It’s important to note that this is much more than just a typical website for a political organization. There are advanced features designed to cultivate a more purposeful and fruitful connection between the user and the party or campaign. This page serves to introduce some of these features. But, the best way to understand what these tools are capable of would be to have a chat with me. Feel free to give me a call at 312-731-8026.
This feature revolutionizes the way a party or campaign organization operates. Everyone who interacts/ converts on the website (i.e. submits any signup or contribution form, or RSVPs for an event) gets a user account — a way to login with their email and password on the website — with a “member dashboard” (or whatever you want to call it). This dashboard gives the user access to exclusive information, content and organizing tools, as well as giving the user a way to manage their account information and track their engagement (i.e. past donations, referral sign-ups, events, volunteering, etc.).
It could also give users the opportunity to provide input/feedback through targeted surveys and questionnaires. Of course, proper use of member surveys can become an invaluable source of qualitative data & insights, not to mention developing the quality of the organization’s 1st-party data, thus improving the performance of email fundraising through targeted messaging and strategic list segmentation.
User accounts can cultivate a connection to the brand, a sense of belonging and personal participation in the organization’s activity and operations. With a smart onboarding process, a well-designed personalized user experience, and ongoing activation & engagement, this platform helps to reinforce the user’s feeling that they are personally valued and that they have an important role to play. By providing an effective two-way channel through which users/members are personally connected to the organization, it is more likely for the members to become emotionally invested in the brand and driven to help advance the organization’s goals.
This platform becomes the primary way everyone can connect & engage with the party or campaign, as well as giving leaders, organizers, and volunteers a way to connect with one another.
This is a digital strategy game-changer, because it changes the user journey framework. The way political organizations tend to facilitate this journey (if they are even thinking strategically at all) adheres to a standard linear marketing/sales funnel —
Awareness > Interest > Consideration > Action
But operating with a membership platform departs from that linear framework to adopt a more cyclical approach, focusing on different goals, which I think are much more conducive to effective grassroots political organizing —
The following are features that currently exist in my user accounts/ membership platform, or planned features that may still require a little front-end development work before going live. However, this platform’s future potential is not limited to this list. New features and integrations will be planned and built as time goes on, depending on how the platform is used and what tools best help the client campaign or organization achieve their objectives.
- Integrates with any CRM, email marketing platform, or fundraising software. Data can be imported into the the platform to set up new user accounts, e.g. everyone on an existing email list, donor database, or a spreadsheet of county party executive board leaders, candidates, etc.
- Tiered “membership” subscriptions (i.e. recurring contributions).
- Create special user roles with different site privileges, e.g. “ Subscriber” (default), “Member” (recurring donor), “Organizer” (can post events), “Party Leader,” “Content Contributor,” “Candidate,” “Campaign Staff,” “Elected Official,” etc.
- Access to exclusive content for logged in users per each user role. E.g., if you want to publish a page or event only visible to users with the role of “candidate” or “county party leader.” Also helpful for things like surveys, if it would be preferable to avoid anonymous submissions.
- Incentivize activity with different “membership” statuses or “points,” i.e. gamification of referral signups or event RSVPs— By issuing an “official party membership” card (incentive for users to fill in mailing address) designed with individualized QR codes, members can get others to scan their QR with a mobile device to access a signup form with user attribution parameters. For event RSVPs, user shares a modified event URL with their attribution parameters. That member then gets credit for each completed signup. (In Development).
- Potential rewards for meeting activity goals— maybe merch, invitations to exclusive receptions or access at events, invitations to exclusive conference calls with party leaders or elected officials.
- Manage Votebuilder subscribers, accept payments, and replace paper user agreements with a page on the website with the agreement text, where the user submits a form to accept the agreement. The user can even sign their name with touchscreen/ trackpad/ mouse- enabled signature feature right on the form.
- Ask for any custom information about a user on the Account Information page.
- Users can create a personal profile, add friends, create and join groups, participate in forums, send messages to other users or within a group (in development).
- On-site notifications for logged in users and desktop push notifications (must opt-in), e.g. group activity, referral signups, direct messages, event updates/ reminders per the user’s event RSVPs, etc. (in development).
- Users can manage their volunteer opportunity preferences.
- Email preferences
- Contribution history
- Contribution forms (or any forms) pre-filled with user data when user is logged in.
- City and State is automatically generated in a user’s profile if a zip code is entered.
- Enhanced analytics data can be collected from logged in users, i.e. user behavior data (can be helpful for UX insights and conversion optimization).
- Detailed reporting dashboard for Admins
- Custom styled map to match the site’s brand colors, can be displayed as a section of the Home page, on the events page, and on individual event or venue pages.
- User can search events map by zip or city name.
- Filter events by category.
- Other filters could be used, e.g. by date range, but I think a simpler UI is preferable.
- Users with “Organizer” privileges (or higher) can add/ manage events, even sell tickets for their own fundraisers.
- User RSVP and Ticket sales can be set up by non-admins, but Stripe accounts must be set up for each organization or campaign before they can sell tickets. This feature’s development is near complete— ticket sales is operational, but there are some bugs interfering with unrelated scripts that need to be corrected before all of the ticket sales features can go live.
- Collect custom attendee information with ticket sales, e.g. choice of lunch options.
- “Tickets” emailed to user can have QR codes, facilitating the check-in process at ticketed events with a mobile device or printed ticket.
- The most advanced and comprehensive web page form software, fully extensible and customizable.
- Accept payments (donations or purchases), and process credit cards with Stripe or Paypal Pro.
- Apple Pay and Google Pay can be implemented for mobile devices.
- Integrate forms with any CRM, email platform, fundraising software, really any third-party platform with an API.
- Customize user confirmation messages, emails, or redirects (with data query strings).
- Automatically register new user accounts via any form submission.
- Beyond signup and contribute forms, you can create polls, quizzes, or surveys as well.
- Touchscreen/ touchpad/ mouse signatures (e.g. for Votebuilder user agreements).
- Set up Slack notifications of form submissions (i.e. if organizers want to keep an eye on volunteer sign-ups).
- Partial Entries — collect data in real time as users fill form fields to capture leads on forms abandoned before user submits. Target these users with remarketing emails and/or display ads.
- Conditional logic
- Anti-spam without annoying Captcha or other unnecessary verification fields.
- Quickly create landing pages with saved form templates.
- Create coupon codes, e.g. special student prices for fundraiser events.
- County party/ local group entries can be created (and data/ content can be updated) by uploading a spreadsheet. No need to manually create each individual post and/or update each field with relevant data — possibly including (but not limited to) the names & contact info for county party leaders, links to websites & social media pages, etc.
- Interactive county/ locality Map
- The County Party listing page displays social media/ email/ website links, and name of Party Chair.
- Individual County Pages with Leadership contact info and other links. Can be customized to add more content if desired.
- Sign-up forms on each County’s page — User data gets synced with whatever email or CRM platform the County Party uses, also gets added to the main list if account doesn’t already exist.
- In development: Events with county added as a tag will show up on that county party’s individual page.
- In development: Contribution forms on each individual County Party pages connected directly to that party organization’s stripe account.
- In Development: County Party leaders can get special user privileges to edit content and info on their respective county party pages.
- County Party committee meeting minutes upload form integrated with Google Docs to automatically place files in each county’s respective folder (accessible by users with county party leader user privileges).
- Each person is a “portfolio” post, tagged with their appropriate custom category.
- Categories can be grouped and filtered under a single tab, like Candidates > House/ Senate/ Congress.
- Like counties, these can be entries can be created and updated with a spreadsheet upload, no need to manually create each individual post and/or update each field.
- Each tab can have any custom content. E.g. if a different content layout is desired for “party leaders” or “staff” tab.
Partner organizations/ subsidiary groups
Just like the individual pages for county parties, custom signup landing pages can even be created for different cohorts — for example like College Democrats, Young Democrats, etc. I’d call this a “tandem sign-up page,” where the user’s information gets added to both organizations’ lists. Just like the sign-up forms on county pages, the forms can be synced with any individual 3rd-party email marketing accounts like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc., or other CRM platform.
I understand this kind of data sharing between these activist groups and the central state party organization or a campaign probably hasn’t happened much in the past, but I think the centralization of these lists will prove to be mutually beneficial for everyone. Also, for state parties, it would ensure the health and sustainability of each organization’s email lists year after year regardless of changes in leadership (looking at you, College Dems!). By default, everyone would be subscribed to the state party list, but email preferences can be managed by the user in their account, so for example if they sign up as a member of the Young Democrats but don’t want to receive emails from the state party, they can opt-out of those lists.
WordPress theme features and admin tools
- Extensive back-end theme options, page design, and content management features, really more than I wish to describe here.
- Easy page builder framework with many useful builder elements.
- Homepage social media activity stream— consolidation of content from accounts on multiple platforms, as well as the potential to display (with pre-approval moderation) hashtag content from other users. (This is a feature I didn’t use on the demo website as you need to have admin access to the social media accounts to set up the API auth that pulls the content).
- Advanced SEO features
- A/B/n & multivariate testing for landing pages, forms, even modals and interstitials.
- Performance optimized
- Full documentation, training, and support provided.