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Reaching your supporters digitally with Mailchimp

Mailchimp for political campaigns

Being able to shift directions suddenly is a lot to ask of campaigners, especially, if these campaigners and candidates are at the end of a long campaign.

When the Covid_19 pandemic swept across the globe during February and March this year, campaigning and canvassing was far from everyones mind. Health and safety of communities was the priority for many but what was interesting was the vacuum that social distancing left for many public representatives.

How do they carry out their elected duties now? How do the future Mayor or local council person reach voters?

'Going digital' was quickly spun out to help those who needed to move from field organizing to something else. We were lucky our platform was set up to help our current users easily transition to more practical methods of outreach. We found that one of our partners was the perfect arm to add to your new hybrid campaign.

Here's how to exploit every piece of MailChimp functionality so you can stay connected and perhaps build new ones!

From MailChimp you can create the following campaigns;

  • Social posts
  • Email
  • Website
  • Landing pages
  • Surveys
  • Ads
  • Sign up forms

1. Creating social posts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Name and design your post.

We are going to start with a Facebook post. Ask yourself what kind of message are you trying to share? Many people choose to share videos or blog posts. Candidates or campaigners may share election news such as a notice about the next event. Including an image or some visual will mean your content will stick out more.

In the example below, we are sharing our latest blog post to our Facebook page.

Once you are happy with the copy and image you have chosen, you can click next and see the PREVIEW. Hit publish or schedule ahead if you are satisfied. Your post will be shared on your Facebook page like below.

The same logic applies for each individual social media platform.

2. Create an email campaign

Whether you're an expert or a novice in political email marketing, MailChimp gives you tools to easily design actionable emails.

When you create an email campaign in MailChimp, you'll choose a template in the Content section of the Campaign Builder. The template you select will be the foundation of your design.

In the Content section of the Campaign Builder, click Design Email. Choose from Layouts (Featured and Basic), Themes, Saved templates, Campaigns, or Code your own to begin to design your campaign.

After you choose a template, you'll move on to the Design step of the Content section. Use content blocks to add and format text, upload images, link to files, and more. All templates show placeholder text and images to help you begin to design your campaign. Depending on the template you choose, you can add, delete, move, and replicate content blocks to create the look and feel you want.

Remember the reason you are writing this email - it's about the content and not how over the top design of it all. Sometimes political campaigns can go too heavy on colour and graphics. These emails are to provide value.

Once you are satisfied with the content you have inserted into you email, work on the subject line. Think about what makes you open emails when you are looking at your inbox. What is clickable?

Check out these Hubspot tips here.

3. Building a website

To be a successful candidate, you need a website first, not a Facebook account. People think that one equals the other - it does not. Think of the Website as your house and your social media channels as your holiday home - they are nice but not essential!

So once you have decided that having a solid HQ for all aspects of your campaign online - where do you start?

That's why we love the MailChimp website builder - it's a quick and easy drag and drag builder. No coding needed and that makes most of relieved!

Website builder

You’ll have lots of options to get the right custom domain name for your campaign. Find a domain that fits, many candidates keep it simple; or Some domains you can pay for or you can use a free MailChimp one too.

Plan out your website so it includes all the pages and sections you need to tell your story. Customize your websites navigation menu, so you can make sure people will find your most important pages when they visit your site.

4. The landing page

As a candidate who is new to the digital landscape, you might be left scratching your asking what makes a landing page different from a website?

The simple answer; Your website has lots of info, lots of sources and lots of links. Your landing page has one main focus and many campaigns might have a fundraiser or donations landing page. A landing page has a specific message, relevant content and is tightly focused. Its purpose is to convert. Hope that makes sense of all our budding politicians!

You can learn everything there is to know about building a landing page with MailChimp here.

5. Surveys

Surveys are the bread and butter of any decent campaign and they are incredibly simple to rollout. Many people do canvassing with the goal of conducting surveys, the great thing about them is that they lend themselves well to the digital world too. You can send surveys via text, email,social, mail and even do them over the phone. People also build surveys into their websites so there really is no excuse for not collecting useful information from you supporters during these times.

MailChimp comes with built-in tools to let you create rating scales and actual surveys, directly from within their campaign and automation builder—this is definitely a feature that makes MailChimp better than their alternatives.

The only caveats are that subscribers can only vote once, there can only be one survey per campaign, each survey response has to be unique, and links inherit the link colour from your HTML template.

What’s a MailChimp survey? And how to do we create one?
Creating a survey in MailChimp is an easy way to add a single multiple choice question to your emails. For example:

What’s your favourite Star Trek series?
Star Trek Original
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager

(To which the answer is 'who cares' )

To create a MailChimp survey like this, you will need to add the following merge tags to any email:

What’s your favourite Star Trek series?
|SURVEY: Star Trek Original|
|SURVEY: Star Trek: The Next Generation|
|SURVEY: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine|
|SURVEY: Star Trek: Voyager|

When you send the email, your subscribers will see the survey options as links which they can then click on.

6. Advertising

Right now, many politicians will be willing to sink their budgets into anything that will promote their campaign anywhere.

Social media advertisng online was once the best place to get reach and grow your campaign cheaply. Lots of that has changed due to new restrictions around political advertising but you can still promote some areas of your candidacy once you get certified by Facebook.

Advertising on Facebook using the MailChimp interface is actually a lot smoother than Facebook itself. Here's a really good video on how to get started.

7. Sign-up forms

Having all the above is great and all but a really quick win for many politicians and actually, any business, is having a sign-up form on your website.

MailChimp have their own form builder so collecting contact information for volunteers or people to add to your election newsletter has never been easier. Again it's all drag and drop wizardry so you can feel super technical without needing a degree in Java script.

The Form Builder is a MailChimp tool that you can access from your audience dashboard. You'll use it to design, build, translate, and share your sign-up form.

You can also use the Form Builder to edit other emails and messages that are part of the sign-up process, like the confirmation thank you page and Final Welcome Email. These forms and emails guide your prospects, customers, clients, and friends through the process of becoming engaged subscribers.

So, once you have Built, Designed and Translated your form. You can embed the code into your site.


The idea of using a system like MailChimp will strengthen your entire political campaign as it solidifies your digital arm. Together with Ecanvasser you entire field, team management and online operations are in safe hands.

Any questions about the utilizing these tools, let us know.

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