The Write Legislator/Person action type is used to direct email comments to elected officials or other custom targets.
To set up custom or non-legislator targets for your action, see Creating/Editing Custom Targets.
To begin, you’ll go through and adjust the typical settings for any action. This includes, the title, the time frame your action will be live and any tags that you’d like assigned to stakeholders taking this action.
You’ll also see the option to set the action as a One-Step or Two-Step process. Read below to decide which one works best for your effort:
- Two-Step: Use this setting if you want your stakeholders to be able to preview the message they’ll be sending to their targets and select/deselect from among the possible recipients on a separate screen.
- One-Step: Use this type of action if you want the stakeholder form and message preview to appear on the same screen. Your stakeholders will not see the Subject Line or target recipients of their message with a one-step action.
The next screen will ask you to select the Number of Messages. Check out the chart below for a few examples to get a better idea of what this means, but remember — this is not an exhaustive list. These are just example scenarios for sample multi-message Write actions.
Number of Messages
All recipients, regardless of chamber or body of government, receive the same message.
Example: Sending a note to both House & Senate saying “Thank you so much for your support of our recent effort to secure funding.”
You are working on garnering support for a bill in the Senate. Some Senators have already co-sponsored this bill, but there are still many who have yet to do so.
You want to send a thank-you message to Senators who have already co-sponsored, and an ask to Senators who have yet to do so.
You are working to move a bill through your state’s legislature, and ultimately it will need your governor’s signature.
You want to send an ask to your State Senators, an ask to your State House Reps, and an ask to your Governor — all with slightly different language.
You’re working on a bill in the House, which has a companion bill in the Senate. Some Members of Congress in each chamber have already signed on, but there are more who need to do so.
You want to send a thank-you message to current supporters in the House, an ask to those who have yet to support the bill in the House, a thank-you message to current Senate supporters, and an ask to Senators who have yet to support the bill.
For a multi-message Write action, you may need to set up custom legislator groups. For more information, see Creating/Editing Custom Groups.
Draft the Text of Your Message(s)
Once you have selected the Number of Messages, the next step is to draft each message and load it into the “Action Messaging” screen.
You’ll be taken one by one through each message – this is where you’ll add the template language your stakeholders will send to targets.
Merge Fields in Messaging
Looking to automatically customize the messaging that your stakeholders are sending? Add in one of the below merge fields into your message and the text will automatically update with the advocate’s information once they submit the form.
For example, your prewritten message to the Senate might read: “I am a constituent of the great state of [home-state] and want to voice my opinion.” Once submitted, the merge field will update automatically with the advocate’s personal information.
Action Messaging Character Limit
There is a 2,000 character limit, including spaces, on Action Messaging – and please note that this is characters, not words.
Hyperlinks in Messaging
Congressional email systems strip emails of hyperlinks, so they are not allowed in Action Messaging. If you want to include a link in your email to Congress, copy and paste the full URL into the message body as plain text.
Finalize and Review
For each message, you also have the option to set whether or not a stakeholder will have the ability to edit your pre-written text. Before moving on to the next message, be sure to select the corresponding recipient/target group.
Proceed through the remaining screens to publish your action.