A Big Giveaway Every Day - Content Directive 1/14

 Today's directive is for everyone in charge of sending emails to acquire a new, big giveaway for a future email every day.

 Pt I: Context
 We have set a goal to grow our email opens by 54% YoY in 2021, from 23 MM in 2020 to 35.5 MM in 2021.

 We're going to do that through two (high-level) means:
  • Grow our lists
  • Get our existing subscribers to open more of our emails
 We will grow our lists, first and foremost, through giveaways.

 Giveaways are the bedrock of DoStuff audience growth. They are the most-effective, most-proven, most-efficient way to grow our audience to date. They existed long before we ever had /p pages. They're how we acquired almost all of DoNYC's first 100K users. We need to get (back) to the point where we have a new, big giveaway to promote in every email.

 Giveaways have many benefits:
  • They produce new users.
  • They make our audience happy.
  • They're highly effective marketing tools for local businesses.
  • They're a clear path to sales for new advertisers.
  • They get our emails opened (through subject line inclusions).
  • They increase email engagement (and more engagement -> better deliverability -> more opens).
 We recently launched new, expanded guidance for acquiring giveaways through partnerships that should make it easy for anyone on the team to set up tons of giveaways. Now we just have to do the work.

 Pt II: The Directive

 Today's directive is - from this day forward - for everyone in charge of sending emails - to acquire a new, big giveaway for a future email every day.

 If you're in charge of sending emails for a city, your daily priorities should look like this:
  1. Writing the next day's email
  2. Knocking out all tasks, ad deliverables, and communication directly related to sales
  3. Acquiring the next big giveaway
  4. Everything else
 Giveaway acquisition is a numbers game: You need to start a certain amount of new conversations every day to ensure that at least one of those conversations leads to locking in a new giveaway. That number is likely somewhere around 10 new conversations -- meaning that you must start at least 10 new giveaway conversations every day to ensure that your list keeps growing and we hit our 2021 goal.

 Pt III: Outreach

 Here is the giveaway outreach template used by DoLA's CM, Ally Borunda. 

 You'll note the "{{insert anecdote here}}" section of the template: We've found that these conversations tend to be most fruitful when we can indicate that we've already supported the restaurant/bar/business/promoter in some way, such as including them in an editorial page like 'Best New Restaurants', 'Best Pizza Delivery', or 'Best Cocktails To-Go.'

 To maximize efficiency and help structure your outreach, an easy way to plan your outreach is to reach out to an editorial page's worth of businesses every day. That way, your list is already in front of you, you already have your anecdote ready, and you have a great excuse to double-check that the page's content is up to date.

 Since restaurants open for takeout and delivery are both very popular with our audience and relatively pandemic-proof, we recommend you start there.

 Pt IV: Getting Scrappy

 When done correctly, your outreach will take many forms and leverage many of your contacts. Sometimes your outreach will be an email, sometimes a text, sometimes an Instagram DM, sometimes a Facebook message - whatever it takes to best secure the giveaways. Don't be lazy and send 10 emails and call it a day. Make sure you're setting your future self - and your audience - up for success. Ask your co-workers, friends, and colleagues for their contacts at these businesses. Do your research. Get scrappy.

 Remember that we're doing these giveaways to get new users. While we can count on our giveaway referral platform for a small number of new users, no giveaway can be highly successful without being shared by the partner. When you're searching for contact info, you should also be assessing the potential partner's online presence. How many social followers do they have? How engaged is their audience? If you can't see a clear path to them winning you new users by sharing your giveaway on their channels, then they're probably not going to be a great partner (unless they can offer a truly irresistible prize).

 Pro tip: Since collecting partner contact information and vetting partners' online presences are usually the most time-consuming parts of this process, we recommend leveraging intern bandwidth for these tasks whenever possible.

 Pt V: Staying Organized

 You have to stay organized to be successful in this project, so we've created this Google Sheet to help you track your outreach. Please make a copy and use it. 

 I'll be checking in with all of you regularly on progress, as our 2021 email goal depends on success here. If you're not reaching out to at least 10 partners per daily/weekly/etc email sent, I will be very sad.

 Note: I did my darndest to include the most helpful columns possible in that Sheet -- but please let me know if you think I'm missing anything, so I can add it to the master sheet.

 Pt VI: Product Giveaways

 Since few of these giveaways during the pandemic are likely going to be tied to events, please keep in mind our guidance for setting up product and non-event giveaways.

 When requesting prizes from local restaurants, we recommend asking for a gift card/credit amount that would allow 2 people to dine comfortably. Make sure your prizes are awesome! Coach your partners that are giveaways require premium prizes to be most effective.

 Pt VII: Encouraging Partners to Share

 Once your giveaway goes live, it is of paramount importance that you get the partner to share it on their channels. Make it easy for them to do so! Two of the easiest ways to make shares happen are to:
  • Make Facebook posts, Tweets and Instagram Stories that tag the partner
  • Send the partner links to your Facebook posts and Tweets via email so they can easily Share/RT
 Pt VIII: Communication

 All of us content folks are now working on the same project; it's super important that we stay synced as we go. Please:
  • Share your wins, insights, and tactics with the rest of the team via the #content channel and weekly collaboration doc.
  • Let me know what I can add to this resource (or what other resources we can build) to be most helpful.
  • Be vocal about your obstacles! if this process isn't working, I need to know so we can get your problems solved.
 Pt IX: Ask Your Team For Help
 Account Managers, Sellers, other non-Content folks who are reading this - We need your help! Whether it's by making intros/connections, offering feedback on materials, or just securing giveaways directly -- we greatly welcome and appreciate any help you're able to provide.

 Content folks -- ask the rest of your teams for help! Keep them posted on who you're reaching out to, what problems you're facing, and what parts of the process could be improved. You never know who holds the key to your next big giveaway breakthrough.

 Thanks so much everyone. Now let's go forth and get awesome giveaways for days!