Beware of Form Email Purgatory

Beware of Form Email Purgatory

By Chip Felkel

Great minds think alike. It’s an old saying and usually offered in agreement with something you have just read or heard. That’s exactly the case when I read a recent post from the Congressional Management Foundation’s Seth Turner. The post, which you can access here, is a great look at what happens to our stakeholder when we put all our eggs in the “click and send” advocacy basket.

It has always amazed me how quickly smart people forget things, such as the important and incredible value of personal relationships in their advocacy work. Maybe it is just easy to hit send, and get your people to click and send, and then you both feel good about yourselves cause you have “done something important”. But here’s a hint: You haven’t had an impact. You’ve added to the noise and if your team goes overboard, you’ve probably ticked off the staff of the targeted official. Look, we get it, there is a certain amount of digital activity organizations feel compelled to do at this point in the game. Lots of emails look good to the boss, and if you are lucky, they get the attention of those you need. But honestly, let’s talk about ROI and let’s talk about the danger. First, the ROI is just not all that good. Second, the danger is you get an email sent from someone, via click and send, who is related to the target, or lives down the street, and that is not only a waste of a good contact, it looks like you don’t have your act together.

Email Purgatory is what happens when we settle. It is what happens when we take the easy path away from advocacy and right into the promotion of “slactivism”.  So take the road less traveled and put just a tad more effort info your advocacy by leveraging real people with real relationships. And while you are at it, I highly recommend you take a few minutes and read this piece from Seth. He and the rest of the team at CMF do a fantastic job of providing accurate and frank assessments on the state of advocacy, and this is just another great example. Don’t lead your people into Email Purgatory. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

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