Downballot website helped to elect 71% of endorsed candidates in 2014
By Rob Swanger
In March, Revolution Messaging and the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) announced the re-launch of MDAppleBallot.com, a digital candidate endorsement hub, updated and rebranded for the 2016 election cycle.
Since its first iteration, MDAppleBallot.com has been a special project. It illustrates that while we take pride in innovation, we also believe in sticking with what works. Sometimes that means improving an outdated method rather than replacing it.
Traditionally, MSEA distributed paper ballots to promote education-friendly candidates. The apple ballots were popular with MSEA members, but for the 2014 election cycle, the group wanted a modernized and more strategic endorsement campaign. Our solution was to replace ink and paper with an interactive website. The result was the award-winning MDAppleBallot.com.
The 2014 project demanded a unique blend of design, development and data management. The website featured a zip code lookup for individuals to discover educator-endorsed candidates in their area and a sign up to receive reminders closer to Election Day or to volunteer.
We developed a full campaign strategy to promote the website, including a media plan and creative for online display, video and mobile. The advertising message urged members to vote for local political candidates who would support the association’s goals.
The site also became the central landing page for videos, ads, direct mail and SMS communications. Thirty-three percent of visitors retrieved their apple ballot, and unique source codes were given to county education associations to track traffic. Digital ads targeted likely supporters of key candidates and saw an excellent clickthrough rate of 1.27 percent in more than 18 different races.
MDAppleBallot.com contributed to the success of MSEA-endorsed candidates, driving votes despite a wave Democratic defeats all over the country. Eighty-six percent of MSEA-endorsed candidates won in the June primary, and 71 percent of endorsed candidates won in the November 2014 election.
With threats to public education stronger than ever, we’re looking forward to seeing MDAppleBallot.com in action for 2016.
Ask us about how digital endorsement technology can help drive votes for your downballot races.