How to Promote Your Ballots: A Checklist

by Julie Foley Second Street

Promoting on Your Website

  • Create a page on your site where the ballot can be easily found. Have a link to this page in your homepage navigation.
  • Add run-of-site or run-of-section banner ads linking to the ballot.
  • Place a voting widget on your homepage.
  • Promote the ballot in the features section of your homepage.
  • Use a sliding billboard, expanding pencil, or peel-away ad during key times during the ballot promotion (such as when voting begins, right before voting ends, and when the winners are announced).

Use Website Ads to Advertise Your Ballot

Promoting via Email

  • Send an email to all past voters announcing the new contest.
  • Send an email to your entire promotional database announcing the ballot.
  • Send reminder emails right before voting begins, right before voting ends, and after the winners have been announced to thank voters for participating.
  • Send an offer or coupon from winning businesses, if applicable.
  • Encourage your winners to promote to their databases as well.

Promoting with Traditional Media

  • Place traditional advertising in print.
  • If the ballot is bundled with a special section, be sure to promote within that section.
  • Create a 15-second spot to be played on air.
  • Have your talent mention the ballot on air.
  • Create a follow-up special section announcing the winners (especially if the ballot was locally-focused).

Promoting on Social Media


  • Post a link to the ballot on your Facebook page, and include an image and call-to-action for best results.
  • Change your cover photo to represent the ballot and include a call to action to vote.
  • Pin the post to the top of your page.
  • Create a ballot tab and make it visible on your page.

Promote Your Ballot on Social Media


  • Tweet about the ballot, especially when voting is beginning and ending and when the winners are announced.
  • Include a shortlink to the ballot or results page in all tweets, as well as any relevant @ mentions.
  • If it makes sense for your ballot, create a unique #hashtag so users can find all of the tweets related to the promotion.

Other Social Media

  • Post images to Instagram with a shortlink to the ballot.
  • Pin an image from your ballot branding to your Pinterest page.
  • …and so on for any other social media accounts you use.

Merchant Marketing

If your citywide ballot is locally focused, you can also involve the participating merchants in your promotional efforts. Consider creating a social media toolkit to help your merchants request votes for themselves while also advertising your ballot.

Create a Digital Toolkit for Merchants

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