Creative marketing and the American way: DocuSigning Declaration of Independence campaign

Another episode of the Funnelholic’s endless search for creative fun campaigns brings us to a recent campaign from DocuSign, one of the leaders in the Esignature space. I occasionally email Meagen Eisenberg from DocuSign with crazy marketing ideas for them.  I sent her an idea and she responded with “Check this out” with a link to this Spirit of Liberty campaign.  I loved it so she connected me with Gregor Perotto from their marketing and Voila – a new post is born.

CliffsNotes version of the campaign:

DocuSign teamed up with The Spirit of Liberty Foundation to let Americans electronically sign the Declaration of Independence.  The Spirit of Liberty Foundation is a great cause. Here is their mission from their website:

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation was formed to raise funds and to assist in the restoration and maintenance of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  After the restoration was completed and as a result of 9/11, the Foundation’s mission was changed to enhance the meaning and importance of liberty.

 In 2005 the Foundation’s name was changed to The Spirit of Liberty Foundation to reflect its broader mission – enhancing the meaning of Liberty and to support our Armed Forces, with emphasis on Wounded Warriors, fallen heroes, and their Families.


A year ago, DocuSign ran a really cool photo sharing campaign encouraging their customers to send their “interesting stories” on where they’ve DocuSigned. (editor note: This is actually another great campaign idea and the idea that I sent to Meagen.  Not surprisingly I was a year late but hey, great minds think alike)  The campaign unearthed some great stories such as a woman DocuSigning when in labor, another signing from the bathroom in Olive Garden while her daughter used the facilities and more.  The runner-up story in the competition was about an active military man stationed in Afghanistan who “DocuSigned” his mortgage papers from Afghanistan.  According to Gregor, DocuSign has a number of active military personnel handling their affairs around the world. Pretty cool huh?  As a result, The Spirit of Liberty Foundation came to DocuSign to help them with the Declaration of Independence campaign. That is known in hip hop as “game recognize game”

The campaign:

DocuSign and the Spirit of Liberty set up a website and kicked off the campaign with kiosks at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.  Basically, people can put their “John Hancock” next to John Hancock’s.  I love this tagline for a company trying to automate the “John Hancock”.

Here is the flow:

1.       Easy 1-2-3 process to get involved

2.      Once you e-sign, you receive A copy of the Declaration of Independence with your name on it in email

Now, here comes the viral marketing part:

People shared pictures of themselves and other DocuSigning the DOI, including famous politicos like James Carville and Mitt Romney’s 5 sons. (The Funnelholic is not publicly political so both pictures are posted in no particular order)

DocuSign started a Facebook photo album for everyone to share their experiences with friends and family and for DocuSign to share with customers, employees, and future customers.

Everyone appreciates a great campaign so the Twitter-love flowed

I love these types of campaigns.  Here are some of my takeaways:

1.      It’s always great marketing AND very rewarding to align yourself with a cause.

2.      I love how the product experience was integrated into the process. If you have never DocuSigned, you should. Once you do, you will never turn back. I am one of those people – I turn anything I can into electronic signature now.  It’s fast, no fax machines, and an accepted form of signature by even the toughest legal departments.  In other words, DocuSigning the DOI was a gateway drug.  A large number of these folks will be turned on to electronic signatures forever and DocuSign knows this.

3.      Electronic signatures are a viral product. Viral products mean every person or organization you bring on will bring others with them.  Let me give two personal examples.  I am working on paperwork with my bank.  My contact sends me a bunch of paperwork which I DocuSign and send back to her via DocuSign. She has to sign on to counter sign.  She is now onboarded into the app.  Example 2:  I use DocuSign when I sell. I sent a contract to a client via DocuSign.  Next phone call I spend 20 minutes with the contact telling me how she loves the product and wants to invest.  Viral.

4.      Fun, out-of-the-box experiences become viral.  DocuSign will add more social sharing features as the campaign progresses, but what they found was people were sharing their experiences such as sharing pictures anyway.  Everyone asks me “How do I encourage my people to share my content?”  The answer: “Affect them”.  In this campaign, mission accomplished.

Kudos to DocuSign. I hope this spurs some great ideas for you next campaign.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

  • This is an awesome example how an early-ish startup company can give back.

    We just came back from Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference and to hear Benioff get up on stage and share how 1% of everything does goes to charity was pretty special. We’re still weighing the most optimal ways to give back. Creative marketing campaigns are a great idea and one we haven’t explored as much.

    Jon Birdsong
    Director of Marketing