You’re Fired!

You’re Fired!

Come November 7th you will either have a job as a politician or you and your staff will be, well, fired. Back to your regular lives. Are you prepared for that? Will you get to make the impact you wanted to if you don’t get elected?

“But, wait! I want to win my, fill in the blank here, school board seat, city council, mayor…”

It’s full court press time and here are the things you can do to make a positive impact on your campaign.

1. Canvass, Canvass, Canvass

KNOCK ON DOORS! This is no time to be shy or feel like you are imposing, this is GO time. We’ve covered canvassing in previous posts but this is one of the most effective tactics to use. When someone shakes your hand or that of you supporting volunteers they will remember you. Particularly if your opponent isn’t canvassing.

ASK FOR THEIR VOTE! Many times when canvassers go door to door they only talk about what the candidate will do and forget to ask for the vote. “I appreciate your time Mr. Smith, can we count on your vote for our candidate?”

2. Make those phone calls

Are you using a system that will allow you to easily make phone calls and track the outcome? Was it a “no answer”, “left voicemail”, “disconnected”, “no longer at that number” or “talked to them – yes vote”, “talked to them – no vote” or “talked to them – undecided”.

With the exception of “talked to them – yes vote”, you should call back everyone else, particularly this week, one week before the general election.

By now, the system you are using should easily be able to deliver a report of the people and numbers you need to call so you don’t have to spend time sorting paper or spreadsheets.

3. Run Social Media Ads

This should have been a tactic early on but if you didn’t jump on this bandwagon months ago now is the time to get in there.

When you run your ads you get to pick the budget, $50? $500? $5,000? All depends on how large your voter base is, demographics of your voter pool will determine which channels you use and which audience in those channels you will target.

When you run your ad be sure to include a call to action! Many people make the mistake of running ads but forget to ask for what they want – for the voter to make a commitment to vote for them.

The call to action can be clicking a button or asking for their email address so you can follow up with them on the issues.

4. Emailing Works

Think email marketing is dead? Think again. It’s highly effective.  If you have permission to email your constituents you should be emailing them. As with calling, canvassing and ads, there needs to be a clear, concise message coupled with a call to action.

5. Poll Watch

We talked about poll watching in last week’s blog and the importance of that.  Having a representative at each polling place can make the difference between winning the election and losing it.

Getting the data of who has voted and who hasn’t is quite valuable on election day.  This information allows you to know which doors to knock on, who to call and ask if they need a ride to the polling place or simply sending them a text.

By knowing who to not reach out to is just as important as knowing who to reach out to.  If someone has already voted you clearly do not need to spend your time talking with them on election day, when time is of the essence.

Remember, most offices have a minimum number of votes they need to even be voted into office. Which means, even if you run unopposed if you don’t get the minimum number of votes, you still may not win your election.

It’s time to put on your walking shoes, headsets and take a seat at your computer to get the last votes you can get.  Using Handraiser software can help you manage all of these tactics from canvassing to email to calling and most important those last few votes using Poll Watch.






Show Me The Money!

Show Me The Money!

Running for office is not only a decision of time but certainly of money. Regardless if you are running for local office like the school board or national office like senate or congress you need to raise money to run your campaign.  Typical places to raise money for your campaign are by asking your family, friends and voters who support your platform.  But, what happens when you’ve tapped all of those resources?

You need to expand your area of ask, if you will.  You will have to ask people to donate to your campaign that you don’t personally know.  The good news, it’s easier than it used to be with the advent of social media and digital marketing.

When running a local race, time is money.  A lot of people announce their candidacy 30 days out and typically, don’t spend time on fund raising. Which, is unfortunate because if they had just $5,000 it would make a big difference in the amount of votes they could connect with about their platform.

One of the problems candidates run across is how do they raise money.  You can go to online payment processors like Stripe but the problem is they usually ask for an EIN or corporation documents.  But, you’re not raising money for your business, you’re raising money for your candidacy, so now what?

Paypal! You can certainly use Paypal, you will want to make sure you keep track of all of your donations.  Who donated, how much they donated, when they donated, etc.  You will need this information for the election office, particularly if you get audited.

Another option is to use Raise The Money,, to help you with your fund raising efforts.  Raise The Money has a number of benefits to help you in your fund raising efforts.  First and foremost, you can be up in two days, not two weeks as with other payment processors and they offer marketing tools to help you raise more money.  Matter of fact, candidates who use them have found they raise 17% more money from previous platforms they’ve used.

Given that Raise The Money started in 2014 and they have put over 5,000 campaigns on their platform they help a significant amount of candidates raise money for their election.

One of the ways they do this is by optimizing your fundraising ability at the local level.  They accomplish this by helping you put a “Donate” button on your social media and your website.  It is very important to give your supporters an easy way to donate to your campaign. Raise the Money is the only fund raising company that has the ability to put a “Donate” button on your Facebook page.

$5,000 may not seem like a lot of money for a campaign but that could go toward sending out post cards, running Facebook ads or using software to help you manage your campaign all in an effort to reach, engage and activate voters.

Another factor to consider is to test your fundraising options.  Create different forms that have different colors, different amounts, etc. and track them.  You will see marked results. Take a look at the fundraising example with notorious politician “Frank Underwood” (played by Kevin Spacey in Netflix’s House of Cards.) You can see how easy it is to donate to a campaign and to test different elements.

Adam Burris, Chief Technology Officer for Raise The Money, says the top three tips for raising money are:

  1. Have an easy platform to raise money – find a platform that is more than a payment processor. Find a company that specializes in campaigns.
  2. Use your data – know the name of your donors, you are required to collect data on your donors. Chances are everyone who donates has a circle of friends that think like them. (Handraiser actually has a feature in our software that lets you easily identify and reach out to your family and friends.)
  3. Put a call to action in every single post you make, give an easy way to donate to your campaign. Keep it simple.

Raise The Money isn’t just for local campaigns.  Gov. Hutchinson of Arkansas uses this platform to raise money for his campaign.

I asked Adam what is his top tip for winning a campaign and he said, “Take time to prepare the right way, if more local races took time to prepare their race before the race it would work out better for them.”

Adam Burris is currently the Chief Technology Officer for Raise The Money.  Check out their blog to get even more tips on running your campaign.


Five Elements Every Campaign Website Needs

You’ve made the decision to run for office.  You’ve registered as a candidate. How are you going to engage with your voters?  Of course, social media plays a big part, but, not everyone is on Facebook or Twitter.  You should definitely have a website to educate your voters, collect donations and to recruit volunteers.

Shane Daley of Online Candidate gave us some great tips on what should be on your website.  Shane and his partners have been designing websites for 14 years and have designed over 2,000 websites for political candidates.  We had the honor of talking with Shane about his vast experience with regard to what works for candidate websites.

Shane was kind enough to share five major tips on website elements for candidates.

First and foremost:

  1. Begin with social media

Starting to build an audience before you have a campaign website. Many successful candidates begin their online campaign long before they announce their intention to run for office.

Social connections can help build relationships and get yourself better known. The earlier you start this, the more time you can use to build online support. Ultimately, those social followers will be the first to know about your campaign and be more likely support you with initial donations of time and money.

  1. Start your website early

Putting up a website and slapping on a donation button a few weeks before Election Day is not a winning tactic. It takes time and effort to build support.

Starting a political campaign website as early as possible provides more time to raise campaign seed money. A website set up for early donations makes it easier for initial donors. Someone is more likely to quickly click and donate than to write out a check, put it in an envelope, and mail it out.

Finally, Google does not tend to ‘rank’ new, unknown websites. To get a site to show on Google takes both time and the existence of links from other sites pointing to the website. If you want voters to find you through search engines, you need to take control over what exists about you online.

  1. Your domain name is important

Every campaign website needs a domain name. Most candidates use their name, often with a variant of ‘vote’ or ‘elect’, such as or The .com extension is your best bet. Avoid using a year or position title in name if you plan to keep the domain throughout your political career.

Unless your own campaign is high-profile or particularly contentious, it doesn’t make sense to register every available domain extension and variant.

Think for the long term. Remember that you are renting your name from the registrar company for as many years as you pay for it. If you stop paying your domain registration fees, anyone else can step in, register that name and point it to another website. That happens often, sometimes with embarrassing results.

  1. A little SEO goes a long way

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way of building your website pages to make them more attractive to search engines and have them rank higher for related searches.

A search engine cannot know what a web page is about if there isn’t enough relevant text on the page. We often see local campaign websites say ‘Candidate X for Mayor’, but don’t actually mention the state that the municipality is located in. If you are running for office in Montgomery, is that Montgomery, New York or Montgomery, Alabama? Don’t leave it to chance.

Some candidates like to write website copy in the first person. A search engine doesn’t know who “I” is. It’s better to write the website copy in third person and include the candidate’s full name.

  1. Use your site as a campaign hub

Running your online presence from a Facebook page is possible, but not everyone is on social media and not everyone wants to join. Putting up digital barriers only excludes voters and potential supporters.

The campaign website is critical as a central place to reference in your online and offline advertising. A website lends credibility to a candidate or organization. Many people will not donate through a Facebook post or a Twitter link. A campaign site provides a fixed place to send donors and provide information to supporters and voters.

A few other key points with regard to your campaign website is to start early.  Candidates now start about a year prior to their campaign, remember, it takes time for SEO to work and it gives you time to recruit supporters and endorsements.

Make sure your website is responsive.  A responsive website will automatically size to the screen size.  For example, your website will automatically scale to a smart phone, tablet or website, which is what you want.

Keep your website after your campaign is over and your domain.  Domain’s are about $12/year so a $1/month is worth keeping your domain name.

Getting your message out to your voters is key and having a website is a very effective tool in campaigning, without it, your constituents won’t have a place to get informed about your message, donate or volunteer in one central place.

Shane Daley is a partner of Daley Professional Web Solutions and Online Candidate. He has over 15 years of experience as a web developer, with a focus on search engine optimization and online marketing.

Online Candidate provides political candidates and organization with affordable campaign website packages. The platform, built-in tools and resources helps hundreds of candidates every election cycle.

Schedule your live Handrasier demo today to see how we can help you win your election.