What you told us
When we consulted on email tools in 2021 and 2022, you gave us a very clear idea what you wanted from an email tool.
You told us that what you wanted from an email tool was:
- It should be simple and easy to use
- You wanted to eliminate the need to import data - with all Lighthouse and Connect data available in the tool.
- You wanted to ensure that your emails looked good on all devices and were high quality and professional
- You want to be confident that your emails will make it to the inbox
- You wanted the tool to be affordable
You also told us there were four features that would be "nice to have"
- That it is easy to manage replies to emails
- That it was easy to merge data into emails
- That it was easy to create a custom list to send emails to
- And that was a simple unsubscribe page that's easy to use
The tool we picked
As part of the website platform project, we will be offering Lib Dem party organisations the chance to sign up to the Targeted Email tool offered by NGPVAN. It offers a large number of benefits.
- It is already integrated with Connect*
- Users won’t have to manually sync their data; this solves a major pain point for users and also significantly reduces our risk as a party
- We have fixed the membership sync from Lighthouse so that accurate membership information is available in Connect
- The tool has templates and a drag and drop feature for easy email creation
- Parties will have some familiarity and knowledge of Connect already
- It is affordable
- In order to use Targeted Email we will be making improvements to MyCampaign which will help us get more value out of Connect which is our most powerful campaigning tool
*It was not technically possible to integrate other email tools with Connect data e.g. Mailchimp - we looked at this extensively
Choosing a global email tool solution for so many users with different needs has been challenging. We want the tool to be powerful enough for advanced parties so that they can use the tool to target the right people with the right message and win elections in a data driven way. We also want to make sure that the tool is user friendly and simple enough to be accessed by those of us who are not ‘techy’ and are just getting started. That is not easy to do without some compromises.
The truth is, none of the options we had in front of us were perfect. We want to be open and honest with you about that. There will undoubtedly be some challenges ahead as we get everyone migrated and up-to-speed on the new tool. We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do.
There are significant and important benefits for everyone if we have consistency across our technology and tools; it’s easier for us to work together, it’s simpler for everyone to get the support they need and it helps us manage our risk and avoid fines. That’s why we are encouraging local parties to sign up to the new website and email tool package we’re launching this summer.
What it costs you
What you pay for targeted email depends on the size and type of organisation you are*.
Startup local party
£10 per month
Development local party
£15 per month
Moving Forward / Advanced local party, County Co-ordinating Committee or Small Region
£20 per month
Large Region or State Party
£30 per month
*Local Parties outside of the United Kingdom and AOs are not able to use Targeted Email. We have alternatives available for you, please contact email@example.com to find out more.
Targeted Email Features
Targeted Email and MyCampaign:
Targeted Email is integrated with the MyCampaign side of the Connect database. That means we’re looking at what improvements we can make to that side of the database to make sure it holds the most accurate and useful information from a campaigning perspective.
We have already made some improvements to MyCampaign by fixing the membership sync from Lighthouse. The feedback we’ve received from local parties who have taken the additional steps to reconcile their data between Lighthouse and Connect has been really positive. We are strongly encouraging any local parties who haven’t taken the steps to reconcile their data yet to do this now. Guidance on what to do can be found here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/lighthouse-process-guide-3
As part of the website replatform project, we are also developing some software which will automatically update MyCampaign when a user signs up to a form on the website e.g. when they sign a petition.
Once the Targeted Email tool is switched on, MyCampaign will also be used to record subscription status and email preferences.
We will continue to make improvements to the data available in MyCampaign so that we can deliver more value from Connect and the Targeted Email tool.
Targeted Email subscription status
- Email addresses in MyCampaign will have a subscribed/ unsubscribed status which defines if they are emailable or not
- When you look at a person’s record in MyCampaign you will see their email addresses and whether those email addresses have a status of subscribed or unsubscribed
- The subscription status is per party organisation; another local party may be able to see the record but would not be able to email them unless they have their own consent.
Targeted Email preferences
This is one of the biggest challenges of providing a global solution. We know how important it is to local parties to have the email preferences of their members and supporters accurately recorded and respected.
We want to provide as much granularity and flexibility as we can but we also need some degree of consistency in order for the system to work.
We need to be able to accurately track who is subscribed to what list and we also need to give the people we email the ability to manage their own preferences. If we don’t do this well as a party then we face the risk of significant fines from the ICO.
- Email preferences are called ‘email interests’ in MyCampaign. When you look at a person’s record in MyCampaign you will be able to see the subscription status of their email address as well as their ‘email interests’ e.g. ‘Email Interest: Local News’, or ‘Email Interest: Campaigning News’.
- When we migrate party organisations over to Targeted Email, we will run through a mapping process to help you match your tags and preferences from your current email tool (Nationbuilder, Mailchimp or Prater Raines) as best we can to the system we will use in MyCampaign.
- We will not have a global unsubscribe page at launch but this is the ultimate goal of having everyone on one system. Having a global unsubscribe page will allow users to manage their own email preferences across the party. It will also allow us to accurately track those preferences and ensure we are compliant.
Targeted Email + Saved searches
Our aim is to set up local party organisations with at least three saved searches in MyCampaign which they can use for their most common emailable groups. This means when you go into Targeted Email, all you need to do is select the saved search you want to send your email to e.g. “[Local Party Name] Local News Email to Members”.
- We are working with users to understand which saved searches are the top priority for emailing lists.
- For some local parties, three saved searches may be all they need. These saved searches will only need to be set up once when they start using the tool.
- For more advanced parties or for parties with other use cases, Connect Managers can create additional Saved Searches and share them across their party using folders. We will provide additional guidance and training to Connect Managers who need to create more Saved Searches for email e.g. ward focus lists.
Targeted Email and Email Creation
The tool has a drag-and-drop editor which should make email creation much easier than Nationbuilder.
We will also share templates which you can use if you don’t want to create your own.
If you're keen to get started with Targeted email, you can sign up here: https://tech.libdems.org.uk/signup
Follow this link to find out more: https://www.ngpvan.com/feature/targeted-email/
We’re aiming to set local parties up with saved searches for their most common email lists. We will also be providing additional guidance and training to Connect Managers and volunteers to assist us with this process. Once the saved searches are set up and shared amongst your local party, you do not have to set them up again. Once you’re in the Targeted Email tool, just choose the saved search you want to email e.g. your local party’s saved search for current members.
Targeted Email has been designed to be easy to use. You can learn more about the tool here. https://www.ngpvan.com/feature/targeted-email/
Yes. You can do this by creating a saved search.
No. The Targeted Email tool is built on top of MyCampaign which means no more manual exports.
Yes. You will have the option to easily create your own templates using the drag and drop tool, adapt your email from a previous email, or use one of the shared templates which we will set up for you.
Some of you may only be using MyCampaign to record information about members and supporters. If this is you, you'll start to have more people in MyCampaign. This will include all of your email list, and people who have interacted with your campaign through your website.
These groups are more engaged with your campaign, and are likely recruitment targets to help more with your campaign.
Yes, but we’ll need your help with some mapping tasks. More news to follow on this shortly. Please also note that we have a priority list for migration.
- Reconcile your membership data between Lighthouse and Connect https://www.libdems.org.uk/lighthouse-process-guide-3
- Do some housekeeping in Connect to tidy up your folders, questions and users
- Look out for more news about migration