Web sites have become an important part of any campaign, organization, or business
For a political organization, they're more than just a place for to post issue stances and take donations - they've also become the twenty-first century press kit. It's become common practice for reporters and the media to visit a candidate's web site for information on their positions, high resolution photos, biography information, and more. Web sites have also increased in popularity as a place voters go to learn more about candidates for a race. When promoted in hand outs at events, flyers left at the doortstep, in commercials, and the like, voters are much more likely to visit that web site than they were just a few years ago. Where web sites for campaigns used to be just a place for people who already support a candidate or issue to visit, they've now become a cost-effective way to reach potential voters.
For non-profits and community groups, donors and volunteers expect to be able to easily visit an organization's web site to be able to give their time or money. It's also how a person makes initial decisions about if they want to become involved with an organization. When it comes time for events, your web site is where people go to find out the details about when/where an event is, the agenda or schedule for the event, etc. And just like with campaigns, your web site is where the press goes to find press releases, print-ready photographs, and more.
For businesses, it's often times the first place your customers look when they want to find out your hours, menu, specials, locate your Facebook page, and more. If your page is outdated - or you don't have one - you're losing customers to other businesses that have a web presence that is timely and relevant.
What can a web site accomplish for your campaign or organization?
First, they help to inform. Instead of just a few paragraphs or bullet points on a mailer, or 10 seconds on a commercial, you can add as much content as you'd like. This allows you to not only give a lengthy biography with accomplishments, but also detailed information on policies, issues, stances, mission statements, and events. You can link directly to bills, legislation, etc. that relates to the issue at hand. You can also record short videos with the candidate or leader of the organization, well known supporters on an issue or of the organization, and the like, which work well with undecided voters and with those not involved in your organization yet. It also allows more information than a 20 or 30 second commercial. You can also have email newsletter sign ups, which allow you to collect addresses that are then sent regular updates.
For your business, you have the ability to add much more information than you could give in an ad in a newspaper or television, a handbill distributed at an event, etc. You also have the ability to update the information as often as you want, which makes it easy to share information about seasonal specials and products, last minute deals, and nightly entertainment. This can be difficult to do with other types of marketing since they often times have to be prepared and submitted weeks in advance of when they will actually run. Plus - unlike with other forms of marketing - there is no additional cost to add content to your web site.
How to get involved
Second, they are a great way to let your supporters know what they can do and how they can get involved. You can list upcoming events, take sign-ups for house parties and coffees, collect volunteer interest information so you can match people's likes with your organization's needs, and more. Supporters will visit your site often and interact with it - if you give them the opportunity. Doing so increases the participation level of your supporters and makes them feel they are an important part of your campaign or organization. It's important to have a good calendar where supporters or undecided voters can attend. It's also allows voters to see how active your candidate or organization is in the community.
Businesses can benefit from that same kind of exposure from your supporters (customers). You can utilize a calendar to list regular specials, activities and events, etc. for your business. For instance, a restaurant could list the nights they are having entertainment, when you'll be offering holiday meals, etc. A store could list their scheduled sales or when they'll be out participating in a community activity. Giving this information not only keeps your current customers up-to-date, but also gives them the ability to quickly and easily share that information with family and friends.
Donations and volunteer sign-ups
Third, they serve as a quick and easy way to handle donations and volunteer sign-ups. Online donation systems collect all the information and handle the payment processing, giving your supporters an easy way to make a monetary donation. They can even sign up for recurring donations, such as $10 a month. This allows donors to feel secure in their donation, as they input their information on a secure web site and no one ever sees their credit card number. A great way to ensure pledges turn into donations is to bring a laptop with a mobile internet connection to events and activities and have people donate online as opposed to taking a remit envelope that may never be returned. It's the same with volunteer sign-ups - the easier you make it for people to sign up to help, the more likely they are to do so. If you have an internet connected device at your events, you give people the ability to sign up to volunteer quickly and easily and their information goes directly into your database. No more waiting for someone to manually input information from handwritten pages that may be difficult to read. This means you can get your volunteers active sooner, which increases both the likelihood they will volunteer and the impact their help make for your campaign or organization.
And last, web sites give you a way to hear back from supporters, undecided voters, and more. Email forms can be set up that allow you to receive emails from site visitors without opening your address to spam. Polls give people a way to give their opinion on a set topic. Commenting on blog posts give site visitors the option to sound off on their thoughts. When leaving literature on a doorstep of someone not at home, you can leave a personal message on the lit asking them to visit your web site and contact the campaign regarding any questions, concerns, etc. they may have. During this past election season, a number of campaigns saw an increase in emails and phone calls coming into their office when they listed such information on a note on the literature. There have also been upticks in the number of visits to the campaign web site after a canvass.
Hearing from customers is especially important, as this allows you to hear about all the good and bad experiences people had with your business. If people can't easily give you feedback about their experiences, they may resort to posting on web sites like Facebook, Yelp, and Twitter instead. This means that not only are their negative experiences out there for all to see, but you may never see those items and are therefore unable to fix it for that customer and ensure it never happens again. When people have an easy way to give you feedback - which is then answered promptly - they are more likely to return to your business and recommend it to others.
Web sites are the only way to hit on so many aspects of marketing, making them an extremely cost-effective way to reach out to voters, volunteers, and customers.
Our web sites are set up using a Content Management System (CMS), which allows editing and updating your site easy as using a word processor like MS Word. We create a wrapper, called a theme, which sets the colors, fonts, layout, etc. of your site. This then controls the look of you page, which can easily be swapped out as your organization's branding evolves.
Using the CMS, you can easily make updates to text, add blog entries, put events on your calendar, and more while not having to handle any of the technical side of running a web site. We do all the updates to the site's software, modifications to the setup of the site, etc., allowing you to focus on your campaign, business, or organization.
Web hosting, domains and more
We can also host your site, purchase domain names and SSL certificates (needed for secure donation processing), and more, taking all the worries about managing your web needs off your hands.
For more information
For more information, please contact us.