Leaders are responsible to those they lead. But leaders need to hear what their stakeholders think in order to be able to do that. One way to make your voice heard on important issues is by writing an email to your Governor, Congresspeople, Senators, Mayor, City Councilmember, board members, elected representatives, and other leaders. The problem is, it can be intimidating to write to people with titles like those. So intimidating that many people don’t do it. If you are brave enough to write, you can multiply your impact by creating a clickable link to a pre-filled email that you can share with your community. This way, you take care of all of the tricky details and make it as easy as possible for more people to be heard about the issues they care about.
This quick how-to shows you how to create a link that auto-populates an email. Once you’ve done these four easy steps, all everyone else will need to do is click a link and quickly customize their personal details.
1. Draft the email. This includes the recipient email address(es), email subject, and email body (that’s the main part). Some advice on the subject and body: Make it short and to the point. Explain how you’re connected to the community or organization and be explicit about what you think. Leaders often only skim these emails, so you want to make sure they are not left guessing about what the point was. If you would like to see something specific, list them as action items. A numbered list is great for this. Make sure to leave brackets for spots for others to customize their affiliation and name. It’s a good idea to customize as much as you can to ensure your email isn’t filtered out, but writing something is better than writing nothing.
2. Generate a url code that launches someone’s mail program and auto-populates the email with your recipients, subject, and body. There are several places you can do this online. I like https://www.jezweb.info/mailto.html. Just enter your recipients, subject, and body from Step 1. Then click “Create URL.”
3. Create a short, shareable link from your Mailto URL so that others can use your template to make their voices heard on the issues that are important to them. Copy the Mailto URL from Step 2 to your clipboard. Then paste it on a link shortening site, like https://tinyurl.com/.
4. Share your link! Blast it on your social media channels, email it, message it, text it. Folks are more likely to click when you share it directly, but sometimes you can pick up momentum on Twitter or Facebook.