Using Petitions to Send More Targeted Email

Nonprofit Petitions

We’ve recently written about both behavioral and fundraising segmentation, as well as how to combine both to create dynamic segments. We wrote about how to segment supporters who have recently engaged with your emails but have not donated in the last quarter. Next, we’re going to discuss how to collect your own interest data to use for your segments.

In most of our conversations with nonprofit marketers, we hear that it’s challenging to send relevant content for every reader. Nonprofits either don’t have the tools or the data to know what might be relevant to each reader. We think that collecting the data should be the easy part, so we’re going to discuss one of our favorite techniques to learn more about your base.

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Using Petitions

Using petitions is a great way to let your constituents tell you what’s important to them. Besides self reporting, petitions can also help gauge and present the support you have for an issue. Your communication strategy should include petitions because they give you some concrete issues that you can discuss. You can make petitions for any of your issues and then drive traffic to those pages through email, social, paid advertising, or your blog. It’s easy to measure how well each petition performs by determining what percentage of people who land on the petition page sign up, how many new supporters the petition adds to your list, and, longer term, which subset of supporters contributes most often.

Petition Examples

Some organizations do a great job with petitions. Organizations like the ACLU use petitions as one of their main website engagement tools. It gives their supporters a way to interact with the important issues they care about. The ACLU can use the list of names they collect for each issue to show that they have support behind the issues they are working on, but it also gives them an idea of what issues are most important to their base. Plus, the ACLU can also use the issue data they collect to inform the conversACLU Petitionation they have with each supporter.  

Another organization that does a nice job with petitions is The Massachusetts Democratic Party. Their petitions are also used to advocate for political issues and help them to understand their supporters. Matt Fenlon, the Mass Dems Executive Director, told us that for them, petitions are “a great way to mobilize and engage thousands of people across the state on behalf of a candidate, cause, or policy. Once we know which issues people care about, it allows us to use targeted communications and activate cross-sections of grassroots networks around the issues important to them.”  

Both the ACLU and the Mass Dems are able to interact with their supporters in a more personal way because they are essentially doing a live poll of their base for each issue.

Your Next Steps

Creating petition pages should be easy. You can use a company like Unbounce, Wufoo or Privy to create really nice looking (and free) landing pages. The data that the petition collects will sync with Klaviyo or your current email platform. You can also embed or host a Klaviyo customizable sign up page to have this data flow straight into Klaviyo. Either of these options will allow you to ask supporters or other interested site visitors to associate themselves with an issue that’s important to them. This, in turn, will allow you to communicate with those people in a targeted, relevant way.

The Bottom Line

Most organizations we talk to are really interested in communicating in a more engaging, but scalable way. Using petitions to better understand what each of your supporters is interested in and then engaging them with content about those interests is a great way to to do just that. It shouldn’t be a mammoth project, so take a crack at creating a new petition and see if you can start to build a more engaging email strategy.


Get more Information About Klaviyo for Nonprofits:

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