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Step 4 - Choosing your audience

There are very few cases where you should be sending an email to everyone on your list - and you should always try to email to as few people as possible.

For example, if you have an MP coming to an event, you will want to email all your members, registered supporters, donors and helpers to invite them. But even then, think about how the message might work better split into versions.

Inviting a super-activist who is on your executive committee to an event they likely know is happening is a very different proposition to inviting a new member who joined last week and may not know much about the MP or the local party.

This is why we’d recommend having a selection of standard audiences you can send to. For example, the Lib Dem supporters in your local party will include members, registered supporters, donors and helpers. Within these groups, you might want to think of having standard lists of:

Super activists - your exec members and the people who are active every week / month.

Activists - people who are active, but less frequently. Might include deliverers, people who attend social events.

Members - Your local party members.

Registered supporters - You local party registered supporters

Potential members - people who you can occasionally contact and see if they are interested in joining the Lib Dems. This can include helpers, previous donors, and registered supporters

New members - members who’ve joined in the last six months.

At risk members - members currently in their grace period.

There are guides to creating these audiences on Nationbuilder https://nationbuilder.com/how_to_tagging an https://nationbuilder.com/how_to_filter

On Prater Raines: https://praterraines.co.uk/creating-groups-of-liberal-democrat-members-in-foci2

Or on Mailchimp (https://mailchimp.com/help/create-audience/

If you’re emailing non-members, we’d suggest splitting your list into two groups:

  • Lib Dem Updates
  • Issue Campaign Updates
  • Local Updates

Lib Dem Updates: this should function like an old-fashioned supporters list that you might send your members newsletter to. This list can get invites to events, more partisan content and anything else you might send to a non-member supporter.

Issue Campaign Updates: some people will sign up to your email list to receive updates on a particular issue or campaign that they care about, such as a campaign to stop the closure of a local service, addressing littering in a local park/beach etc. You should keep in contact with this list every few weeks with key updates, and when the campaign is over, invite them to join your main mailing list. 

Local Updates: these should be the ‘reporting back’ style emails that are similar to your focus leaflets. This is a list people should want to sign up to, as like Focus it has the most up-to-date, relevant information for people in their local area. You could also consider subdividing your local updates lists into wards for even more relevant hyperlocal news.

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