Use Targeted Actions to provide content that will help your supporters engage with lawmakers on important issues. You can enable your supporters to send emails, post to Facebook, post to Twitter, and call single or multiple targets. You can also set up "Thank and Spank" style campaigns that send one message to one set of legislators and a different message to another set of legislators.
Note about Targeted Letters that were created before multi-channel actions (Facebook, Twitter, AND Email) were introduced: Older Targeted Letters will continue to work. If you want to reuse an existing Email form so that it includes messages to Twitter and Facebook, you can add that functionality just as you would if you were creating a new Targeted Action.
Step 1: The Basics - Getting Started
- Click Activities from the left navigation bar click the Target Actions tab > Start an Activity > Targeted Action. The Basics tab is selected by default.
- Fill out the fields. Click here for more information.
- Click the Next: Targets >> button in the lower right-hand corner to advance to the next step.
Step 2: Targets and Messages - Select Targets and Channels and Compose Messages
On this page you will get to set up the content for your Targeted Action. Select the legislators you want to target, write your subject and message content, and determine if supporters will be allowed to edit the content.
- On the Target Set tab, Enter a Target Set Reference Name and Public Target Set Description. This is the information that your supporters will see that will help them to choose the actions that they want to take.
- Scroll down to the Targets tab (which is selected by default), and click +Add or Edit Targets. The Find & Select Targets window will open. It enables you to sift through the various hierarchies of options from the Federal House and Senate all the way down to Municipal-level policymakers.
- Use the Find & Select Targets window to add targets.
Note: Salsa Engage uses full, legal names for representatives at all levels. As there are no official registers with nicknames, trying to use nicknames would result in unacceptable errors.
The window has three parts:
A. The first category includes a Search field, so you can quickly find a legislator by name, or filter subsequent options by such criteria as State, County name, etc. As you scroll down into the choices, you can further filter by political party, District and so on.
B. As soon as you start making choices, your initial results field will begin to populate. You can think of these legislators as being "on deck". You can choose the + ADD ALL button to move all results from this section to your final list of choices (column C). You can make individual selections by clicking the plus sign to the right of each name.
C. Your final list of targets is displayed here. If you decide to remove a target, click the minus icon to the right of the target's name. To reset all of your selected targets to none, click the remove all link in the upper right-hand corner of the Select Targets dialog box. When you're satisfied with your list of choices, click the Save button in the lower right-hand corner of the window.
Custom Target - Sometimes, you will want to send letters to individuals other than the government officials that we have in our database. For example, if you would like to contact the heads of specific corporations, you can create a custom list of recipients for your targeted letters. Click Custom Target to add a custom target. Note: you'll see custom targets only if you a have already set them up in Settings. You can add a new custom target from the Find & Select Targets window: To the top left of the window, find the text that states, Search for this target set. If needed, you can create a new custom target. Click the create new custom link to the left of the new search button. The "Set up a new custom target" window will open. Fill out the required fields, and then click Create Custom Target >>. You will be returned to your the Target and Messages tab in your activity, and the target that you created will be available as a custom target.
- Click the Messages tab. This tab enables you to select email, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Turn ON the channels that you want to use by clicking the slider in the Enabled column to ON.
- Click the pencil icon to open the Message [Channel] dialog box and fill out the Message for each channel.
The Message [Channel] dialog box for Facebook or Twitter contains only a Message field. This is the content section where you will compose (or paste in) the actual message that will be sent by your supporters to their respective legislative targets. Keep in mind that you can enter only text into this field. Note: The body of the message is limited to plain text for a couple of reasons: Plain text is able to fit into comment sections of any webforms that Salsa must parse in order for the letter to be sent. Plain text has less chance of bouncing, being denied, or having formatting obscure the message when being sent through government email servers.
For Click To Call, you can enter a message or Record Audio or Enter Text to be Dictated. Click here for details about Click To Call.
The Email or Form Message for Email/Webform dialog box contains the following fields:
- Topic - Most legislators like to get a sense of how the message being sent to them corresponds to any number of topics. These subjects range from Agriculture and the Arts all the way to Veteran's Affairs and Women's Issues. Legislative webforms also parse out information based on these topics. Here's where you'll choose the most relevant topic that corresponds to your messaging. Use the pulldown menu that begins with "Agriculture". Click the up and down arrows to open the drop down and make a selection.
- Subject Line - Every email needs a subject line, so here's where you'll enter that information. This is the short description of the content that the targets will see when one of your supporters sends them an email via your form.
- Body of Message - Targeted Actions emails have 3,000 characters limit. This is the content section in which you will compose (or paste in) the actual message that will be sent by your supporters to their respective legislative targets. Keep in mind that you can enter only text into this field. If you attempt to use HTML code, you'll see a warning. Note: The body of the message is limited to plain text for a couple of reasons: Plain text is able to fit into comment sections of any webforms that Salsa must parse in order for the letter to be sent. Plain text has less chance of bouncing, being denied, or having formatting obscure the message when being sent through government email servers.
- Can the supporter customize this message? - Customizing allows supporters to add their personal stories or feelings to the letter. If you want to standardize the letter being sent on this topic, supporters can add a comment to make it more personal. Keep in mind, if constituents are allowed to customize the letter, they won't be able to leave comments; it's one or the other.
Step 3: Social Promotion
This tab enables you to write messages that supporters can share on their own Facebook and Twitter feeds.
- Enter the Promotional Message that you want supporters to post to their feeds, or clear the default text if you do not want to use social promotion. If you don't want to use Social Promotion, ensure that the text fields are blank.
- Click Next: Compose >>.
Step 4: Compose Form
Salsa Engage features pre-defined form layouts to simplify form creation. While Rows and Elements are pre-defined, they are also editable in the Compose step. See Visual Editor for Activities and Messaging for detailed information about these Elements.
- Select a layout.
Note, once you've made your Layout selection and move on to the Composition tab, you will not be able to change the layout. If you find that the layout you've chosen isn't what you need, you'll need to start over with a new form. However, Before you give up on the layout you chose, keep in mind that you have plenty of editing choices in the Compose tab. If you need to, you can go back to the Setup page and select the cogwheel icon in the lower left-hand corner to bring up the Delete option.
- Click the Next: Composer >> button. The second Compose window will appear, in which you can add and change form content. There are four pages that you'll need to populate with your content. The pages a supporter sees will depend on whether she is qualified to take action. If qualified to take action, she will see the Landing Page, Action page, and Confirmation View. If not qualified to take action she'll see just the Landing page and No Target page. These pages are described below:
- Landing page - This is the campaign and sign-up form that connects supporters with their representatives. It should include reasons to take action. This the the first page supporters will see on your web site or when they click the link or button.
- Action page - This page contains the Targeted Messages element and enables supporters to preview the content and targets of their Targeted Message.
- No Target page - This is the page that users will see if they are not eligible to participate in your campaign. You may want to put information here that tells unqualified supporters what they can do to take action.
- Confirmation View - This is the "thank you" page that supporter will see after they take action. Alternately, use Send them to a new page to redirect them to a different URL.
Tip: The best way to learn what options are available for elements that are already on the form is to hover over any element you are interested in, click the pencil icon, and experiment with the various options.
Step 5: Set Up Autoresponder
You can choose whether or not to include an Autoresponder to this form by selecting the appropriate radio button under the Autoresponders tab. Learn more about Autoresponders and how to configure them here.
Step 6: Publish This Form
Click Publish This Form >> when you are ready to make your form public. Once published Salsa Engage will provide a URL, that links to the form, and create widgets, as described below. Note: If you change your mind and decide that you do not wish to have your form published just yet, scroll down to the lower left-hand corner of the page. From there, you can select the cogwheel icon and choose the "Make it Private" link from the subsequent menu.
Widgets for for Embedded Buttons and Forms
After you publish, Salsa Engage generates widgets that enable you to add a button or the form itself to any web page that you own. Note: You'll probably need admin level access to your website to use this widget code. Click here for more information.
Step 7: Analyze Results
Once your page has been active, and you've gotten the word out to your supporters alerting them to your Targeted Message(s), you can start keeping track of how the message is performing.
Click Next: Results >>. The Here's how your targeted action performed page will appear. To the right, you'll see a date filter. Updating these values will filter the data for every report on this page.
Note: The default for the stats presented on this page is the last 30 days.
See Performance Statistics for Actions and Messages for detailed information.