PLAN YOUR CAMPAIGN
Build a team
Successful Carrotmob campaigns take time to create and promote. We recommend building a core team of 2-5 ultra-productive ninjas for your Carrotmob campaign so that you can divide up responsibilities and reach a larger network of people. Besides partnering with friends or family members, consider reaching out to advocacy organizations, schools, local governments, companies, sports teams, or other entities that are aligned with the spirit of Carrotmob.
So, who do you want to help you plan your Carrotmob?
Choose the Businesses
Your ultimate goal is to get a business to agree to a Carrotmob campaign and take action. We recommend casting a wide net and approaching 5-10 businesses to increase the likelihood of finding a great business.
Brainstorm a list of businesses in your community
Make a list of businesses you could potentially Carrotmob. Here are our top tips for choosing businesses to target.
Who do you know:
Are you already connected to businesses? Have you worked with any businesses in the past? Is there a cafe/restaurant/store you frequent regularly where they know you? Do you know the manager of any businesses?
Who’s already doing “good”:
Are there any businesses you know that are already taking good actions that might want to take it to the next level?
Are there businesses in an area that you and your mob actually go to?
The best Carrotmob campaigns are moderately priced ($10-30). Are the businesses in that price range?
We recommend targeting local, small businesses.
Are there businesses that you and your mob would want a gift certificate to regardless of Carrotmob? (ie. are these businesses cool?)
Choosing the Action
Start thinking of specific actions that you’d like to see the businesses take. Below, we’ve listed some suggestions for what makes a good action.
Rather than ask a business to generally fight climate change, ask them to take a specific action, like sealing their windows to improve insulation.
Requires a finite amount of spending for the business to implement
Actions that simply require a one-time cost -- like installing a bike rack or a water-saving faucet -- are best. For actions that require ongoing costs, like sourcing a sustainable seafood option or selling Fair Trade coffee, the business may worry about incurring the long term financial risk. Instead, you could ask the business to pilot the action for a specific period of time so the cost is fixed. That could make the business owner comfortable if it turns out that no one wants the new items, they aren’t stuck serving them forever. And who knows: these often become the most popular dishes on the menu! The "pilot" period might demonstrate that the community is excited for this change, which could encourage the business to keep the change for longer.
Estimate the amount of money your mob will spend at the business. Estimate what percent of the spending the business will devote to the improvement. Will that be enough to cover the cost of the improvement?
Here's a list of Carrotmob actions that have proven successful
||You could Carrotmob a business to...
||Upgrade its lighting to be more energy efficient
Install an Energy Star Star dishwasher
Install a low-flush toilet to reduce water waste
Switch to using compostable to-go containers
Stop giving out plastic bags
Start composting food waste
||Switch to serving Fair Trade coffee or tea
Pilot selling a Fair Trade item like chocolate, flowers, or bananas for a given period
||Serve a new vegetarian, vegan, or healthy menu option
Create a vegetable garden to grow food locally
Pilot source one sustainable seafood menu option for a fixed period
||Offer a healthy kids meal option
Sell fresh fruit and vegetables, instead of just junk food
Install bike racks for customers and employees
||Offer health care to part-time employees
Pay employees a living wage
||Create or expand a training program for local youth
Source food from local farms
Talk to businesses
Prepare your pitch
Before you start approaching businesses, prepare what you’re going to tell them. Think about how you can convince a business to participate. Here are some reasons why Carrotmobs are good for businesses.
- Carrotmobbers spend money at your business.
- We pay full-price. Carrotmob isn’t a daily deal company. Our mob is motivated by a desire to see a change, not a desire to pay as little as possible. We pay full-price at campaigns so we have a bigger positive impact.
- Carrotmobs give businesses loyal, values-based customers who are likely to be repeat customers
- A Carrotmob campaign can give your business good community relations and press coverage
- Carrotmob is a positive movement. We never criticize or attack businesses.
- Some actions will save you money in the long run - like energy retrofits and water-saving devices
- Carrotmob takes a 10% fee on all transactions
- A good percentage of the vouchers won't be redeemed, meaning pure profit for the business that can go toward financing the positive change.
Contact the businesses
Find the email address of the owner or manager on the business website or go in person and ask to speak to them. Here’s a draft email to send the business.
My name is ________ and I'm a member of Carrotmob, which leads crowdbuying campaigns for social good. In a Carrotmob campaign, a group of people makes purchases at a business and in return, the business makes a change the people care about. Carrotmob campaigns can fund all sorts of good changes like installing LED lighting, energy efficient appliances, or switching to compostable to-go containers. I'm writing because I'd like to lead a Carrotmob campaign at your business.
Carrotmob is not a discounting program. Instead, our community wants to pay full price for products and services in order to enable positive environmental and social change in businesses. People across the globe have already spent more than $1M helping over 250 businesses make positive changes through Carrotmob campaigns. These campaigns provide businesses with the upfront capital needed to make improvements, increase sales, and foster public goodwill from the community.
More information can be found here.
Let me know if you are interested in learning more.
If you go in person, explain what a Carrotmob is. Show them this page for small businesses
. We've found that this is the best way to get a business owner to quickly visualize hundreds of happy customers coming to their store and get more excited.
Try, try again
You might get turned down by a business or two. Don't worry. In the first-ever Carrotmob campaign, Brent approached over 20 businesses and only 3 were interested. So if you get rejected, welcome to the club! Turn that frown upside down.
To make your Carrotmob campaign a success, you need to spread the word! Think about how many people you need to participate in order to reach your spending goal. What is your target demographic? Now, work backwards. You should aim to reach 10x as many people through your promotion as your participation goal.
- How will you get the word out about the Carrotmob campaign?
- Which personal contacts will you email? Professional contacts?
- Do you know any bloggers that will post about this?
- Who will you ask to post about this Facebook and Twitter?
- How will you create a video to promote the campaign?
- What press will you ask to to write a story about the Carrotmob campaign?
- What will your partners do to promote the Carrotmob campaign? Will they email their lists, Tweet about it, post at their venues, etc.?
- What kinds of posters and flyers will you create?
- Will you use sidewalk chalk and put on a carrot costume and dance your face off (see Wisconsin mobbers in action)?
Tell us your plans
PREPARE YOUR CAMPAIGN
You’ve submitted your proposal. Now it’s time to prepare everything you need to launch your campaign.
Prepare your campaign page materials
After the campaign agreement has been made, the next step is to create your campaign page. You’ll be sent a special link from your Carrotmob coach to add the content directly onto the page.
You want to create a campaign page that is compelling! What will make people decide they will spend their hard-earned money on the Carrotmob campaign?
Write the Campaign Title and Subtitle
Come up with a short, interesting title and a subtitle that is descriptive. The title and subtitle appear when you post the link on Facebook and Twitter so this is what people will read. You need to convince people to click the link to learn more just based on the title and subtitle, so get creative!
Add a photo
This photo is going to be everywhere -- on our campaigns page, in the link that appears on Facebook and Twitter, and in the press if they pick up the story. So make it a good one! Pick a photo that is visually engaging. It could be a photo of the business owner in front the business, what the business is taking action on, what the business sells, etc.
Write the Campaign Statement
This describes in one sentence what people need to do and the action the business will take. Example: Buy a $20 voucher to Mission Cheese and they’ll install new bike parking on Valencia Street and water-saving devices throughout the restaurant.
Write the About the Campaign
Make the case to people about why they should participate. Why is this business awesome? Why does the business want to take action? If you’ve been working with the owner, write about how they’re awesome and why people should support this local business.
What does the business sell? What are they known for? What are their specialty items?
Who is organizing this campaign and why? Is it a group of friends, an organization, or what? Share why you are doing this. What motivates you? Why are you passionate about this, and why should other mobbers be passionate about this as well?
That's about it! Only include what's really important. If your description gets too long, no one will read it!
Enter the Campaign Dates
When does the campaign start and end.
If you’re having an event, enter the date and add a link to the Facebook event.
Prepare your promotional materials
Remember the promotional plan you made? Now’s the time to create the materials needed to promote the campaign so you can launch with a bang.
- Write your email to friends and co-workers.
- Write your email pitch to get other people to post about the campaign on their blogs and social media
- Create your video
- Write your press release or press pitch
- Work with partners to develop their email and social media announcements
- Make posters and flyers
- Make your carrot costume
Events can be a great way to mobilize support for the Carrotmob campaign and bring people together to celebrate. If you want to hold an event, here are some tips to help you plan.
- Coordinate with the business to figure out what a good day and time are for an event.
- Typically, events last for 2-4 hours.
- It's fun to get a big crowd together because it feels like a fun party. If you want a big crowd, be specific about what time people should arrive.
- Consider coordinating with an existing event such as a festival, conference, party, sports game, or parade?
- Set reasonable expectations with the business owner so they get a clear idea of the size of the crowd. This way, they can determine whether they need extra goods or staff on the day of the campaign.
- Recruit volunteers to help you with your event. It's great to have people on hand to help explain what's going on to the public, do crowd control, take photos and videos, entertain the crowd, help the business with random tasks, and so on.
- If you are getting people together in a public place, make sure you get any permits you might need.
It’s go-time! This is the moment of truth - it’s time to launch your campaign!
Post promotional materials
Now that the campaign page is live, start outreaching to spread the word. Post your blog, social media messages and videos and start contacting press.
- Stop by the business once the campaign has launched to to make sure everything is going smoothly.
Try using the voucher at the business so you understand the process that people will go through. That way you can answer questions that participants might have.
Check in with us here at Carrotmob, too! We want to know how it’s going and if we can help.
Run your event
Don't forget to party! Making your event fun and sharing results after the campaign are both important for making people want to come back to the next one!
You finished your campaign. The last step is to send thanks and follow up to show the impact of your campaign!
- Write a thank you note to the business and get partners and Carrotmobbers to sign it.
- Send a message to Carrotmobbers. Write a post on Facebook and an email to say thank you to everyone who participated.
- Send thanks to any partner organizations or co-organizers for all their efforts.
Follow up with the business
The most important part of the the whole campaign is the change that the business makes as a result of the campaign. Find out when the business will take action.
Follow up with your mob
The top reason that people like Carrotmob is because of the tangible results. Unlike petitions or protests, you see the impact of a Carrotmob every time. You’ve finished your Carrotmob - now it’s time to celebrate your accomplishments. Take a photo or video to show evidence of the action to your mob and write a quick summary of the event and the impact. Send an email to your mob to let them know about the impact and upload the summary to the campaign page! Well done!