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Welcome to the 2023 Advocacy Benchmark Report!

Trends, Analysis, & Best Practices from 550 Million Advocacy Emails

As FiscalNote’s flagship advocacy product, we at VoterVoice are delighted to bring you the latest edition of our popular advocacy benchmark report. Now in its fifth year, this highly anticipated report analyzes campaign data from 2022 and the first half of 2023, providing a comprehensive view of advocacy campaign performance and trends. 

We reviewed more than 550 million email messages sent in 2022 and the first half of 2023, over 30 million pageviews to VoterVoice clients’ Action Centers, over 11 million text messages, and more than 31,000 advocacy campaigns, and this report is packed with those valuable findings from a busy year and a half in advocacy. These numbers represent more than 2,000 organizations in 50 industries, each one making an impact on important issues affecting advocates, voters, and citizens.

In this report, we bring you data and analysis on

Overall and industry-specific advocacy email open and action rates

Best time of the year, hour of the day, and day of the week to send advocacy emails

Mobilization rates from 50 industries in 17 sectors

The organizations included in this report range from small and large nonprofits to corporations and trade associations, from both sides of the aisle, and who advocate in support of, or against, the widest spectrum of causes and issues imaginable. Your organization counts on your advocacy efforts, and 90 percent of advocacy professionals we surveyed said they predict advocacy will have an even greater impact on their organization’s success in the next five years.

After our comprehensive view of 2022, we included a section with data from the first six months of 2023, so you have access to the most up-to-date metrics to aid your digital advocacy efforts.

We hope you find this data-led research report insightful and that it helps you better refine your strategy and find scalable digital advocacy success.

Categories Used

Open Rate

The percentage of recipients who received your emails in their inboxes and opened them, regardless of whether they had a call-to-action or not.

Action Rate

The percentage of recipients who opened your call-to-action emails and followed through by taking the action you requested of them.

Call to Action

Emails in which an organization asks something of the recipients. Sign a petition, email a lawmaker, send a tweet, etc.


Emails, such as newsletters, updates, etc., that do not include an “ask.”

Unsubscribe Rate

The number of people who saw your email in their inbox and decided its content wasn’t relevant to them, so they asked to be taken off your email list.

Deliverability Rate

The percent of emails that were successfully delivered to the intended recipient. This number is often affected by old addresses or lists not being updated.


The number of emails sent using VoterVoice. There could be thousands of emails sent as part of one campaign, which is why the number of messages is always higher than the number of campaigns.


The number of campaigns sent through VoterVoice. Each campaign could have a varied number of total emails sent, which is why the number of campaigns is always lower than the number of messages.

2022 Baseline Metrics

The overarching trend of 2022 shows that open rates are on the rise. The overall open rate surpassed 36 percent, the highest over the last five years. The action rate for emails sent through VoterVoice in 2022 was 8.3 percent, down from the previous year. 

The volume of communications only continues to grow: advocacy organizations sent more than 384 million emails using VoterVoice, which is 3 million more than the previous year. Advocates sent more than 14 million messages to their government representatives empowered by VoterVoice client campaigns in 2022.  

Thanks to VoterVoice’s human curation of outgoing messages that resolves any technical issues, deliverability rates are above 98 percent, ensuring your advocates actually receive your emails.

Open Rate
Action Rate
Unsubscribe Rate
Deliverability Rate
Messages Sent

VoterVoice clients who used the tool’s track and resend capabilities nearly doubled their action rates. The feature was used by 35 percent of clients in 2022, making it easy for them to automatically follow up with advocates who haven’t taken action yet. 

“We can automate resending alerts to people who hadn’t responded,” said Seth Chase, government affairs director at the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses, a VoterVoice client. “I’ve done that a fair amount in the past because I see that I get a significantly higher response rate if I resend the alert, but I had to do it manually. Well, now it’s automated. And that’s wonderful.”

SMS for Advocacy

Text messaging continues to rise in popularity for advocacy campaigns and is an excellent way to reach advocates. More than 6,460,000 advocacy text messages were sent by VoterVoice clients in 2022. Action rates for SMS in 2022 were the highest ever for this channel at 2.2 percent.

Baseline Metrics by Message Type

We broke down the emails sent through VoterVoice by type: informational vs. call to action. Just like we’ve seen in previous years, informational emails have slightly higher open rates than call-to-action emails, but action emails are gaining ground. Open rates for call-to-action emails now perform nearly as well as informational emails, indicating that advocates are willing to act and spend their time making a difference.

Unsubscribe rates remained low year over year for both email types in 2022 and deliverability rates stayed high, indicating that VoterVoice clients practiced good “list hygiene” and kept their contact lists engaged, clean, and updated.

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Baseline Metrics by Targeted Campaign

VoterVoice users are able to specify targets for their call-to-action email campaigns. Keeping with the trend in past years, state-level campaigns had the highest volume and highest action rate. We’ve repeatedly seen that advocacy professionals get better results when they connect their issues and action calls to their advocates’ daily lives, and the success of state-level campaigns drives this home.

In our 2023 State of Government Affairs and Advocacy Report, we asked professionals where their public policy issues are mostly based, and unsurprisingly the majority — 77 percent — said their issues are based at the state level, with issues at the federal level following closely at 68 percent. More than half of advocacy professionals surveyed said they expect to see state governments most shape the landscape for their industry or organization in the next five years.

Advocacy Challenges in 2022

We asked our clients in advocacy roles what causes the most anxiety in their day-to-day jobs. The biggest challenge was a team size that is too small (67 percent said this causes them stress) and not having enough time (67 percent agree on this). Another major stressor is a lack of resources (59 percent).

A number of advocacy professionals are considering a job change within the year, due in part to these challenges. Nearly half said they are considering leaving their current role or are unsure, with the main factors contributing to their decision being salary, work/life balance, and corporate culture, closely followed by sense of purpose and stress levels. Here’s the breakdown of factors contributing to professionals’ decisions whether to leave their jobs.

2022 Action Center Metrics

Traffic to VoterVoice clients’ Action Centers was strong, though it dipped from last year. Action Centers are a way of expanding exposure to your issues and your call-to-action campaigns. More than 6 million users visited your action centers in 2022, for a total of 22 million overall pageviews

Total Users
Total Pageviews
Avg. Time on Page

How Did People Find Action Centers?

As we have seen in the past, in 2022, direct traffic was still the number one traffic driver to VoterVoice clients’ Action Centers, with more than half of all traffic reaching Action Centers this way. This means advocates reached your pages either with a direct link they typed on their browser, maybe through a link sent via text, or perhaps your supporters have your page bookmarked and keep coming back to take action.

Traffic from referrals accounted for nearly 26 percent of traffic. Referral traffic to your action centers came from another website outside of the main search engines and social networks. This could be your main website or your partners’ websites linking back to your action center.

Social media traffic was a notable driver as well. However, social media traffic continues to lessen slightly, from nearly 16 percent in 2021 to 11 percent in 2022.

While organic search traffic (coming from Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) remains low (only about 4 percent, similar to the previous two years), it’s still an important way action centers can get new eyeballs, especially on hot-button issues. Some advocates rely on search engines to find new ways to take action on the issues they care about. Organic search is a powerful way to find and recruit new advocates.

Pro Tip: Empower Your Advocates

We asked VoterVoice clients with the highest levels of engagement in 2022 to share their tactics for success. Here are their best practices to communicate effectively with advocates:

“Effective advocacy is a marathon, not a sprint. Educate your members on why their ongoing engagement is necessary to get results. Keep them informed of what their own elected officials have or haven’t done to help you reach your goal, and impress upon them the importance of their constituent voice so they feel empowered.”

— Heather Ferguson, Founder & Executive Director, Lymphedema Advocacy Group

Action Center Traffic by Social Network

Social media is a cost-effective, engaging way to mobilize your supporters and expand the reach of your advocacy campaigns. As in previous years, Facebook remains by far the number one social network for driving traffic to your Action Centers. Twitter grew in popularity this year, bringing in over 8 percent of traffic. Instagram and LinkedIn were other popular social networks that brought advocates to your action centers.

“Before our fly-in, we always do a geofencing campaign … to target Hill staff and offices,” shared Jeanne Slade, senior director of political affairs and advocacy at the American College of Emergency Physicians, at a recent VoterVoice event. “This year, we did that through Twitter, and we got a lot of comments when we were on the Hill saying, ‘I saw that ad,’ ‘I knew you guys were coming,’ ‘Thanks, we knew what you were going to talk about before you even got here.’ Using technology through social media has been helpful to us.” 

While Twitter was successful for Slade, other organizations have gotten good results with TikTok, a booming (if controversial) platform. “TikTok lets you be really playful and it encourages and rewards you for being vulnerable and real,” says Heather Decker, retail and communications associate at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, an organization whose TikTok account currently has 112.4K followers.  

Adding new platforms to the mix can seem like an onerous task on top of everything else you have to do. However, staying on top of the social media platforms your audience is using is vital for driving engagement from your advocates, recruiting new ones, and increasing the visibility of your issues.  

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Action Center Traffic by Device

A few years ago, mobile traffic was just starting to emerge as the device people used the most to access FiscalNote Advocacy clients’ Action Centers. But in the last two years, that lead has grown significantly, now with more than two-thirds of traffic coming from mobile devices.  

What does this mean for advocacy? Create your content — emails, subject lines, and social media posts — always keeping in mind that most people will be consuming it from their mobile devices. 

Action Center Traffic by Gender and Age

In 2021, we saw that men were the main visitors to VoterVoice clients’ action centers, but they were surpassed by women in 2022, with nearly 52 percent of visitors being women. 

We continue to see that visitors to your Action Centers are getting younger. The largest group is now ages 35-44, but younger groups of advocates aren’t far behind as Gen Z increasingly becomes a prominent part of the voting and advocacy landscape.

2022 Monthly Metrics

Let’s jump into 2022 numbers to dissect how your advocates engaged with your campaigns throughout the year. We’ll point out some of the significant patterns that can help you sharpen your advocacy strategy.

In 2022, there were more than 20,000 campaigns launched from VoterVoice with more than 384,900 million emails sent.

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Your ultimate guide to a successful digital advocacy strategy, with examples from organizations getting it right.

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Monthly Email Message Volume

Constant from previous years, March tops the list of busiest months for email volume, followed by September and April. But email message volume remained fairly consistent throughout the year, with the exception of dips in January and July. 

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Monthly Engagement Metrics

Looking a bit deeper into each month of 2022, we see that open rates are highest in May. The highest action rates, as well as the second highest open rates, are in July, the month with the lowest email volume. 

Unsubscribe rates remained consistently low, at 0.1 percent, only rising to 0.2 percent in October, while deliverability rates stayed steady in the high 90th percentile.

Pro Tip: Segment Your Audience

We asked VoterVoice clients with the highest levels of engagement in 2022 to share their tactics for success. Here are their best practices to help open rates soar: 

“Overall, we try to ensure we only send emails to audiences who we think care about the issue. There’s little to gain in sending emails about topics to people on your list who probably don’t care about the issue. We are able to target our list’s interests by using VoterVoice surveys, previous campaign activity, and creatively using Custom Fields to import our own data. In the end, sending information to people that you know are interested in the topic will result in better opens and engagements.”

— Marc Fisher, Director of Advocacy Engagement, Muscular Dystrophy Association

Monthly Metrics: Call-to-Action Emails

Let’s focus specifically on call-to-action campaigns in 2022.

VoterVoice clients saw the highest open rates in July as well as the highest action rates. 

January and February closely follow when it comes to action rates, meaning the beginning of the year could be a good time for your call-to-action campaigns. There’s less competition for attention in your advocates’ inboxes with a good chance of them opening your message and taking action.

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Monthly Metrics: Informational Emails

In 2022, open rates for informational emails continued to climb, surpassing the rates we’ve seen in previous years. May reached nearly 40 percent open rates, which is the highest open rate for informational emails we’ve seen. 

Unsubscribe rates remained impressively low throughout the year, meaning your advocates wanted to hear from you and remained engaged all year.

2022 Hourly and Daily Metrics

Deciphering the best date and time combination to send an email campaign can elicit head-scratching among even the most seasoned advocacy professionals. It’s crucial to make sure your message hits inboxes when people are willing to open it and are available to take action while avoiding competing for attention with multiple other email campaigns. 

Similar to the last three years, in 2022 most campaigns happened between business hours: 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., with the biggest surge in activity between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (times are in Eastern Standard Time zone, so make conversions accordingly). VoterVoice clients usually saw the highest overall open rates at 3 p.m. 

Read on for a closer look at these metrics and to find the best date/time combinations for your advocacy campaigns.

Pro Tip: Keep Messages Short & Actionable

We asked VoterVoice clients with the highest levels of engagement in 2022 to share their tactics for success. Here are their best practices to help action rates soar: 

We culled all of our sends and noted the action rate for each campaign to determine the best time to send an alert to optimize both open and action rates. Additionally, each email message uses short and to-the-point copy, allowing recipients to quickly read what is at stake and how they can take action. We tend to let our audience know that when they click through to the action page, the message will already be pre-written, indicating that taking action will be very easy. 

— Lauren Schwartz, Senior Digital Advocacy Strategist, REAL Strategies

Hourly Metrics: Campaign Volume by Time of Day

Most VoterVoice clients sent email campaigns between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in 2022, following the trend of past years. That continues to be an effective strategy, since open and action rates were overall very high this year.

Your particular industry, audience demographic, or action request might mean the day and time you send your campaign requires some tweaking, however. Advocacy communications are never one-size-fits-all, but require finesse and careful understanding of your own metrics and audience.

Hourly Metrics: Engagement by Time of Day

Just like naps, when it comes to engagement the best open rates happen in the afternoon. However, this year the best action rates were at 8 a.m. This may be when advocates are just logging on to check their email for the day and have the time and capacity to take the requested action. Action rates are also high at lunchtime and at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., when advocates may have more downtime during their work day.

Hourly Metrics: Call-to-Action Emails

Looking specifically at call-to-action campaigns, 8 a.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m. stand out when it comes to action rates paired with good open rates. As mentioned, possible “downtime” during the workday can be a prime time to drive action. 

Hourly Metrics: Informational Emails

Informational emails see the highest level of engagement during the afternoon. In fact, the highest open rate for VoterVoice clients’ informational email campaigns — 38.8 percent — was at 3 p.m. 

Daily Metrics

Consistent with previous years, Tuesday and Friday are the busiest days for advocacy campaigns in terms of volume. Friday has the highest action rate, at 10.3 percent, as well as a good open rate but a large volume of campaigns are sent that day. Winding down the workweek might mean advocates have more time, attention, and willingness to read an email and take action than during the busier early- and mid-week rush. 

In 2021, we noted that the most successful days of the week were not during the workweek itself, data revealed. In contrast, in 2022 open rates on the weekends and after work hours are less impressive, perhaps indicating a greater attention to work/life balance in the wake of several years of oversaturation. 

Best Day/Time Matrix

Looking at the open and action rates per day and per hour, we saw that in 2022 VoterVoice clients saw the highest open rate on Saturdays at 5 p.m. However, this was coupled with a low action rate and the fact that a very low volume of emails was sent on Saturdays, which factors into this number. 

There are many opportunities to conduct successful campaigns throughout the week when advocates are likely to take action. For example, Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. show positive open and action rate combinations.

“Having an overall view of what’s happening across campaigns in an aggregate way is a good way for you to be tracking how you’re doing in your grassroots work and to be able to understand your own engagement level, interactions, and where you need to make tweaks in terms of strategy.”

Hasan Shah, Director, Grassroots & Member Engagement, AdvaMed

2022 Sector Metrics

So far, we’ve examined the overall metrics from all VoterVoice clients across an range of sectors and industries. Let’s delve into the metrics from 17 sectors to help you understand how your industry performs in comparison and how you can gain an advantage in your field.

Sectors covered:

  • Agribusiness
  • Civil Servants/Public Officials
  • Clergy & Religious Organizations
  • Communications/Electronics
  • Education
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
  • Food & Beverage
  • Health
  • Ideological/Single-Issue
  • Infrastructure
  • Labor
  • Lawyers & Lobbyists
  • Misc Business
  • Non-Profit Institutions
  • Hospitality
  • Others

Overall Sector Metrics

The sectors are divided into 17 broad categories comprising 50 industries. The labor sector saw the highest open rates just like last year, with an impressive 53.4 percent open rate. This sector also had by far the highest average action rate at nearly 18 percent. 

While the civil servants/public officials sector had the second-highest open rate at 44 percent, this sector also saw the lowest action rate, with less than 3 percent.

Agribusiness Metrics

We looked at advocacy campaigns across agribusiness industries including crop producers, dairy farming businesses, food farmers, agricultural and farm services, and agricultural associations. We also assessed agribusiness that included processors, agri-products, and services.

Overall, the summer months saw the strongest open rates, and this sector boasts the second-highest action rates in 2022, with an average of 15.9 percent. Within agribusiness, dairy and crop production and basic processing saw some of the highest industry action rates across all sectors this year.

Business Metrics

The sector is made up of a variety of industries including services, associations, sales, and many other miscellaneous organization types. 

Action rates were the highest in March and July, but open rates in this sector were best during December and May. In particular, the issues of retail sales and business services had among the highest action rates of any industry in 2022. 

Industry sentiment

When surveyed, government affairs professionals in the business sector overwhelmingly agreed that their biggest challenge is not having enough time to accomplish what they need to — 89 percent said this is the case. The everyday job responsibilities that take up the most time for these professionals are reading and curating news and analysis, managing meetings and contacting key stakeholders, and finding and monitoring legislation and regulations.

Civil Servants & Public Officials

Organizations including federal, state, and municipal employees, as well as fire and police, state and local government entities, and other employee organizations make up the civil servant and public official sector.

As we saw in last year’s report, civil servants/public officials had the second-highest open rate at 44 percent. However, this sector again saw the lowest action rate, with less than 3 percent. However, no call-to-action campaigns were sent by VoterVoice clients from May to December but even between January and April, action rates are very low. 

This sector saw its highest open rate in August, reaching an impressive 57.7 percent. 

Clergy & Religious Organizations

We looked at data from organizations such as ministries, charities, conferences, dioceses, religious institutes, and associations, among orders. Religious institutions that operate education or healthcare facilities are not included in these metrics but are analyzed as part of their core industry.

This sector saw much higher open rates than in 2021, reaching more than 40 percent for nearly half of the year. December continues to have one of the highest open rates for this sector, probably due to religious holidays, though June and October had even higher open rates this year. However, action rates peaked in July.

Communications & Electronics

We looked at advocacy data from the electronics manufacturing and equipment industry; internet organizations and associations; TV, movie, and entertainment fields; as well as other miscellaneous communications and electronics organizations.

Open rates soared to above 50 percent in February and July for this sector, while action rates remain modest throughout the year.  


Organizations included in the education sector range from higher education and K-12 to school boards and PTA organizations. 

In 2022 action rates were particularly strong in January and July, perhaps correlating with breaks from school.

Industry sentiment

Advocacy professionals in the education industry rely on tools and technology to do their job well, especially when operating on a small team (the majority of people we surveyed in this industry have a team of just 1-3 people). The top tools they count on are: 

  • Advocacy platforms (80%)
  • Social media (69%)
  • News subscription (62%)
  • Virtual town hall or conferencing tools (54%)
  • Industry associations (54%)
  • U.S. state legislative and regulatory tracker (54%)

Energy & Natural Resources

We include aggregate data from oil and gas producers and utilities, mining, renewal and fossil fuels, electric utilities, and waste management. It also includes the wildlife and fisheries category as a natural resource.

Similar to 2021, the highest action rates for this sector comes early in the year, with the highest action rate in April. Overall, the energy and natural resources sector saw consistently good open rates throughout 2022. The area of electric utilities saw especially good action rates within this industry. 

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

In this sector, we look at data from banks, credit unions, finance companies, securities, mortgage bankers, broker organizations, and the broad category of insurance. 

While in the last two years April was the strongest performing month in terms of action rate, in 2022 January, July, and June performed the best for this sector.

Industry sentiment

Advocacy professionals in this industry are considering a job change: 50 percent said they are considering leaving their current role within the next year, while another 20 percent are unsure. Contributing to this decision for 80 percent of professionals is salary, while a sense of purpose, and corporate culture are both considerations for 70 percent of those surveyed.

Food and Beverage

This sector includes a variety of food and drink packaging, manufacturing, and marketing organizations. Some examples are feed and grain; confectionary; fruits and vegetables; and wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, and water. 

Open rates were overall lower than in 2022, with May and June the highest rates for this sector. Action rates remained modest throughout the year, similar to last year, with the strongest action rate at 6.4 percent in September.


This sector includes health professionals, hospitals and nursing home facilities, health services, pharmaceuticals, and health products and supplies.  

For a third year, the health sector remained front and center during 2022 with the global COVID-19 pandemic, and open and action rates held steady throughout the year, though action rates peaked in January and March. 

Industry sentiment

Burnout is a big concern for advocacy professionals in the healthcare industry. The biggest challenge is team size, 80 percent of advocacy professionals agreed, followed by not having enough time or budget in their role. 

“We’re seeing a lot of burnout,” said Jeanne Slade, senior director of political affairs and advocacy at the American College of Emergency Physicians, in a FiscalNote webinar. “We’re seeing people leaving healthcare as a profession, consolidation in the marketplace, and Congress is not as generous anymore about putting money into the healthcare system… I thought COVID was challenging, but coming out of COVID is a different set of challenges.” 

There’s no question healthcare advocacy is of great importance: 92 percent of advocacy professionals in this industry say they anticipate advocacy having a greater impact on their organization’s success in the next five years.

Hospitality & Culture

This sector’s industries include everything from lodging and tourism organizations to recreational and live entertainment industries.

Campaign open rates remained high throughout the year, surpassing 50 percent in February and October. It was in August that action rates hit an impressive 23.5 percent, the highest for the sector and higher than almost any other sector’s action rates throughout 2022. 


The sector is formed by contractors, transportation, automotive, the construction of roads and bridges, and everything else in between, as well as miscellaneous organizations such as those dealing with inland waterways, sewage, power lines, and so forth. 

In 2022, the infrastructure sector saw a spike in open rates in July, with lofty action rates in February and August. Within the infrastructure industry, the topic of special trade contractors saw one of the highest action rates across industries.


The labor sector classifies miscellaneous unions, including industrial, building, transportation, and public sector unions. 

The labor sector saw much higher open and action rates in 2022 than in previous years, with particularly hefty action rates in July and November. These action rates above 50 percent continue the trend we saw last year and have only grown since then. The topic of public sector unions, in particular, saw among the highest action rates of any industry in 2022.

Lawyers & Lobbyists

This sector saw fairly consistent open and action rates throughout the year, with March performing particularly well for both metrics.

Industry sentiment

When surveyed, lawyers and lobbyists indicated that the political environment causes the most stress in their day-to-day jobs, with 80 percent agreeing with this sentiment. Time constraints and an economic downturn are also big areas of concern for this industry. 


This sector encompasses nonprofits, foundations, and philanthropic organizations that don’t naturally fall into other categories covered earlier. It excludes single-issue or ideological organizations. Examples include museums, charitable foundations, philanthropic endowments, and trusts.

The nonprofit sector saw relatively low action rates, with notable spikes in action during October and November.

Other Industries

In the “other” sector, we compile the data for all the organizations that don’t comfortably fall into any of the other sectors. We include them here because their numbers contribute to creating the overall metrics laid out in the overview at the beginning of this section.

Single-Issue Organizations

This sector saw robust open rates and action rates in 2022, with action rates remaining in the double digits for much of the year. In particular, women’s issues, abortion policy and anti-abortion, and human rights saw some of the highest action rates across all industries in 2022.

Ideological or single-issue organizations can be focused on partisan issues, such as gun control, immigration, groups supporting a single candidate, abortion, human rights, and so on. These types of organizations tend to have passionate supporters and detractors, which could explain the consistently good action rates.

2022 Industry Metrics

Let’s take a look at which industries got the most engagement on their 2022 campaigns. We specifically look at open and action rates, as well as the entire breakout of industries within the sectors we studied.

Top 10 Industry Open Rates

The top 10 open rates within specific industries rose in the last two years, with the top industry open rate — public sector unions — hitting nearly 63 percent, up from 53 percent last year.

Industry Sector Open Rate
Public Sector Unions Labor 62.8
Electronics Mfg & Equip Communications/Electronics 56.9
Civil Servants/Public Officials Civil Servants/Public Officials 52.9
Building Materials & Equipment Infrastructure 48.2
Beer, Wine & Liquor Food & Beverage 47.3
Construction Services Infrastructure 47.3
Real Estate Finance, Insurance & Real Estate 44.1
Health Professionals Health 43.1
Non-Profit Institutions Non-Profit Institutions 41.1
Recreation/Live Entertainment Hospitality 41.0

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Top 10 Industry Action Rates

Dairy and women’s issues had the top action rates in 2022, knocking public sector unions from its top spot the previous year. Dairy and crop production and basic processing may be near the top of the list in anticipation of the Farm Bill renewal in 2023. 

Industry Sector Action Rate
Dairy Agribusiness 65.7
Women's Issues Ideological/Single-Issue 47.7
Public Sector Unions Labor 24.6
Crop Production & Basic Processing Agribusiness 19.1
Abortion Policy/Anti-Abortion Ideological/Single-Issue 18.7
Human Rights Ideological/Single-Issue 16.9
Special Trade Contractors Infrastructure 15.1
Electric Utilities Energy & Natural Resources 14.7
Retail Sales Business 12.6
Business Services Business 12.5

Industry Metrics Overall

2023 First Half Overview

2023 has already brought many political and social upheavals: Supreme Court rulings, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, devastating natural disasters, and mass shootings. How did advocacy campaigns fare in the face of all these changes? 

In this next section, we look at the data for the first six months of 2023 and how that compares to the same period in 2022, illuminating the latest data and potentially what is to come for the remainder of the year.

Baseline Metrics Jan-June 2023

In the first six months of 2023, we see open rates soar compared with the previous three years to over 41 percent. The action rate was slightly lower than in previous years, but the deliverability rate remains high.

SMS for Advocacy Jan-June 2023

Text messages continue to grow as a medium to communicate with advocates. It’s no surprise, as 95 percent of text messages are read and responded to within three minutes of being received, and 48 percent of customers prefer communication from customers to come from text messages, according to SMS Comparison. VoterVoice clients sent more than 4.6 million advocacy text messages in the first half of 2023, with an open rate of nearly 6 percent and a higher action rate of 1.4 percent.

Baseline Metrics by Message Type Jan-June 2023

When it comes to informational and call-to-action emails specifically, the first six months of 2023 saw excellent levels of open and action rates for both categories. With both types of emails performing above 40 percent for open rates, the year was off to a good start with advocate engagement.

Pro Tip: Prioritize Advocate Education

We asked VoterVoice clients with the highest levels of engagement in 2022 to share their tactics for success. Here are their best practices to communicate effectively with advocates:

“To maximize the impact of our advocacy efforts, Community Associations Institute and its Legislative Action Committees prioritize education, ensuring that our members understand the ease and effectiveness of utilizing the VoterVoice system with just a few clicks. Leveraging the intrinsic motivation of our members to influence the community association housing model, we witness their heightened engagement and active involvement in our advocacy campaigns. By reinforcing the significant role of volunteer advocates in shaping legislation and policy, we not only encourage ongoing participation but also foster a sense of advocacy community that encourages members to share their experiences and expand our network.”

— Dawn M. Bauman, Chief Strategy Officer, Community Associations Institute

Baseline Metrics by Targeted Campaign Jan-June 2023

Most of the campaigns in the first half of 2023 happened at the state level, which follows the trends we’ve seen every year. State campaigns and combined federal+state campaigns had the highest action rates, which is a positive sign of your advocates understanding the urgency of your messages. When it comes to action rates, these campaigns also had the best results with a nearly 41 percent open rate.

Monthly Email Message Volume Jan-June 2023

During the first half of 2023, VoterVoice users sent more than 174 million emails through our platform. Message volume spiked in February and June, indicating these were busy times for advocacy organizations. In 2023, approximately four times more informational emails were sent than call-to-action messages.

Monthly Engagement Metrics Jan-June 2023

The best open and action rates during the first half of 2023 came in March. So far, 2023 has seen good engagement across the board as advocates are showing up to open and click on your email advocacy campaigns.

Monthly Metrics: Call-to-Action Emails Jan-June 2023

Call-to-action emails saw open rates increase in 2023 compared to that period in 2022 by about 5 percent, while action rates decreased slightly from what we saw in the previous period. Unsubscribe rates, at 0.1 percent each month, remain very strong.

Monthly Metrics: Informational Emails Jan-June 2023

Open rates for informational emails were, on average, above open rates for call-to-action emails for the first six months of 2023 — by about 4 percent. Unsubscribe and failure rates remained consistently low, indicating that supporters are engaged and want to receive your messages.

How Did People Find Action Centers? Jan-June 2023

In the first six months of 2023, more than 3 million people visited your action centers. Nearly half of people found VoterVoice clients’ action centers primarily through direct traffic. This could indicate that advocates bookmarked your organizations’ action centers so they could keep coming back to access the latest information.

Organic traffic and social traffic were down, while referral traffic jumped significantly as a source of action center traffic in the first half of 2023.

Action Center Metrics by Social Network Jan-June 2023

Traffic to action centers from social networks continued to be strong. Facebook stays in the number one spot as the primary social network traffic driver, but has seen decreases in the past several years, going from 96 percent in 2020 to 82 percent in 2023 as other platforms rise in prominence.

Twitter continues to be the second-strongest social media traffic driver, while LinkedIn rose in popularity. We’ll be looking out to see how Threads — Instagram’s new text-based conversation app — performs for advocacy in the remainder of 2023.

Action Center Metrics by Gender and Age Jan-June 2023

In the first six months of 2023, advocates ages 35-44 comprised the majority of those visiting your action centers, which was also the case in the first half of 2022. As for gender, the majority of advocates are female, following the trend of the same period in the previous year, with male advocates not far behind at about 49 percent.

Overall Sector Metrics Jan-June 2023

In the first half of 2023, the ideological/single-issue sector was the most active with a total of 2,352 campaigns. During the same period in 2022, this sector was also the most active, though this year they sent fewer campaigns in 2023 than the previous year. 

When it comes to open rates, the hospitality sector saw an impressive rate of over 49 percent. Like last year, the labor sector performed well with an action rate of above 10 percent, but this year it was surpassed by the non-profit and clergy/religious organization sectors.

Top 10 Industry Open Rates Jan-June 2023

Turning to the top 10 industries within each sector, the recreation/live entertainment industry within the hospitality sector saw the highest open rate, with a 49.4 percent average for the first half of 2023. The health professional and lodging/tourism industry weren’t far behind with strong open rates. 

Recreation/live entertainment and lodging/tourism didn’t crack the top 10 list in the first half of 2022, and this strong open rate could show that, with an end to the COVID-19 public health emergency in 2023, advocates are more eager to support travel-related causes.

Sector Industry Open Rate
Hospitality Recreation/Live Entertainment 49.4
Health Health Professionals 49.2
Hospitality Lodging/Tourism 47.3
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate Real Estate 47.1
Labor Public Sector Unions 46.7
Agribusiness Crop Production & Basic Processing 46.2
Misc Business Retail Sales 45.2
Other Other 44.5
Clergy & Religious Organizations Clergy & Religious Organizations 43.8
Communications/Electronics TV/Movies/Music 43.0

Top 10 Industry Action Rates Jan-June 2023

When it came time to mobilize advocates to take action, non-profit institutions had the best results, with an average action rate of nearly 18 percent. Public sector unions and human rights, in the top two during the first half of 2022, fell in action rate but still remained on the top 10 list. The electric utilities and home builders industries also performed well in terms of action rates so far in 2023. 

Sector Industry Action Rate
Non-Profit Institutions Non-Profit Institutions 17.9
Energy & Natural Resources Electric Utilities 16.6
Infrastructure Home Builders 13.3
Ideological/Single-Issue Human Rights 11.2
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate Credit Unions 11.1
Misc Business Retail Sales 10.7
Clergy & Religious Organizations Clergy & Religious Organizations 10.6
Labor Public Sector Unions 10.1
Health Pharmaceuticals/Health Products 8.2
Health Health Professionals 7.7


In this comprehensive, data-driven report we looked at several thousand advocacy platform users over 2022 and the first six months of 2023. For this report our research and engineering teams looked at the advocacy data from more than 31,000 advocacy campaigns, coming from more than to 2,000 organizations, resulting in over 559 million emails to advocates.

For the email metrics, we divided the advocacy campaigns into two categories: informational and call to action. Information campaigns have no specific ask but provide information content including newsletters or educational emails. More than 14,000 of the campaigns sent were informational.

Call-to-action campaigns are meant to drive advocates to an advocacy effort. Over 6,000 campaigns encouraged the recipients to do something, such as email a lawmaker. For these, we measured what the follow-through on the requested action was. Those are the “action” rates.

Once we had all that data, we started to break up the email open and action rates by sector and industry, to see if there were significant differences between the sectors.

Seventeen different sectors were identified based on large groupings, which were then broken down into 50 industries. For example, health could include everything from nursing homes to professional medical organizations to medical device industries to pharmaceuticals.

To keep our reporting accurate, we did not include any industries for which we had fewer than 10 clients to ensure a reasonable sample size of campaigns and to maintain client confidentiality.

About Us

FiscalNote (NYSE: NOTE) is a leader in policy and global intelligence. By uniquely combining data, technology, and insights, FiscalNote empowers customers with critical insights and the tools to turn them into action. 

FiscalNote advocacy solutions bring together more than 50 years of digital advocacy experience to give you the most comprehensive set of tools available on the market. Whether you are looking to monitor policy, recruit advocates, lobby at the Capitol, or run campaigns, FiscalNote tools provide targeted ways to reach your goals at all levels of U.S. government.


VoterVoice is the leading grassroots digital advocacy solution and the only platform using both AI and data science to engage advocates and move the needle on issues. It has been a finalist and winner of numerous awards for innovation, including for peer benchmark campaign data provided in the app. A highly flexible platform with many integrations and an open API, VoterVoice meets the needs of both small groups and large organizations with complex operations.

VoterVoice has an unmatched track record of accurately delivering messages to lawmakers. In 2022 alone, supporters of over 2,000 clients sent nearly 22 million messages to elected officials.

Learn how VoterVoice can help you make an impact at


Data Science and Research

Daniel Argyle

Writing and Production

Veronica Magan

Lydia Stowe

Product and Engineering

Paul Ellender

David Huang

Krishnaveni Reddy

Sam North

Design and Graphics

Whit Robinson

Sarah Yang

Zuma Hajiyeva