Using SignOn.org to organize online and build your email list for free

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MoveOn's SignOn project


MoveOn always done federal work, about a year ago said how can we get involved on state and local level. Came up with new team called State And Local. How to get members involved in thinking about state and local issues, get involved in the campaigns? Petition is the lowest bar; they can stand on their own as advocacy or press tool. They're much more effective on a local level.

Launched this experiment in March with a 1/4 built tool, idea of rounding up a bunch of MoveOn members to try it. Internally a smalshing success. 100's and 1000's of cmapaingns, a number of successes.

Completely open platform, not jjust petitions but complete system. Some limits on profanity, but no limits on conversatives/libersa. open internationally, but some glitches in that.

Simple create a petition page, open for very little information. Targeting: most folks don't have a good sense of who they want to target. Get a lot of "everyone from the white house down to city council" Lots of people have targeting struggles, going to do some organizing around that.

We ask for the petition info before we ask for contact info from creator, that increases the completion rates. We noticed that shorter petitions are much better than longer petitions. Shows the short petition language on the page where you sign the petition.

People ask Picture? Link? we are not allowing it becuase adds some organizing complexity. Can't add a link. stripped down on purpose.

can't advocate for violence/profanity, but don't have an ideological filter, we have a lot of conservative petitions.

can print out signatures by cong district, other things. Co-leaders, so people can help you run the petition.

Have a complicated delivery system, allow targets to respond.

We won't give you the email, but we'll give you access to those folks, you can email them essentially unlimited. Can build your list by sending out links to your own events/other page using the Sign On email tool. We do prohibit fundraising, but are revising that policy.

Offering pre-made press advisories, with a media list to send it to (with all your petition info in it)

Offering a LTE tool based on your petition.

Signon's email share tool uses cut and paste. Email and FB are sttill #1 and #2 ways to share, low conversersions on twitter. TTA is "use your own email tool"

Tracking open rates for the emails you send using their system. Offer sample emails including some of the petition information already inserted, training peole to write good effective email. 1-1 coaching, training calls (how to share effectively, how to do media, sending and writing good emails)

Real emphasis on delivering in person to maximize impact. Create PDF's of the signers of the petition to be downloaded and delivered (also do online delivery)

Developing a call-in tool, people will be able to report their calls. They can unsubscribe from the MoveOn list and still stay on your SignOn list. Names are NOT made available to other groups, a la Change.org.

Considering a double opt-in where signers can join both your group and MoveOn.

Value propositiion is that we'll send your petittion to MoveOn's peopel geographically near. So we don't wnat to hand over large sections of the MoveOn list to a bunch of other people. Still looking for how to provide lists to partner organizations.

How many petitions in SIgn On, how many get promotoed? ~8K petitions in system. Graph of incoming is going sharply up. (was slow first couple of months). But most do not have anyone who is really pushing it, they're just dabbling. But of those which show there is a real organizer on the other end, the rate is 70-80% who get at least a test.

About 10 a week get tested by MoveOn.

The next evolution is to test just about every petition which comes in which is "legitimate" to maybe 10-15 people (still have human element)

  • internal* tools shows map of signers, tracks shares, and shares of shares of the petition, so you can see who signed up from which sharing source. Share graph shows the network diagram of who shared to whom. Not currently available to petition creators.

"Virality Metrics" are for internal deicison making on which petitions to send out more widely. calculations on, for instance, if someting is doing well but also has a log of negative feedback (divisive); look at the "Coefficient of Virality" - mathematic formula of how many people try to refer, how many then come and sign up, etc. Has a "capped" version to deal with cases where someone vastly overshares.

We are a nonprofit, we're not selling names.

Delivery: we send an email to the petition target, say whether they are a constitutent, include additional message to show that this is a real person. The target can reply and the reply goes back to the SignOn signer (thorugh an obfuscated email) and also reply to all their constituents.

Really empowering for people who sign the petitions when the target responds. target gets up to 15 messages a day, people who have signed it with a comment, and they are a constituent.

Have another targeting system for corporate targets and others, which doesn't have the constituent stuff.

Try to keep MoveOn and SignOn in the background, not foreground, of the messages to the targets; much better if it from the person, and highlights *them*.

Goal is capacity building for the progressive movement. best reasons to use: 1) can expose your issue to min. several 1,000 MoveOn members (branding, exposure) 2) grow your own list by recruiting those people to your own tools 3) for groups which can't afford their own tools, you can run this for free

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