For campaign conversion funnels, the proof is in the pudding, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign recently announced another $24.8 million haul. I’ve written in the past about how his campaign was organized to seize the moment following his initial introduction to the country.
I’m personally surprised by his staying power given the recent history of “flash in the pan” candidates on the Left and the Right, but I also think the Buttigieg campaign’s robust conversion funnel deserves partial credit.
- Is the campaign easy to find on Google?
- Does the campaign’s website load quickly? Data shows that faster load times lead to higher conversion rates.
- Does the campaign have clear email capture and calls to action on the homepage?
- Do subpages, like the about page, blog posts, etc. also have email capture and calls to action?
- Are the campaign’s online ads geared towards driving conversions?
- Are the landing pages for these ads optimized for the maximum number of conversions?
- Does the campaign use effective email automation to drive supporters through the conversion funnel?
- Does the campaign redirect traffic to donation pages after a user takes action? Are they customized to the earlier action?
I’m not critiquing website design or branding because that’s an area which has already received significant attention, nor am I analyzing ad spending, rather focusing on the strategy behind the ads.
Other Teardowns in this Series
Like KamalaHarris.org, PeteForAmerica.com has a relatively lengthy opening transition on desktop that takes 3 seconds to load. What’s worse is the effect is present on mobile as well which really just creates the impression of a slow loading website.
Once it loads, the homepage is VERY focused. There’s no doubt about what the campaign wants a site visitor to do:
After entering information, a user is redirected to a donation page which is a customized ActBlue page. Stylistically, this is one of the more visually focused ActBlue designs I’ve seen, which is no surprise considering how important design is to the Buttigieg campaign.
The About Page, which likely receives high traffic, has an email capture in the footer, but the issues page does not. I was surprised not to find any sort of news page on the campaign’s website. Campaigns focused on driving traffic to their website organically need to be generating their own content and the Buttigieg campaign doesn’t appear to have this important channel.
Signing up for the Buttigieg campaign via the homepage redirects you to another donation page and you’ll receive a stripped down email with a donation ask. Most of the campaign’s emails are issue focused and donation asks are usually tied to a major announcement or speech. Judging by the copywriting alone, I would estimate that a larger than normal portion of the campaign’s online fundraising is coming from supporters not yet on the email list because I’m not seeing much use of proven, more aggressive email fundraising tactics.
I also signed up for text messages but there’s no automated onboarding message and subscribers simply get the usual blast messages.
Buttigieg’s campaign is spending heavily on Facebook and Google ads driving supporters to donate via ActBlue. We had to go back a few weeks to find list building ads and there’s not much variation in terms of the ads or landing pages:
These are the factors going into the grade:
- The Buttigieg campaign is investing in Google ads driving signups and donations.
- Despite a three second animation load time the homepage is clearly focused on capturing supporters email and mobile numbers.
- The campaign is clearly doing something right with their impressive fundraising totals.
- The campaign doesn’t have its own content to build traffic and capture emails from.
- Most impressively customized ActBlue page reviewed so far. Really demonstrates what the platform can handle in terms of design.
Grade (as of 7/15/19): B+
The grade will be upgraded to an A if they address the page load transition effect. I think more than a funnel, the Buttiegieg campaign has built a very broad bucket that goes straight to the donate page. It will be interesting to see if the campaign has built a strong enough base for the long haul and they’re able to capture more interest from supporters not yet ready to donate.
I realize campaigns are hard work and I’ve got lots of admiration for the men and women in the arena, so if you’re from the campaign and reading this and think I’ve gotten something wrong, just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org