Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Engage and Grow Your Customer Base

By Guest Blogger on Aug 16 2012 • Filed under Marketing

Grow Your Customer Base with Online Petitions (Photo)So you’ve put the final touches on a sparkling new website for your business. To help spread the word, your family and friends post links on their Facebook and Twitter pages, in the hope that you win some customers and clients. To expand your web presence, you start blogging and feel redeemed when people actually subscribe to it! Whenever you attend networking events, you exchange business cards like it’s your job. Over time, with persistence, you can build an impressive mailing list, through which you can market your services and products.

The purpose of this article is to highlight a supplemental technique for growing your customer base: the online petition.

In fairness, this was not my idea. In recent weeks, while browsing the White House website, I discovered that the Obama Administration has created an online platform that allows Americans to petition their government. If 150 signatures are collected within 30 days, the petition goes public on the White House website, and if 25,000 signatures are collected within 30 days, the government is required to issue a response. Although the entire process is an exciting way to promote grassroots participation in the American political process, it also allows the Obama campaign to grow its mailing list and cross-sell its political ideas before the elections.

It’s a neat idea – and like all neat ideas, it can be adapted to entrepreneurship.

Here are some tips for businesses that decide to sponsor petition campaigns:

1. Find an Online Petition Tool

There are several petition hosting websites with varying degrees of functionality, but check to see whether you are required to pay a fee to receive a list of signatories. In my experience, if you use WordPress for your website, you can download a petition plug-in and collect signatories for free without having to deal with an intermediary.

2. Create and (Tactfully) Spread Your Petition

Once you find a suitable petition platform, you have to create and spread your petition. Creating a petition is simply a matter of finding a cause you care about; in general, you are more likely to gain support if you pick a topic that is timely and relevant. Spreading your petition works like any other online advertising campaign. For example, you can post the petition on Facebook and ask your friends to Tweet about it. You might even be able to persuade the owner of a relevant website to help you with publicity. Regardless of what you do, avoid undermining the integrity of your effort by posting your petition in places where it ends up getting marked as spam.

3. Keep Signatories Engaged

Make sure that you keep signatories updated about the progress of your petition. Thank them for their participation and keep them gently motivated. Many of them will happily share the petition with their friends through social networks if you keep them posted about its progress. To ensure that your campaign has structure, setting a deadline is also a good idea.

4. Respect Privacy

Although most petition platforms will display only the names and geographic locations of signatories, it is worth reassuring them that their email addresses and other contact information will not be sold or disclosed to third-parties and that their privacy will be respected.

Always remember that the primary purpose of a petition should be promoting a campaign. Capturing email addresses should never be regarded as the primary purpose. If people begin to suspect that you are not serious about promoting the petition campaign and that you are only after their contact information, they will regret signing your petition or refuse to sign it at all. On the other hand, if you run a tactful petition campaign, keep signatories engaged, and respect their privacy, you might find yourself with an expanded base of trusting customers.


Raj Singh is a freelance writer and founder of the Capital Idea Network.

Read more posts from Raj: Click Here.

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