Selling libertarianism to 23 million people

Published in Communicating Liberty .

The Advocates for Self-Government has been around since 1984. As our Board Chair explains below, we’re launching ambitious, modern programs, and we want to tell you about them and how you can help make them happen. – Mike Sertic, President

Dear Advocates Supporter,

The new team at Advocates for Self-Government has been hard at work. Behind the scenes, we’ve been charting a thrilling new course to expand the libertarian movement.

In fact, there’s simply too much to tell in this one letter!

Perhaps you’ve been following us all the way back to the days when Marshall Fritz invented the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.

In 1995, we placed The Quiz on the World Wide Web. The number of quiz takers skyrocketed in the years that followed.

As any good salesman can see, these tools gave libertarians…

Breakthrough Lead Generation

The World’s Smallest Political Quiz was a breakthrough product. It was small enough to fit in your pocket and easy to score and plot the result.

I still carry Quizzes in my pocket and hand them out.

I’m Chris Rufer, a donor and the Board Chair of Advocates for Self-Government.

The Advocates has always been about libertarian outreach. That tradition will continue. However, as I’ll explain in this message, we’ll use fresh technologies and explore new methods of presentation.

I care so much about this organization’s mission that we moved it to Sacramento, California where I could watch over its modernization. My motivation was simply this…

23 million people have taken The Quiz. In many of those years, 25% or more scored libertarian. And I wondered…

Where are all those libertarians?

Maybe you wondered that too? If you’re like me, you were curious about something else… Quiz Grid

What were we doing to persuasively introduce libertarianism to the people who didn’t score libertarian on the Nolan Chart?

23 million people were giving us a chance to talk to them! And we weren’t doing anything systematic and consistent to:

  • communicate further with them AND
  • measure the results of various libertarian messages.

That’s why I supplied funding to build a plan to communicate with the Quiz takers using modern methods.

The Quiz is most commonly taken online. Even now, about 40,000 people take it every month at The Advocates website alone! So it made sense to me that we could design a persuasive program that was interactive, tailored to the Quiz takers and their Nolan Chart position. That is…

Each Quiz taker would be invited into an “engagement” — libertarian messages, based on their Quiz score, that are designed to move people to our ideas. Each engagement includes a call-to-action.

I knew from my business experience that what seems like a great idea doesn’t always win in the marketplace. Obviously, some messages and methods are going to perform better than others. So our team decided this Quiz Engagement Program (QEP) should have…

  • The capacity to upload and test two or more engagements at a time.
  • Measuring tools to compare key results.

That way, we can run experiment after experiment. We can quickly see what moves people’s thinking in our direction. We can learn lessons from what doesn’t move them our way. Every step brings us closer to talking effectively with the next 23 million Quiz takers! Mike Sertic, President, Advocates for Self-Government

And if we say the right things, we should develop and activate more libertarians!

The Advocates’ new president, Mike Sertic, reports…

QEP programming is well underway. We’ll soon have a prototype in place!  

How soon? Mike says, “We intend to demonstrate it before this year is over. Advocates supporters will be able to see the QEP in action!

We’ll need your financial support to make that possible. Indeed…

I’m not done being a large donor to this organization! The proof of value and viability is support from others. The vision to find and activate more libertarians must be bigger than one person.

Let me give you a sense of how much bigger.

If you had told the 1995 Advocates team that putting The Quiz online would garner 23 million Quiz takers, they probably would’ve been thrilled.

But the next 23 million should come MUCH faster.   

That’s why we’re also launching the Digital Outreach Booth.

What is Digital Outreach Booth?

It’s a concept inspired by our Operation Politically Homeless booths. Since the late 80s, activists have set up Politically Homeless booths at fairs, gun shows, conventions, campus recruitment week tabling, and other events. Each time they’d give The Quiz to scores if not hundreds of passers-by. This was an opportunity to sign up and activate new libertarians.

That’s retail activism at its best. But those Politically Homeless booths required someone to be physically present to give out The Quiz, calculate results, and interact with the public.

Digital Outreach Booth is a brand new tool that will help your favorite libertarian organization grow. To understand how it works, please think of your favorite libertarian group. Fill in that group’s name — ____________________ or just imagine it.

Now, picture that group’s website. The Quiz is embedded on a prominent page. Any visitor can take The Quiz, right there on your favorite group’s website. Outreach can occur 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week without staffing. But the Digital Outreach Booth offers something more…

Shared leads! 

Your website visitors take The Quiz. We track the event in The Advocates database. Your favorite group will then have access to not only the scores of those Quiz takers, but also the contact information for anyone who requested more information. Your group can follow up with them!

Digital Outreach Booth is a “lead-generation” tool for every organization that uses this version of The Quiz.

And with digital outreach set up all over the internet, The Advocates will recruit more Quiz takers faster.

That means more activated libertarians. It’s a win for both the group you have in your mind and for The Advocates.

But that’s still not enough!  

We want our testing of the QEP to be as robust as possible. That is, we want to try several messages and to send increasing numbers of people to the ones that are working the best for us. Therefore, as soon as we’re able…

We intend to advertise enough to double the number of people taking The Quiz. 

And that’s where you come in.

  1. Most of the QEP programming is done. We need your help to finish it.
  2. The advertising, testing of QEP, and (finally) recruitment of new libertarians will begin. Your support will determine how much outreach we can do!

As I mentioned earlier in this letter, I’m not done funding. I’m committed to these two goals. But it’s unhealthy for me to do this alone. The Advocates will be better off — the libertarian movement will better flourish — if this is a group effort involving as many people as possible. In fact…

The more libertarians we have contributing, the better our “free” outreach — viral sharing of The Quiz — will be!  

To ensure the success of this program, I’m going to MATCH all contributions made up to a total of $50,000. So if you send $50, I’ll match it. If you send $1,000 or $200, I’ll match it.

And if those numbers seem like too much for you, please consider a monthly credit card pledge of $5, $10, or $25 — any amount. Your pledge gives us a reliable planning resource — if we know pledge funds are coming, we can act more entrepreneurially.

I consider this kind of funding so important to our success that I’ll double the annual value of your pledge!

Don’t forget, your contribution is tax-deductible if you itemize. Also, remember…

  • Our new tools will help your favorite libertarian organizations grow.
  • We will show you our work product. You’ll see the QEP in action. Plus…
  • We’ll keep you posted on our outreach efforts and report the results to you.

I look forward to matching your support and activating bunches of libertarians,

Chris Rufer, Board Chair
Advocates for Self-Government

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