Back To School

While the House might be delayed in returning, it is still back to school season. The “end of summer” also means a higher percentage of people are monitoring their inboxes.

Now is the perfect time to engage them with a right track / wrong track email! So, to help you out, I have made a complete template you can copy from start to finish.

For this tutorial , I would encourage you to open up C-Vote, C-Source, Your Email Website, and your MP EDA Website.

For your additional convinience I have put some of the pieces in a single file you can download. [ilink url=”” style=”download”]Download the Back To School Kit[/ilink]

Show Some Initiative

The first step is to prepare your initiative in C-Vote. Because we are creating a right track wrong track email we can attach a survey to our initiative.

I won’t be providing a tutorial on how to create a survey and initiative here but you can use mine, or copy the examples to create your own.

First I created the survey, you can search for it as Survey #3853. Next step is to create your initaitive, build a run and attach the survey.

I have built a template initiative you should be able to create runs under. Search for it as #8871 or by my last name “Mulvihill” then make a copy of Run #13010.

search initiative brendan

This will provide you with a list to import into your MP Host Email Account.

Drag and Drop It

Go to your main list and click the big green button that says Add New Subscribers.

Just drag the file over and it will import it automatically.

The software will ask you if you’d like to add additional custom fields for the content you are importing.

As a general rule, don’t import data you don’t need into the software. You will never need their street address, but sorting based on City or Postal Code may come in handy.

What you definitely want to add is Constituent Number and Coupon Number. This will make it easier for importing the results into C-Vote.

If you already have the email address in C-Vote, then it will automatically add the new details it didn’t have before.

Now that your list is updated with the most recent data we are going to jump over to our website.

An Engaging Form

The next step is to create your Poll Form. This is fairly straightforward, just remember these four steps to awesome forms.

  1. Fields – Make sure you have all your fields you’d need.
  2. Confirmation – Make sure you edit and personalize the confirmation message
  3. Notification – Make sure you tell the form who to send the submissions to,
  4. Feeds – Make sure your form is talking back to the other websites (Email, PayPal, C-Vote someday) through the feeds

For this form I have already made the template but since it is relatively simple

Below is a quick reference table to the fields used. There are two basic types, visible and hidden. The hidden fields are filled in based on the values you set in the email, but we’ll come back to that in a second.

Field Visibility Parameter Query
Poll Question Yes poll poll=
First Name Yes firstname firstname=[firstname]
Last Name Yes lastname lastname=[lastname]
Email Yes email email=[email]
Postal Yes postal postal=[PostalCode]
Page Source No
URL Source No
Constituent No cv cv=[ConstituentID]
Coupon No coupon coupon=[Coupon]
Campaign No utm_campaign Your Subject Line

It took me a bit to understand these terms “parameter” and “query” and I am sure we could figure out a better way to name and explain them, but the best way to learn is by practice.

If you would like to add or make your own parameters, you can edit it under the advanced settings of individual fields.

field properties advanced fields edits

The parameters are the names of the fields you want to put information into using a custom link. Below is an example of the links as you would put them into an email for this form. Once you have set this up once, the only values you have to change is the “poll=gpoll” It will always be unique to your question.

Right Track

Right Track –[firstname]&lastname=[lastname]&postal=K1A0A6&email=[email]&cv=[Constituent]&coupon=[Coupon]

<a href="[firstname]&lastname=[lastname]&postal=K1A0A6&email=[email]&cv=[Constituent]&coupon=[Coupon]">Right Track</a>

Wrong Track

Wrong Track –[firstname]&lastname=[lastname]&postal=K1A0A6&email=[email]&cv=[Constituent]&coupon=[Coupon]

<a href="[firstname]&lastname=[lastname]&postal=K1A0A6&email=[email]&cv=[Constituent]&coupon=[Coupon]">Right Track</a>

Assembling Your Email

You have your initiative set-up, a fresh list, and you have your form ready. Now you just need to assemble your email. I say assemble, because you are busy and you don’t need to duplicate work already done.

First you’ll need some text to go before the question but a long editorial will never get the reader to the bottom of the email.

I like C-Source’s new Proactive Letters to the editors section. Short and timely, they act as a great template for your email. Simply search for “HELPING STUDENTS SUCCEED” or go add this to the url when you are logged in ?p=21476

Now you need a good picture to go with it, ideally 600px wide.

Here is one I think you can safely use from the Prime Minister’s website that I have scaled down to 600px wide.

Back to School


After they Vote

I hope this template initiative provides you with a good overview and a head start in creating a regular schedule and system of asking for input then following up to thank them for their input.

Because that is where the real value happens.

Everybody who takes the time to respond should get a personalized follow-up and a proper thank you. It will increase the likelihood of them answering your next call to action.

[ilink url=”” style=”download”]Download the Back To School Kit[/ilink]

If you have any suggestions or questions, please, feel free to leave a comment below.

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