Choose Letter Campaigns from the Actions tab in the Start Organizing menu to start creating your letter campaign.
Fill out the letter campaign's title and description to get activists to write a letter. You can upload a banner image, which will appear below the title and above the description box. Your image should be 1500px wide by any height (600px is suggested). It will be scaled to a final size of 750px wide. You also have the option to add an image attribution, which will appear in small, dark grey text below your image, as well as alt text.
You can use the visual toolbar to customize the appearance of your description text. The following options are available:
- Write your email in HTML
- Format headings left, right, center or justified
- Add text formatting: bold, italicize, or strikethrough
- Create bulleted or numbered lists
- Insert images from links or your computer and add a title/alt text, add image attribution, link the image, change the position or change the width
- Insert a video from a YouTube or Vimeo link or embed code
- Insert and manage a table
- Add links or hyperlinks
- Add a horizontal line rule
Next, choose your target list -- you can pick one or more of our seven built in target lists (U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Governors, U.S. State Legislatures, U.S. State Legislatures Upper Houses, or U.S. State Legislatures Lower Houses) or you can choose any custom targets you've uploaded or have access to (explained here). Then, you have the option of removing the progress bar from your letter campaign on the right side, if you don't want to count the number of letters you're receiving publicly. You can choose a sponsoring group and you can add in custom form inputs using the visual form builder (explained here) or by writing your own HTML. And you can add an optional image if you choose.
If you are using custom targets only, show or hide street or city fields to remove, say, city from the form by clicking Edit Form and using the visual form builder. You can read more about the visual form builder here. You can also decide whether you want to make the field required or not.
Choose Save and Go to Next Step to move on and create your first letter version.
On the next page, you have the option to enter in some letter writing tips for this letter version, explaining to your activists why they are writing a letter to these specific targets. Then click Select Targets on the right to add at least one target to this letter and save.
Selecting letter campaign targets
Each letter version must have at least one target, and each target can only be added to one letter version. To choose targets for your letter version, click the Select Targets button to bring up the targeting window.
In the targeting window, the list at the top shows the currently selected targets for this letter version. You can search through targets by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the upper left, and remove individual targets by clicking the Remove button.
To add targets to your selected list, use the controls below. The targets available for selection come from the target lists you chose on step 1 of the letter campaign creation process, minus any targets selected by previous letter versions. For example, if you added "John Smith" as a target on letter version 1, he will not be available as a target on letter version 2.
You can search for targets by typing in the Search for targets to add box. You can search by name, party, title, district, or state. Once you've found one or more targets to add, click on their search results to add them to the box, then click "Add" to add them to your selected list above.
You can add all targets from your target list by clicking the Add All button, or clear all targets out of your list by clicking the Clear All button.
If your targets are part of our built in target lists and not custom targets, you can add targets by party by clicking the respective party buttons in the "Select by Party" section.
You can also add all targets in a specific state by selecting one or more states in the "Select by State" section and clicking "Add States" to add all targets in those states to your selection list.
When you're done, click "Okay! All Done!" to close the targeting window and see a count of the number of targets you selected. Save your letter version to save your target selection.
Note: When you save a letter version we will remove any targets on that letter version from later letter versions. For example, if you targeted "John Smith" on letter version 2, then edited letter version 1 to target "John Smith" and saved, we will clear out "John Smith" from letter version 2, ensuring that "John Smith" is targeted by one and only one letter version at a time. Additionally if you change the target list on step 1 and save we will clear out all targets on all letter versions, as they are now all invalid.
Creating default letters
You can also optionally fill in a default subject line and message for your activists to help them get started writing a letter. Don't make these too long -- some elected officials limit the length of messages they receive, so we will truncate letters automatically as they're delivered if they're too long.
Additionally, we add a personalized salutation to the beginning of the letter and a signoff at the end with the activist's name, email, and address, so you don't need to start letters with "[name]" or sign them off with "Thank you, [your name]".
And, unless you uncheck the Allow activists to edit letter message and subject box below, your activists will be able to edit and customize the defaults you give them.
Each letter version can also have variants -- typically small variations on one letter version. Click Add Variant to add a new variant, with its own default subject and message. Click the Next or Previous buttons to navigate through variants, and the Delete button to delete one. You can have as many variants you want for each letter version. When an activist goes to write a letter, they will be presented with one random variant for that letter version, which they can then customize if you've allowed customization. For more information on letter variants, click here.
You can add additional letter versions to send a different template letter to a different set of targets by clicking Save & Add Version. For more information on letter versions, click here.
Or you can click Save and Go to Next Step to add and edit thank you page text, and show or hide the sharing options on thank you pages.
Click Save Draft to save your changes as a draft, or Save & Publish to publish your letter campaign.
Click here to watch our letter campaigns video tutorial.