With the 2015 election heating up, I thought I would check out how six of the main parties are embracing, or not in one case, email marketing.
On the “Together” campaign home page, it is obvious where to sign up but also the process seems to be acting as a research tool to see if people have decided who to vote for.
The form is simple with only two fields collected; it doesn’t allow for a personal touch though as name is not included. But then again, I suppose you have to be careful of people entering rude words and then accusing the Conservatives of addressing them like that! A lot of validation might be needed to exclude this type of thing so I can kind of understand why this field might not be included.
I decided to check if there would be any difference in the communications I received if I stated I was “in” or “not decided”.
However on my first impression, it didn’t matter which one I opted for, as the landing page I was taken to after submitting my details was the same.
There was not even a thank you for opting in or giving you my personal details! The question is, where do you want me to go from here? It is one of the easiest things to direct people to different landing pages depending on what they have selected. If I’m undecided surely you want to be telling me why I should be voting for you. If I’m “in” surely you need to be thanking me and reaffirming I’ve made the right decision?
I had to dig around to find the email sign up, initially searching the site and ending up at this page. The form only had one extra question compared to the Conservatives, asking about whether I was a member.
However, I then found right at the bottom in the footer, the email sign up on the homepage.
After completing my details in the three fields and pressing “Stay up to date’, I was then directed to this page where I was being asked to complete my details again. A very odd journey and I was left unsure if I had signed up or not.
The use of prepopulated fields and some explanation may have appeased the annoyance.
It is clear straight away on the homepage where you can sign up and be part of the Liberal Democrats campaign.
After entering my email address, I finally received a ‘Thank you’, the first one!
I also had the opportunity to tell the party more details about me including my interests and name.
The UKIP website seems to be a little odd in my opinion with a homepage that seems very sparse.
It would seem from this, UKIP’s marketing strategy was focused around email marketing, but I was yet to be told how they were going to use my data.
Once I had signed up, I was directed to this landing page. There was no confirmation I was registered and this felt more like a website homepage. Strangely, there was another area to sign up.
The email sign up was clearly prominent at the bottom of the homepage and easy to find.
Again I received a thank you and the only party to explain what to expect next.
There were some clear calls to action on the page as well as to direct me to what to do next e.g. volunteer, donate or join.
It was disappointing to see that the SNP had not embraced email marketing. It would seem their focus seemed to around Twitter and Facebook. Not even the share functionality had the ability to email the details to a friend.
Overall the journey for most of the parties felt very impersonal and a little odd at times. It felt like it had not been tested or created to be “customer” friendly.
I’ve put together my nine top tips for the email sign up process:
- Make it clear where people can sign up
- Tell people how you are going to use their details
- Give people a reason to sign up
- Thank people for giving you their personal details
- Confirm they have been registered and what to expect
- Where do you want people to go after they’ve signed up?
- Use the details people have provided you. Personalise the thank you with their name. If they are telling you they are unsure who to vote for, take them to a landing page where it tells them your key policies
- Have consistent branding for the whole journey
- Finally, keep testing the process. Make sure it’s still working and you are being taken to a landing page that is appropriate.