Execution Countdown: Harnessing a powerful issue to inspire support

The challenge:

How do you grow your email list when you don’t have a specific petition with which to rally engagement and call people to take action? Reprieve came to us with this challenge – looking to develop a recruitment tool that would sit outside of their day-to-day petitions and advocacy work.

What we did:

First, we needed an action that people wanted to feel part of and lend their voice to – something that incentivised people to sign up by giving them a way to express their values and views on an emotive issue.

We chose to focus on the death penalty, offering supporters the chance to show they were ‘on the right side of history’ by adding their names to a permanent record of opposition. They were then invited to publicly re-affirm their values by sharing the site with friends and encouraging them to sign too.

By featuring a countdown to the time of the next execution, we created a sense of urgency, made the issue feel more tangible and encouraged people to act – now.

The ongoing user journey was key to the site’s success. We presented users with a series of shocking facts about capital punishment, as well as personal stories of individuals facing execution – all with the aim of deepening engagement before making a donation ask.