Working on the Teach the Future campaign, we knew that we needed to build our public support, and being in the middle of a pandemic made it necessary for this to happen online. Working with a small budget, we aimed to generate thousands of supporters and use these to further our political lobbying in Scotland, Wales, and England.
This site needed to convey the campaign’s youth-led nature, convincingly explain key asks, and, most importantly, needed to integrate actions.
I worked alone on the website, using Webflow - a tool that allows completely custom websites without the limits of a “drag and drop” site builder.
First, I translated the branding guidelines, created by my brother Bo Brindle, into a website style guide. I created interactive buttons, bold headers and bright red section backgrounds to present a youthful and energetic aesthetic.
I worked with volunteers to craft new messaging for the campaign to explain complicated policy asks in a few jargon-less lines. We ran A/B testing with our friends and family to find the best combinations of words and phrases to convert visitors into engaged supporters.
Then, I combined all of this into a great homepage. I started with an argument for the campaigns asks, displayed a petition to convert visitors (more on this in a sec). I further justified the asks with a set of statistics, and I once again gave visitors a digital action (this time writing to their elected reps). Finally, I finished the page with a list of our top press coverage and our supporting organisations to build trust (in case people weren’t already convinced).
The architecture of this page was well-planned to convert visitors of the site, into supporters of the campaign.
As well as all this, I used Webflow’s CMS to create lots of easily editable and creatable content - from blog posts to volunteer profiles - so that the campaign’s volunteers can edit the site content without any technical knowledge.
So that’s how I engaged visitors with the campaign’s actions - but what about setting up and utilising those actions? For this part of the project, I worked with a team of volunteers - but led the work myself.
We knew that we could use the website to get people to sign a petition, but we needed a way to get petition signatories to move to higher levels of campaign engagement, to get them to write to their elected representatives, share the campaign on their social media pages, donate to the campaign, and potentially join as a volunteer.
To do this we used something called Laddering: when someone completes an action, they move up a rung on a virtual ladder and get a series of emails encouraging them to complete further actions, on completion of these actions they once again move up a rung, get more emails - and the cycle continues until they’ve reached the top of our engagement ladder.
We ran all of this on a tool called Action Network, it was the source of our digital actions (that I embedded into the campaign website) and our emails to supporters. We optimised this further to produce better results - splitting our ladders into different target groups, like teachers and students, to give more relevant actions and information and get more actions completed. We used A/B testing to find the best times to send emails, the best subject lines to use and the best people to target.
This stream of work allowed us to use petition signatories to generate parliamentary progress through the sending of letters to representatives - meaning our digital work had a tangible difference on our parliamentary lobbying.
Finally, we needed to get more people on our website and signing our petition in the first place. To do this, I utilised the affordable power of Facebook Ads.
I created three bits of media, three captions and two target audiences to run ads with - creating a total of 18 different combinations. I set up Facebook Pixels, linking the petition to our Facebook Ads so that I could easily track conversions. By doing this, I was able to run 18 ads against each other, and discover which language, videos most appealed to which audiences, and which audiences were most likely to sign the petition. This allowed me to fine-tune our ads, create more content that converted successfully and reduce our cost-per-registration.
At the time of writing, just one month into the new website and actions we have 11,629 petition signatures, 2,184 letters sent to MPs, MSPs and MSs, and over £700 in donations.
Joe has a fantastic eye for impactful and engaging web design; developing the Teach the Future campaign's web site from scratch to a very high standard. He has played a significant role in developing and implementing overall web strategies, dealing with details as well as the bigger picture. A huge part of Joe’s role is coordinating the different facets of the campaign to achieve campaign-wide goals through web development. Joe is a friendly and driven individual who can seemingly do anything he puts his mind to!
Grace Corn, Teach the Future Project Manager