Advocate Acquisition: Four Strategies to Grow Your Grassroots Network

July 10, 2019

A major issue is on the table in Congress that will have a major impact on your organization’s bottom line. You’ve drafted the perfect letter to send to every legislator that outlines why your stance is important. You brought in data to support your argument. You launch your campaign and get a great response rate, but the impact isn’t as forceful as you had hoped.

What can you do before the next issue pops up? Grow your advocate network.

One of the most powerful ways to make your voice heard is by increasing the volume and the personalization through grassroots advocacy, where constituents of officials themselves speak out on your organization’s issues.

But how do you find those advocates? Even with a built-in network of employees or association members, it's important to grow your advocate network so you can drive a higher volume of actions when you need to activate your grassroots base.

Use Texting to Capture Advocate Info from In-Person Events

A great way to engage new potential advocates is through events and in-person engagements. Getting someone to attend an event is a big ask—they’re taking time out of their day, spending considerable time learning about your organization and its policy issues, and potentially paying money for a ticket. These are all indications of high-level interest in being involved in your campaigns.

Once you’ve gotten them in the door, how do you make sure to capture their information so you can keep them involved in your digital grassroots campaigns? Use inbound texting.

Simply pick a buzzword for your advocates to text to a predetermined phone number, and automatically reply to them with a link to register for your grassroots organization or take action on a particular campaign.

With an inbound texting provider like Quorum that is integrated with the rest of your digital advocacy work, you’ll be able to continue to follow up with those advocates through email calls-to-action as you launch new campaigns.

Drive Subscribers to Your Newsletter

Another way to acquire advocates to your grassroots network is by creating a valuable newsletter. Logistically, this involves placing a newsletter registration form on your website to capture the individual’s email address. Then, send regular updates so registrants come to expect and look for your messages.

The key to this strategy is to make your newsletter valuable to your readers so that when you send calls-to-action, they feel educated on your issues and interested in engaging. With presidential campaigns asking for money, stores advertising their latest sales, and newspapers blasting breaking alerts, inbox real estate is valuable.

One way to do this is to segment your advocate database by interests. When you capture the individual’s email address on your website registration forms, include custom fields, such as which of your organization’s policy priorities they are most interested in. That way, you can ensure you are sending them targeted, relevant information, rather than bombarding with every single thing your organization is doing.

With software providers like Mailchimp or Quorum, you can build your advocate database and send your newsletter, all from the same place. Quorum’s grassroots registration page allows you to collect advocate information with as few or as many fields as you’d like, then send your newsletter or action alerts from an integrated email tool.

Find and Register Advocates on Social Media

To acquire new advocates, meet them where they already are on the internet—social media. By using lead generation ads on Facebook and Linkedin, you can collect advocate information without asking them to leave the social network.

Aside from just easing the advocate experience with fewer clicks to register, lead ads also give the opportunity to target specific demographics of potential advocates. Target your ads based on pages that individuals have liked, biographical information, or job title. To get more advanced, use retargeting to specifically focus lead ads at individuals who have visited your website before, but haven’t signed up for your advocacy program yet. Finally, consider “lookalike audiences” who fit similar qualities of people who already follow you on Facebook.

Consider a grassroots advocacy system like Quorum that integrates with Facebook and Linkedin lead ads, so that wherever you acquire an advocate, they are automatically stored in one unified database without manual uploads.

Work With Partner Organizations

To expand your network, find organizations whose advocates share interests with your advocates. Partner on a campaign that works with your organization’s common interests and capture the information of the advocates. This was a strategy utilized by End Rape on Campus (EROC) when they launched a campaign to comment on proposed changes to a Title IX regulation. By partnering with organizations like Know Your IX, they could expand the impact of their campaign beyond just their existing advocates and introduce more individuals to the work of EROC.

A tool like Quorum makes this easy—use multiple action centers, each with the organization’s independent branding, but are stored in a unified advocate database.

Best Practice: A Seamless Advocate Experience to Reduce Inertia in Advocacy

Finding your advocates and getting them interested in participating in your issue is only half the battle. If the process of taking action in your grassroots advocacy campaigns is too complicated, it won’t matter how large your list is as you’ll see a significant drop-off in completion rates of calls to action.

Quorum Grassroots provides all of the tools you need to acquire, educate, and activate your advocates in one place so you can impact the issues you care about. With Quorum’s seamless advocate experience, take advantage of all the advocates you’ll acquire by increasing your completion rates of your advocacy calls-to-action. Request a demo of Quorum Grassroots.

Public affairs professionals should have modern software built for them. Request a demo today to learn why.