you to send highly-targeted messaging in the future.
For the electorate that’s not so keen on answering an email survey, you can still take some steps to understand their attitude and opinions. Site and event tracking let’s you track every website visit and interaction event made by opted-in contacts on your list.
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If a specific page on your website that’s dedicated to a specific issue is getting a lot of traffic, you can glean that your constituency has a lot of interest in that issue. In addition to using ActiveCampaign’s site tracking for this function, it’s worth looking into digital analytic tools like Google Analytics that provide general insights into what the community that hasn’t opted-in to your list cares about.
You can do both of these things using ActiveCampaign, and for these strategies to be most effective, you’ll want to bulk up your contact list. ActiveCampaign’s form builder enables you to embed four high-converting form types on your website. As people sign up, your contact list will grow, so you can have a broader reach in your communications.
I understand my constituents, now what?
Before, you were listening, now it’s time to do the talking. Inform your constituency of your policy stances and how you aim to execute your plans to best represent your constituents.
It may seem like quite an undertaking to personalize this approach, but it’s made much easier with the help of a marketing automation tool.
Marketing automation enables you to automate and execute a multitude of tasks. You can create workflows and processes that trigger based on a contact’s behavior, so that you don’t need to manually carry out every single activity that contributes to your communication strategy.
For clarity, here’s a hypothetical scenario to demonstrate how marketing automation can help you send the right communication to the right person: One of your contacts, Jane Simpson has visited a page on your website that’s dedicated to the issue of raising sales tax in your county four times in the last week. You’ve created an automation that tags all contacts that visit this page multiple times as “interested in sales tax.” Once she’s segmented as “interested,” your tool sends her an email explaining your position and the rationale behind it. From this point forward, she’ll also be included in any campaigns relevant to this issue.
Here’s what that automation might look like.
By setting up one simple automation, you’ve ensured that Jane Simpson is included on all communications relevant to an issue she is passionate about.
If there are a lot of Jane Simpsons out there, and that page on your site is getting a disproportionately large amount of your website traffic, expend more resources into addressing this issue. Use your constituency’s behavior and voice to inform your governing and communication strategy.
There’s no limit to the automations you can create. The more creative you are, the more effective your communication will be with your constituents, and the more likely they are to be happy with you as a member of their government.
As you can see, as long as you’re in office, the loop never ends.
Alright, alright, alright, now get going. Your constituents are waiting to be heard.