Building Digital Power

A playbook for changemakers
Building Digital Power - a playbook for changemakers
Now available in e‑Book + paperback e-Book + paperback Available on Amazon / Kindle Available on Apple Books PDF download

“A book about technical stuff that didn’t send me to sleep!”Isobel, Communications Manager

“All the best tips, all
in the one place.”
Lisa, Campaign Director

“Everything I wish I knew when I started out as a digital campaigner.”Maggie, campaigner

Digital strategy for changemakers, demystified.

Now more than ever, the world needs more people whose expertise is to change the world. And if those skills aren't already specialised enough, to fuel a cause in 2024 you also need to magically be an expert in online giving, digital advocacy and engagement. But who among us were ever taught the unwritten rules of success?

Here’s what you’ll learn...
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Digital Communications Strategy

  • How to cut through digital noise with clear messaging.
  • Formatting hacks for today's digital audience.
  • Articulating your ‘theory of change’.
  • And how “why” is the most critical question you need to answer.

Email Strategy

  • 6 things that stop people opening emails.
  • Deep dive on email subject lines.
  • Email structures that work.
  • Harness the power of personalisation.
  • Discover the ‘ideal’ email frequency.
  • And learn how to handle stuff-ups like a pro.

Action Page Strategy

  • What NOT to do when building an online action page.
  • How to write (non click-baity) headlines that people click on.
  • And what to do to ensure the whole experience is one your supporters will want to repeat.

List Building & Segmentation

  • How to attract the ‘right’ supporters and grow your base in 2024.
  • Why you can’t afford not to segment.
  • The ‘traditional’ advice that hurts more than it helps advocacy organisations.
  • And time-tested strategies to combat supporter fatigue.

Pro Tips

  • How to get the most out of analytics and testing.
  • How profiling and pipelines can fuel your organisation’s mission.
  • What is ‘digital marketing automation’?
  • When to break the rules (and how to do it well).
  • And an introduction to next-level digital communications.
Building Digital Power - ebookBuilding Digital Power - ebook
The shortcut to years of insights, breakthroughs, and learning things the hard way. Free to a good home good cause.

While there’s no shortage of digital strategy advice, how much of it should non-profits pay attention to? Which ideas that sound intuitive could actually be hurting your long-term engagement? What is leading millions of potential donors and online activists to tune out over time? At Animals Australia, we put a lot of theories to the test and busted plenty of myths. This book outlines what worked for us in practice.

And here’s the truth. A decade of trial and error, research, and pushing boundaries has revealed one universal insight. The real key to building digital power has less to do with tech than it does people. It’s about relationships — forged and nurtured at scale. Tap into the power that exists when communication, design, and tech meet empathy, respect, and a supporter-centric mindset.

Karen Nilsen Karen Nilsen Email Get in touch.

About the author

Part programmer, part UX designer, part campaign strategist, all nerd. Karen Nilsen has helped several advocacy organisations solve digital challenges. She built the digital strategy and the team that has taken Animals Australia’s online presence from humble beginnings to a supporter base of millions. She is also an accomplished fire eater, retired skydiver, and amateur dog whisperer.

Email Get in touch.
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With special thanks to colleagues near and far who generously offered feedback on this book; and to donors and supporters who fuel our movement's work.

Portrait photography: Jo-Anne McArthur

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