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Launching a new conservative movement in Australia

Launching a new conservative movement in Australia

Last February, when we heard the news that Australian Senator Cory Bernardi was leaving the Liberal Party, to start a new conservative movement, we could barely contain ourselves.

Perhaps more than any other country in the Anglosphere, Australia's politics are ripe for disruption. What could an aggressive, American-style digital campaign accomplish down under?

Before long, we joined the team in a two-fold role: design and launch the party's new website, and kick-off the party's growth by boosting non-membership online fundraising.

Designing the new

The first order of business was designing and deploying proper digital infrastructure - the foundational pieces of a strong digital strategy.

Building on their existing logo and branding design, we developed a strong, visually engaging homepage that immediately draws attention to the three most important actions supporters can take: become a member, joining the email list, and making a quick donation.

Screenshot: Homepage
The Australian Conservatives' homepage (February 2017)

Beyond its aesthetic, the Australian Conservatives' new website affords them tremendous functionality to empower grassroots organizing and party building.

Supporters are able to create personalized accounts on the site, allowing content and forms to be tailored specifically to them, and official party members have access to members-only content. The result is a website that's more than a series of pages-it's an online hub for the nation's fastest-growing political movement.

Screenshot: Donation Page
Australian Conservatives primary donation page. (May 2017)

Perhaps most importantly for a growing political movement, a series of top-tier landing page templates help the party dramatically improve its conversion rate for new supporter and donor signups.

As a result, the party's new website design contributed to a 40% increase in online fundraising revenue (not counting party membership fees) month-over-month.

Moreover, after launching the new website (and for the first time in its history) Australian Conservatives raised more money through voluntary contributions than it did through membership fees-and important milestone for a party aiming to continue sustainable growth over time.

High-performing email fundraising

Growing a new political movement takes funds, and our mandate from Day One was to help Australian Conservatives build the best digital fundraising campaign in Australian political history. That meant coming up with a new playbook, as Australia's unique political culture is unaccustomed to the sorts of "churn and burn" fundraising tactics so common in the United States.

Rather than stoke fear, create urgency, or attack the other parties, we settled on a positive strategy-building up the party's community and investing them as an integral part of our shared success.

The party's first direct fundraising email went out the evening of the Western Australian elections, and the results were tremendous. (You can see the email below.)

Screenshot: Fundraising Email

Without sharing hard figures, we can say that this email raised $1.08 AUD per recipient - meaning that if it had gone out to 10,000 supporters it would've raised $10,800 AUD. If you've ever sent political fundraising email, you'll know that those are tremendous returns, and a testament both to the party's energized supporters and the efficacy of the message strategy and donation form design.

(It's also important to note that the party only asked non-member supporters to donate since members had already contributed. This means showed tremendous willingness among non-member supporters to support the party financially, even if they weren't yet ready or willing to become official members.)

The Bottom Line

We're tremendously proud of our work with Australian Conservatives-helping them successfully launch their party's digital presence and kick-off a successful online fundraising effort that's unique in Australian politics.

Australian Conservatives supports and advocates for the essential pillars of conservatism as a means of building a sustainable and prosperous economy and maintaining a civil society. Thousands of years of human experience have demonstrated what works, and we're proud to play a role in the effort to bring that wisdom of that lived experience to bear in Australian politics.