Advanced CRM & Email Techniques for Organizing Groups and Unions

Highlighting integration and automation options

Is your supporter email list an important tool in your organizing and fundraising? Many organizing groups are underusing the capabilities of their CRM* to activate people. This series showcases a range of advanced CRM and email techniques that you may find useful to boost your organizing, fundraising and efficiency. We reference EveryAction, Action Network, Salsa Classic and Engage, and NationBuilder, though the techniques we cover can be used with many other CRMs as well. (We also reference Salesforce, but only as an add-on extension.)

The first 3 sessions cover the topics in the list below. They are followed by 4 CRM-specific sessions to demonstrate how to implement these techniques.

*CRM=Constituent Relationship Management system

Who this series is for: anyone who works with a CRM or manages an email list for organizing or fundraising and wants to use it more effectively and ramp up their skill level and efficiency.

Advanced CRM sessions cover how to:

  • Find likely action-takers and donors
  • Identify high-touch vs. low-touch stakeholders, donors, etc.
  • Automate outreach to new subscribers
  • Segment content dependent on source
  • Maintain data hygiene & investigate anomalies
  • Get quick access to crucial visual data
  • Monitor form performance to determine traffic flows & best practices
  • Personalize communications
  • Create donation asks according to previous giving level
  • Create location-specific or other segment-dependent calls to action
  • Use conditional content where possible
  • Ensure consistent identity on mobile, webmail, Outlook, etc.
  • Use buttons, images, action boxes & other conversion-improving practices
  • Determine best practices in subject line and email content
  • Increase conversions by simplifying process for action-takers & donors
  • Track sources and other data
  • Customize default values, redirects, and other aspects of UX according to source, contact data, etc.
  • And more…

Advanced email session cover how to:

  • Diagnose deliverability issues and resolve them
  • Maximize the impact of your A/B testing — what to test, what size audience, and when statistical significance is important
  • Determine whether a welcome series makes sense
  • Grow your list effectively
  • Design a reactivation program
  • Manage a medium to large email program: planning, approving and check-listing procedures & docs
  • Free and low-cost vendors/services to improve your email program

This series was designed with the most common advocacy CRMs used by progressive organizations in mind: Action Network, NationBuilder, EveryAction and Salsa (Classic & Engage). Groups not currently using advocacy CRMs can still benefit from strategies and best practices discussed, but will find some topics outside their tools’ capabilities (e.g. if using MailChimp, ActBlue, Airtable). The features and techniques in the first three sessions are broader in scope and thus very likely to be applicable and relevant even if you use a different CRM. Groups using more complex, customizable, or idiosyncratic CRMs (e.g. ActionKit, Salesforce, CiviCRM) can similarly benefit from every session’s strategies and best practices, but may find that implementation varies and requires additional setup. (If needed, additional 1:1 time can be set up separately to meet individual group needs at a standard hourly rate. Contact us for that.)

Photo credit: Rubber ducks being deployed en masse towards the protest stage. After having done their work protecting the protesters from water cannon and rubber bullets, they became the new symbol of the pro-democracy movement, with protesters throwing tiny rubber duckies at the police in full military gear, 2020. (@ThaiEnquirer)


Yotam Amit, SMT Staff Partner and CRM specialist. Designer of WhichCRM? Started organizing a decade ago in Chicago as one of the founding members of a local Palestinian rights group. Expertise in coding, security, and in-depth knowledge of a range of CRMs to better contribute to the movement primarily through Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Has in-depth experience with Classic Salsa, EveryAction, Salesforce and ActionNetwork. Also experienced with ActionKit and NationBuilder. Has used APIs to create custom flows and data patterns. Has created automations to serve different content to segments of email lists based on calculations of giving and action history, set up real-time tailoring of what audiences see as they enter their donation. Has served up custom fields for actions, integrating with external tools both with and without an existing integration, and designed and set up custom forms. Lots of experience with data migration including strategizing what data is worth keeping and how to translate it into the new CRM and working with smaller groups helping them make the transition including handling recurring donations and tags. Passion is to help harness the powers of various tools and techniques to convert traffic spikes and untapped potential into sustained growth, without sacrificing grassroots organizing or relationships and community. When he is not at his computer, he is probably teaching martial arts in some park in the Bay – or at one of the other small schools he’s founded in New York City and Chicago.

Will Easton, SMT Staff Partner. Has managed email programs for progressive causes since 2005. Currently directs fundraising and email strategy for the Mozilla Foundation. Previously served as an Email Advisor for NextGen Climate and, Director of Email Engagement for the Bernie 2016 campaign, and as a Senior Manager at CREDO. Will’s offline organizing experience is in the electoral arena – including leading barnstorm meetings as the Midwest Distributed Organizing Director for Bernie 2016 and as a co-founder of San Francisco for Democracy.

Photo credit: All power, love and appreciation to Tarana Burke (second from right) for starting #MeToo, and to the thousands of other fierce women building this into a movement.

Recordings and Materials

  Make Your CRM Work Harder for Organizing
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Action Network Joint Actions Feature for List Building
Available in days
days after you enroll

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