Gather your email addresses using Hunter.io for bulk email sends. This is my go-to tool for finding email addresses for people. You can use a free account to search for 25 emails or do 50 email verifications per month. You can pay for more access and searches if you need to. Hunter makes it SO much easier to look for email addresses vs. googling people yourself. They crawl the internet for you and allow you to save email addresses in your campaign lists. This makes emailing super easy! You can install their Google chrome extension to connect Hunter.io to your Gmail account for easy sends.
Get Ready to Write
Craft your letter. For this, I use Google Docs so I can collaborate with the family members on edits. It also allows me to have access to the document even if I do not have my PC near me. So if you have your smartphone and download Google Drive you ALWAYS have access to it, plus, its super easy to use too!
In the letter, there are specific things you need to focus on:
- State who you are, what your connection is to the issue (i.e. I am an advocate), and why they should listen to you (i.e. I am a voter and constituent)
- State your relationship to the person you are sending the email to and where you live
- Be direct! Tell them why you are contacting them. State the “problem or issue” (i.e. I need your help with…)
- SHOW them you have done your homework. It is great to “name drop” because it shows you have already reached out to their colleagues or other lawmakers. They may be more likely to take you seriously.
- Show them what you have done so far to advocate for the cause and if there is some history of past advocacy work by others, summarize this as well. This is important because it shows others have taken up and supported the cause in the past, and that lends credibility to your pleas.
- Now, state explicitly what you want from them, and how can they help your specific effort.
Make it Personal
Add relevant images to the email. Make the reader understand that this is a person who they have the very real power to help. In this particular letter, I included images of Kristin to reiterate that this is about a very human issue: the murder of a young woman. Show them who you are fighting for and who they need to be thinking about!
How to deploy an advocacy letter at a critical mass
Add the power of community. Set the email up in an HTML generator so that the email can be sent automatically to your contact list, and to allow for multiple sends.
> Pro-tip: Use Rapid Tables website to generate the HTML email. You can download your leads/emails into an excel file you gathered in step one. Copy and paste them into the “to” field in the HTML generator. Then copy and paste your letter text into the body of the HTML generator. Copy the link that is automatically generated. Now, you can share the link with others so they can email as well, and you can use the link to generate the email in your default email program.
Now let’s get started together! You can help now by sending this letter on behalf of justice for Kristin O’Connell and answers for her family.