Our team helped Maxime Bernier — a little known Quebec MP with some unconventional ideas for Canadian politics — come within 2% of becoming the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Our team was responsible for the Bernier campaign’s entire digital effort — from the new website to get-out-the-vote, to the e-mail marketing effort that helped Bernier raise $2.5 million dollars.
Our focused efforts on promoting his policies helped challenge mainstream ideas in Conservative politics and helped win over thousands of new supporters in one of the most competitive leadership races in Canadian history.
Our digital fundraising operation helped Maxime Bernier gain a massive fundraising edge over his opponents. Over $1 million was raised directly online during this campaign – the vast majority from small donors who responded to our email campaigns.
We targeted new supporters and party members with short, simple, and to-the-point emails that were highly effective in turning supporters into donors. We focused on small asks — often asking for just $1 — as a way to make the transition from supporter to donor as easy as possible. Just like Columbia House used to offer 12 CDs for 99 cents to get you hooked, we found that once someone made a small donation, they were far more likely to make another.
We had many supporters who donated more than once — and even one die hard supporter who donated every single time we sent an email! Our email marketing efforts were extremely successful in both raising money and building a relationship with potential supporters.
After the membership deadline passed for the leadership campaign, we completely redesigned the MaximeBernier.com website. Our goal was to develop a website that made the best case possible for voters to support our candidate. We did that by putting policy front and centre – highlighted on the home page, on the nav bar, and anywhere else you’d land on the website.
We also wanted to make sure that voters knew exactly how to vote. We added an action bar at the top of our website with a link to our “How to Vote” page, which featured precise instructions on voting – combined with animated GIFs showing a person filling out their ballot. Our How to Vote page was viewed over 16,000 times.
Online Advertising and Social Media
Online advertising was the key to turning Maxime Bernier’s explosive popularity into a large list of motivated supporters and activists. It’s impossible to turn supporters into donors if you don’t have any way to contact them. By using effective Facebook ads we were able to build a massive list with a very low of cost per acquisition.
When dealing with advertising it’s important to keep two figures in mind. LTV (Life-Time Value) and CPA (Cost-per-Acquisition). If you keep these two metrics in the right ratio, you can create a system that feels a lot like a perpetual money-making machine!
With a CPA of less than $1 and a LTV of about $15, we leveraged digital tools to create sustainable revenue for the campaign, avoiding the money struggles that plagued many other contestants.