We all love solid metrics that show the impact of our advocacy efforts. It’s satisfying and necessary to be able to tell stakeholders 30,000 people took action on an issue. But… are all those names really having the impact you need to move your issues forward?
That’s a BIG question.
We hear time and again from both clients and political sources, that the best way to move an issue forward is for representatives to hear directly from their constituents. On a personal level. A hand-written letter or phone call goes a long way to swaying opinions.
That’s why we added click-to-call advocacy to our toolset in early 2019. You might be asking ‘What’s click-to-call?’ Good question. If you already know a little about it, read on as you may learn something new. If you’ve never heard of click-to-call, give this a read to learn how you can easily add this tool to your campaigns and boost effectiveness.
Click-to-call is a different form action where rather than submitting personal information and a letter to someone specific online as an advocacy response, the supporter enters their phone number and location information and is connected to the target (often their local Representative) by phone automatically. It’s a very simple and personal way for supporters to connect with Representatives on issues and a very persuasive means of influencing those targets.
What’s more moving than a mother calling directly to make a plea for a Bill on children’s health by sharing her personal story about how an issue has affected her family and how the Bill could help her child?
The action is another page type in Engaging Networks and just as easy to set up and deploy with our free templates and drag and drop pagebuilder as any other page.
Q: When is the right time to use click-to-call?
I don’t have hard data on this but based on past experience I’d say time bound issues with specific outcomes work well for click-to-call. For example, “Hello Representative XX, I’d like to speak to you about the XX Bill going to vote this week on XX issue and share my opinion as one of your constituents.” You have urgency and specificity in your favor motivating your supporters and giving clarity to your desired outcome.
That said, you can certainly use it any time. Representatives always need to hear from their constituents about issues that are important to them. Whether the issue is as clear as a toxic water in a small town or about more complex concerns such as climate change.
Click-to-call is an essential tool for any campaign. Consider setting it up alongside other ways to take action. This gives your supporters a chance to interact in a way they feel comfortable. You can set it up in an automation or series:
- Email 1 – Call your Representative (using click-to-call)
- Email 2 to anyone who didn’t call – Reminder to call your Representative before it’s too late
- Email 3 to anyone who still hasn’t called – Sign our petition before the vote takes place
- Email 4 – Thanks everyone, here’s what happened
Q: How do I know my supporters will stay on message and not say the wrong thing?
Short answer, you don’t. BUT, when their call is connected you can display talking points (written by you) right on the screen. This helps guide their conversation and keep them on message. While you can’t tell them what to say, you can give them some tips to make it easier and hope it all goes well.
Q: How can I measure the success of my click-to-call campaign?
We get this question a lot and it’s a good one. Especially if you’re used to seeing progress meters with loads of respondents. The metrics will be more qualitative in nature but can reveal a tremendous amount of information. After the call is complete supporters can tell you how things went right on the screen to help you gauge success. Did they connect? If so, how did it go? If you want very specific details you can create a survey in Engaging Networks to ask additional questions.
Q: How do I spin up a click-to-call campaign in Engaging Networks and how long does it take?
Building a click-to-call page in Engaging Networks is similar to building a regular advocacy action. You manage some settings, choose your targets, check your template and go. I set up a page in under 15 minutes while writing this blog just to see how quickly it could be done. You’ll need your template squared away, your talking points, messaging and thank you email to plug in copy but it was incredibly easy to build.
Q: What are some benefits of using click-to-call?
- Phone numbers – Everyone wants phone numbers right now. You’re not just engaging your most active supporters, you’re also getting their phone number! Consider adding a mobile opt-in to your page so you can text them for later actions.
- Identifying and engaging your super advocates – Even if you had specified a segment who was taking action before, now you know who is really engaged in advocating for your cause.
- Hitting your targets through multiple channels – While your target may still get a list of 30,000 signatures asking for a Bill to pass, they’ll also get a slew of phone calls from concerned constituents voicing their opinion. What better way to influence them than to show support for your cause from multiple angles?
As a past campaigner, I just want to throw out a couple reminders of good best practices when you’re running your campaign.
- Don’t forget to ask for money – One of the highest converting donation forms for any charity is the post-action donation form. If someone is moved enough to take action, they are much more likely to donate in that moment. Imagine how very motivated these individuals are! Don’t forget to set a post-action donation page and make an ask.
- Engage these VERY active advocates differently – These supporters didn’t just sign a petition, they stepped up to speak to a stranger – a politician most likely – about your cause. Not only do they deserve a specialized communication stream but you want to communicate with them differently. I’ve called these individuals ‘super advocates’ in the past and have found they step up to the table again and again when called. Set up a special email automation for them, or send them a very special thank you. Even better, a phone call of your own (if you have time!).
- Don’t forget to get social – Click-to-call is great via email but imagine how you can grow your email AND phone list if you promote one of these actions on social or via paid advertising? It’s certainly worth a test if nothing else.
Last word. If you’re not using click-to-call now, it’s easy to add in Engaging Networks and you should consider it for your next campaign. If you’re a client and have any questions about this cool tool reach out to Account Services or visit our Supportal. If you’re interested in learning more about Engaging Networks, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.