We’ve already heard that the Obama campaign has invested heavily in online advertising, primarily aimed at recruiting new volunteers, donors and other supporters. The campaign is also following the lead of nonprofits across the country in prospecting for support on the popular advocacy platforms Care2 and Change.org.
For instance, here are two separate issue-targeted Obama Care2 appeals, both of which appeared on PoliticalWire via an arrangement Care2 has with various content websites:
If you click the “sign petition” button, the Care2 widget opens a larger window that lets you sign without leaving the site you’re on (clever). Petition signers will automatically be added to the campaign’s supporter list unless they expressly opt-out, something that’s also true on this petition currently running on Change.org:
Liberal nonprofit organizations — including ones I’ve worked for — have used first Care2 and now also Change.org for years to fish for new followers. It works like this: you run petitions on their sites, they promote them, and you pay a pre-determined amount per signup. The sites are popular for this purpose in part because they’re cost-effective, with “advertisers” typically paying between $1.50 and $2 per name depending on the volume of the buy. Both sites also pair clients with experienced online campaigners who’ll help the client tailor their messaging to their particular audiences. They’ll also craft internal (within-the-site) promotional materials for the petitions.
Besides the relatively low cost-per-acquisition (competitive with Google Ads, and significantly cheaper than most digital channels), online recruiters like drawing support from these two online communities because their members are primed to act — not a surprise, considering that they’ve gone out of their way to join Care2/Change in the first place! Besides nonprofits, both sites also have programs aimed at political campaigns, though my sense is that Change.org has been more aggressive at reaching out to them.
BTW, just minutes after seeing the Care2 petitions on PoliticalWire, I ran across the following ad on Slate.com:
Why do I get the feeling that I’m going to be seeing A LOT of online political ads this year! No problem at all, particularly when they’re fodder for an article or two.