Part 2 - All About Actions
This user guide is broken up into three sections to help you get the most out of Advocacy powered by The SoftEdge. The three sections are; Getting Started with Advocacy powered by The SoftEdge, All About Actions, and Tracking Legislators, Bills and More.
- Part 1 - Getting Started with Advocacy
- Part 2 - All About Actions
- Types of Actions
- Action Labels
- Creating Actions
- Sending Actions to Your Activists
- Tracking the Results of Actions
- Part 3 - Tracking Legislators, Bills and More
Types of Actions
Actions are the main focus of your Advocacy software, and are the primary way your activists will interact with your Advocacy software. Actions refer to the process you design which result in a Completed Action by your activist. Actions are created within the Advocacy portion of your Databank and can be posted to your website, and links to the Action can be sent to your activists using PowerMail.
Each of the Completed Actions of your activists is the direct result of one or more different Actions. There are four types of Actions which can be created in your Databank: Message, Phone, Petition and Media.
The Message Action prompts your activists to send an email message to your chosen recipient. Messages can be written as canned messages, meaning there is no chance for your activists to change or modify the message, or selective messages where your activists can choose which portions of the message to use in their Action. If desired, all messages also have the ability to let your activists add their own message to the Action as well.
The Phone Action provides both the contact information for your Recipient and a script for your activists to use when calling the Recipient. A Click-to-Call option is available for Phone Actions which will automatically connect your activists to your designated recipients. The Phone Action can also include follow up questions to gauge the effectiveness of the Action.
Phone actions where the activists place the call themselves is available at no extra charge. The Click-to-Call option is availble at $.10 / minute.
The Petition Action lets your activists digitally sign a petition.
The Media Action is similar to the Message Action except that the Recipients are local media outlets based upon the address of your activist.
The landing page for the Actions section displays the status of current actions. There are four pieces of information about your Action visible when looking at the Action page.
The column labeled Action contains the action title as it would be seen on your site.
Status allows you to control the visibility of your action once it has been published. If the status is set to hidden, the action is only accessible by direct link and will not be accessible through a list of actions on your site.
The column labeled Type indicates the type of action.
Activity displays the number of individual completed actions taken on your action. In a message type action, this number will equal the total number of messages sent by your activists. That means if a single action has two messages, this number will be twice the number of activists who completed the action.
Creating an action consists of three steps; the action alert, a take action page and an action completed page. Once it has been created, an Action will generate a corresponding campaign in your Databank.
Identify the type of Action and the call to action which will be displayed
Craft the message of your Action
Thank your Activists and ask them to share the Action
Action Alert can refer to a few different things when using Advocacy powered by The SoftEdge. It most often means the email sent with a link to your Action, but it can also refer to the first step of creating an Action.In the Action Alert step, you create the roadmap for the rest of your Action. This first step of an Action gives you the following options:
- Identify the type of Action you are creating. Once you have determined the type of Action you are making, you will not be able to go back and change it.
- Identify the type of message you are crafting.
- The license, federal or state
- The title of your Action
- The visibility of your Action; public or hidden
- The topic of your Action. This is a list generated from legislative web forms and cannot be altered. It is required in order for the message sent by your Activists to go through legislative web forms.
The take action page is where you determine the Recipients of your Actions, and the message they will be sent when your Activists complete the Action. Each Action can have one or more messages, sent to one or more Recipients.
In this stage of creating an Action, the following options are covered:
- Identify the Recipients of your messages
- Craft the email subject and body of the message, this is the email which will be sent by your activists when they complete the Action
- Customize the message settings, determine if you want to allow your activists to edit the message or send out the one you crafted.
Completed Action Page
Once your Activists have completed the Action you designed, they are brought to the Action Completed page. The Action Completed page is a customizable page where they get your Thank You message, can write a letter to the editor, forward the Action to a friend, share through social media, or even send a tweet to the recipient of your Action.
When creating this stage of the Action, you will be given the following options:
- Write the copy of the Thank You message
- Write a Thank You email rather than a message on the page
- Write the copy for the Tell-A-Friend link, the letter to the editor or even the tweet they can send to the recipient
Publishing your Action
No action is ready to go until it has been published. This applies to any changes you make as well. When switching from hidden to public, changing email addresses, modifying recipients or more, you always need to click Publish for the new changes to take place.
Note: Your Databank polls the SoftEdge system for new information every 15 minutes, so after hitting Publish, it can take up to 15 minutes for changes and Activist activity to be reflected in your Databank.
The results of your Action are available in the Get Results page. This page is not an active step you have to take in order to complete your action; rather, it puts a number of resources into one place. Here you can see the action on your CongressWeb page, share it on social media and track the results. The Track Results link brings you to the Action Summary report available in your dashboard.
Sending Action Alerts to your Activists
Once your Action is created, you need to let your activists know about it. You can send links to published actions at any time, using any email or social media platform you wish, but we recommend using your Databank’s PowerMail feature as your primary means of contacting your Activists. Features of using PowerMail include:
- Send customized messages to your Activists using personalized merge fields
- Use form links to pre-populate your Activists personal information
- Track your Activists’ activities in their Contact Record
- See email response and conversion rates using the PowerMail Action Report
By longstanding convention, a PowerMail with an Action link is generally called an Action Alert. This is different from when Action Alert refers to the first stage of creating a new Action.
Compose and personalize your message in PowerMail
Once you have composed your message in your PowerMail, you will want to use the Form Link menu to insert a link to the appropriate Action. When using the Form Link generated by the menu, Activists will receive a personalized link in their email. When they click the link, they will be asked if they are the person who received the email. A brief message will insert their name and ask them to click “yes” if they are that person.
Once the Activist has verified their identity, the Action will have their name, address, and any other required information auto-populated on the form. This will only populate information that is on record in your Databank; if you only have an email for instance, only the email address will be populated.
Tracking the results of Actions in your Databank
Completed Actions, which are the direct result of submitting the Take Action form, are tracked in your Databank by using the Contact History of the Activist’s Member record.
What Generates It
sending a PowerMail
subject line of your PowerMail
opening a PowerMail
subject line of your PowerMail
clicking a link in a PowerMail
name of the link (if using a tracking code)
Activist sends a message to a Recipient
name of the Action
Note: If your action includes sending a message to three different recipients, there would be three different contact records with the sendtorep type.
A campaign is automatically created for each of your Actions. The campaign ID always starts with “@@” and the campaign description consists of the words “Action Alert: ” followed by the Action title. When an Advocacy campaign is attached to an outgoing PowerMail, you can track Activist interest and behaviors from the initial send all the way to taking action, via the PowerMail Action Summary report, and use this to gauge the success of your Advocacy actions.
Note: After publishing an Action, it’s common to start writing an Alert in PowerMail. If you want to associate the PowerMail to the Action campaign, you may not be able to do so right away, because of the 15 minute delay in updating your Databank. If the Action campaign doesn’t show up in the Campaigns drop-down list, come back to it 15 minutes later and try again.
After an Activist has completed taking action, they will be automatically subscribed to your Advocacy publication. The default name for this publication is Action Alerts, but that name can be changed in the Publication page found in your Setup menu.