Creating an Action or Petition
Navigate to Step 2 - Content:
Click here for Multi-Content actions. –OR–
Click here for Targeted, Blind Targeted actions. –OR–
Click here for Petitions (Step 2 - Compose Your Petition).
Step 1: Description
The Reference Name that you selected in the “create a new action” box will appear in this field.
This field creates the "headline" in large text at the top of the end-user page (the page your supporters will see). Typically, this is used to briefly describe the purpose of the action.
This text appears on the end-user page, and explains to your supporters why they should take action. The text appears below the title on the end-user page, but above the field containing the actual campaign letter.
You can lay out this text block very simply or elaborately. If you want to, you can add images, text styling, hyperlinks and other design features using either code or the embedded WYSIWYG editor. Do not paste your action description text from MS Word.
The page footer text appears below the form fields where supporters enter their personal information. It is generally used for either additional explanatory text about the page or identity information about your organization.
To brand your page appropriately, choose a web template by clicking on the appropriate thumbnail. This will act as a wrapper for the page's entire content. If you don't choose a specific template, your Default Template will be used.
Press “ Save” and proceed to the next step.
Step 2 - Content
Multi-Content actions differ from normal Targeted actions in that you can create several different messages, each targeted to different recipients. This allows your supporters to send finely targeted messages – such as a "thank and spank" (in which the message varies with whether the legislator voted for or against your cause), or different messages crafted to different versions of legislation in the House and the Senate.
Under “Create your first set of content” enter a “set name.” This is an internal name that will help you match this content to the appropriate target(s). This may be something like “Thank you for sponsoring,” or “Judiciary Committee message,” or whatever best distinguishes the content of this message from others that you will create in this action. Click “add” to get started.
Add another content set...
This is the meat and potatoes of the multi-content action tool. Clicking this link will add a new content set which you can then set up in addition to you first/primary content set.
After clicking the "Add another content set..." link, you'll be prompted to name the content set. Don't gloss over this, as the name you give the content set will be visible by your supporters.
After you've added your content set, you'll see a new tab next to your previous content set, and you'll then be able to add your actual letter content.
Your default content set is named "Primary Content", but you can easily change this (and the name of any other content sets) by clicking Rename Set. You'll make your changes to the name and then click the "Update Content" button.
Add Alternate Version
Optionally, you can create multiple different letters that will be presented randomly to your supporters. You can create a "carousel" of multiple suggested subjects and messages by saving a message, then clicking the "Add Alternate Version" button a second, third, fourth, or any number of times, creating distinct versions of the same message. When multiple entries are associated with a single content block, Salsa will randomly pick one to display each time the page is loaded -- so different supporters will see (and send) different default messages. This assures that the messages being sent are not all completely identical in tone or content.
Recommended Letter Subject
This will appear as a header above the content on the user-facing page, but below the action description you created in Step 1. The recipient of the letter will see this subject header, so be specific. Be sure that this subject header is appropriate to the content set (e.g., a content set named “thanks for sponsoring” would have a subject header like “Thank You for Sponsoring H.R.977”).
Your supporters will be able to edit this subject by default, unless you click the "Make this subject uneditable" box. (In practice, most of your supporters probably will not edit the subject line.)
Recommended Letter Content
This will be the suggested content of the message. Ideally, this is relatively brief, maybe two or three paragraphs (especially if you intend to send fax messages).
When you have completed all of the content sets, it’s time to select which targets are to receive which messages.
Step 3 - Targets
Here you’ll select who will receive the message(s) you just created.
Add a Set of targets
Every action will include at least one target set. But please note: there is a maximum of 90 target sets in any action you set up. If you have more than 90 target sets, you may want to consider segmenting your action (and any email blast associated with it). (However, keep in mind a target set itself can include more than 90 individual targets.)
To select a target set, select a "target type" from the pull-down menu on the left side of the "add a set of targets" box.
The available target types are:
US State Senate*
US State House*
Select Multiple Recipients - This option presents the list of available custom targets to a supporter, and allows them to choose multiple targets to include.
Custom Recipient Groups - This option allows you to present a supporter with a group of custom targets to contact at one time.
Select Single Recipient - This option presents the list of available custom targets to a supporter, and allows them to choose one single target to include.
*Only constituents of these targets can send messages to them, as determined by matching a supporter's address to legislative districts.
For each target type, you must also choose a contact method. The contact method is always a choice between:
Email or Webform
"Black Hole" is normally used for testing purposes. Selecting this option will cause the action to operate normally, but no emails or faxes will actually be sent. Be sure to change your action back to "Email" or "Fax" after testing, as there is no way to recover or resend messages your supporters send through an action set to "Black Hole".
Planning Your Targets
When using a Multi-Content action, you're explicitly planning to send different types of messages. You'll want to think through who should get which message.
In the Targets tab, you'll be creating multiple horizontal rows consisting of a target (such as "U.S. House") associated with some content. The Content Set field allows you to assign one of the content sets your created in the previous tab to a particular set of targets. For example, one set of targets will receive a “Letter of concern” message, while another set of targets will receive a “Letter of thanks” message:
In a Multi-Content Targeted Action, a supporter attempting to take action might, according to the targeting instructions, be given no matches, one match, two matches, or many matches – and they'll simply be presented with a message for each different recipient they match.
By default, the targets you add to your action will be set to Auto-Targeting, which means that the individual target (within the target type group you have selected) will be chosen based on the address information provided by your supporters. For example, for an action targeting the US House, entering address information with a zip code of 90212 would bring up Representative Henry Waxman (as of Nov 2011, that is!).
However, in some cases, you'll want to select a specific group of targets (perhaps to exclude other targets who are not on a committee or have already pledged their support to the cause at hand). In those cases, you'll want to use the Filter feature to select only the targets of interest. Clicking the Filter feature brings up a screen similar to this:
Please note that this screen will provide different options based on the target type you are filtering. The above screenshot is for the US House type.
At this point, you can select what criteria you would like to filter on, and then make as many selections in the checkboxes next to each target. If you do a second search based on other criteria, your previous selections will be maintained.
Step 4 - Who can act?
Use the options in this tab to limit the action to specific states or federal districts.
Who is allowed to take action?
If you are not adding any restrictions, choose the default "Everyone" option. Otherwise, to add restrictions, choose "Only people in the following areas" from the drop-down menu.
Restrict to these States
Only supporters providing an address from one of the U.S. states or Canadian provinces will be permitted to take the action. (Possible use case: When running a write-your-rep action to Minnesota state legislators, select "Minnesota" to allow only Minnesotans to write.)
Restrict to these Federal Districts
Only supporters providing an address from one of the selected U.S. congressional districts will be permitted to take the action. (Possible use case: When attempting to generate constituent messages to only a specific legislator, select that legislator's district.)
Text for Excluded Users
The text in this box (which also accepts HTML) appears to a supporter who cannot take action due to the above restrictions.
Step 5 - User Information
This tab allows you to define what information you gather from your supporters when they "sign" the petition. It also allows you to assign your supporters to groups.
Requested User Fields
This section allows you to set the fields that end-user supporters will be asked to fill out, and (via the "Required" checkboxes beside each field) require that some or all of the requested information be provided before the submission is accepted by Salsa (users will see an error message like "Please provide the following information," when they try to submit an incomplete form).
To add an additional field, click the "another field" link, and choose the field from the pull-down menu. To eliminate a field you've already selected, click the "-" button next to that field.
By default, fields will appear in Salsa's predefined sequence of precedence regardless of the order those fields appear in your headquarters page setup. However, you may choose to order the fields to your own preference. To order the fields:
- Click the "Use Field Order Shown Below" box, and save.
- Change the order of your saved fields by click the drag handle next to any field, and holding down your mouse button as you move it up or down the field list.
- When the fields are ordered to your liking, click "save".
Add to these Groups
Groups are a way of tracking subsets of your supporters who meet certain criteria that set them apart from the rest of the list. You can create as many groups as you like, and each group can contain as many of your supporters as you would like to include. Groups can be used as search criteria for queries and for targeting email messages.
Under “Add to these Groups” click “Add a Group.” Then click the magnifier icon. A pop-up list of your groups will appear, and you can click “Select” to choose which group end-user supporters on your action page will be automatically added to. Continue this process if you want to choose multiple groups.
Next you can select one or more “Optional Groups” as you would an automatic group (in the “Add to these Groups” option). A checkbox will appear on the user-facing page for each optional group that you select, giving supporters a choice of whether to add themselves to groups. Many organizations use Optional Groups to invite supporters to receive one or more newsletters.
Step 6 - Follow-up
This tab allows you to define what occurs after a user has successfully signed a petition.
What do you want to display on success?
Choose where you would like your supporters to see after submitting the action. You can only choose one of the following options. The options are:
- Display Thank You Text - The supporter will not be redirected to a new page, but will see the message entered in the Thank You Text box below.
- Redirect to a Tell a Friend Page - This option will provide you with a list of existing Tell a Friend pages to choose as your redirect page. Alternatively, you can click the "Create Tell-a-Friend" link to make a TAF page on the fly.
- Redirect to a Donation Page - This option will provide you with a list of existing Donation pages to choose as your redirect page.
- Redirect to Another Page - This option will allow you to enter any URL as your redirect page. Make sure to include http:// at the beginning of the URL.
Assign Email Autoresponses (Triggers)
“Add a new response” creates a brand-new Autoresponse on the fly.
• Click "Add a new response"
• The new, not-yet-customized response appears in a shaded bar
• Click the response itself to edit the response message settings and content
• Set as a Reply Email (delivered immediately to the person who signed up), an Individual Email (delivered immediately to a designated third party), or a Timed Trigger (delivered after a set delay to the person who signed up)
• Enter a name and email address who should appear on the "From" line of the email when the recipient reads it, as well as the content of the message itself.
Image 1b: ... the new autoresponse appears in a shaded bar (click to enlarge)
Image 1c: Proceed to edit the autoresponse configuration (click to enlarge)
“Add an existing response” selects an Autoresponse you have already configured
• Click "Add an existing response"
• Search among all Autoresponses in your Salsa account
• Click "Select" to associate your chosen Autoresponse with this page (Note: the Autoresponse will still remain in use for any other pages for which it has been selected.)
• The selected response appears in a shaded bar
• If desired, edit the Autoresponse content just as you would a new response as detailed above (Note: editing the Autoresponse content changes its content for every other page that uses the response. When in doubt, create a new response instead.)
Image 2b: Search for and select an auto-response (click to enlarge)
Step 7 - Options
You've reached the end! Go back to the Actions 3 home page.
This page will allow you to set several optional or additional configurations with your action page.
Send, at most, this many emails
To limit the number of e-mails that can be sent through the action, set the maximum number of e-mails to a number where you would like them to stop. You may want to use this as a tactical courtesy when the action is directed to a target (such as a custom target or a local official) not accustomed to receiving large numbers of advocacy e-mails -- pick a number high enough to make your point and low enough to avoid alienating the recipient. Leaving the number at 0 will allow an unlimited number of e-mails to be sent.
Send, at most, this many total faxes
To limit the number of faxes that can be sent through the action (and thus the amount you can be charged for fax service), set the maximum number of faxes to a number where you would like them to stop. By default, this number is set to zero: you must enter a larger figure to conduct a faxing action.
There may be an additional cost for faxing – check with your provider. DemocracyInAction and Wired For Change currently bill $0.10 per page (there may be more than one page per action for long messages) for domestic faxing and actual cost (which can range well above $1 per page) for international faxing.
If there is a need to disable the action entirely, you can simply select "Inactive" from the drop-down list.