Action Network Help & FAQs

Creating letter campaigns

Choose "Letter Campaigns" from 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. Next, choose your target list -- you can pick one 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 goal slider 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, 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, 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.

Screen_Shot_2018-03-01_at_2.38.30_PM.png

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 list 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.

Screen_Shot_2018-03-01_at_3.23.05_PM.png

 

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 "Dear Senator" 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 optional 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.

Have more questions? Submit a request