As a non-profit organization, Overseas Vote’s limited resources left the time-consuming Voter Alerts program in limbo. As head of the communications program, I knew there was a way we could keep this valuable service. I focused on reducing the number of work hours required to produce the alerts, while improving their look and functionality for recipients.
The original mailer format was informative: perhaps too informative. Some of the issues included:
- Detailed state-specific information were time consuming for each mailer, with little ability to recycle
- Each mailer required review extensive by our research team
- Our goal was to make voting simple: the sheer amount of information made it seem more complicated
- Not enough links to our website, which had better tools and more complete answers to potential voter questions
A sample of how widely the previous the mailers varied.
- Researched and selected a mailing platform that was cost-effective while offering us robust tools to improve deliverability and device responsiveness.
- Reduced the customization required for each state-specific message to an absolute minimum: one can now use the same spreadsheets the team uses to update the website to populate the voter alerts
- Created simple graphics that reflected the upgraded aesthetic on our website
- Clearer call to action
- Proper channeling for those who needed information or help
Prioritizing the content greatly reduced the time our dedicated experts spent formatting the data and reviewing the mailers, speeding up the turnaround time. The result is a cleaner, snappier message. More importantly, the upgrade resonated with recipients: our click through rate doubled almost immediately.
In 2016, other members of the team started helping with voter alerts. The previous version was a bit finicky in formatting, and proved hard to hand off. I reserved the large buttons to our most-used links and cut additional verbiage, reducing the learning curve for creation without sacrificing usability for the recipient.