Of the various marketing tools within the digital landscape, email is one that receives less interest from the media than it may deserve. The direct access that a candidate obtains from being in a potential voter’s inbox rivals the best marketing techniques around.
Email-based marketing has matured from its early iterations in the Howard Dean presidential campaign of 2004. He may have been a few years ahead of the curve; today, a digital presence, anchored by a strong email strategy, is integral to the success of any national campaign.
The well-covered developments in big data, targeting and cross-platform marketing have greatly increased the efficiency seen with email marketing. Voters are targeted with more appropriate messaging.
Jason Kelly, president of email marketing firm LiveIntent, pointed out to Red, White & Blog that a “five million email target segment could have as many as 290 different email subject lines, each catered to a specific tranche of that email list.”
Increasingly important is standardizing emails for responsive display on any sort of mobile device. With 67% of emails opened on mobile, a successful email-marketing campaign must be focused on the user rather than on the device.
A demographic of importance in the email-marketing field is the baby-boomer and older generation. There has been some buzz around the higher rate of donations from AOL.com email addresses -- which are mostly owned by older users. Despite only 4% of political email list subscribers having AOL emails, a Fluent study (conducted in November/December 2015) saw those addresses account for 22% of donations.
The average donation from an AOL account is, according to the Fluent study, $159. Whereas, despite being used by 44% of political email subscribers, Gmail addresses account for only 13% of donations, averaging $31.
Other opportunities in the email-marketing space include serving political ads in publisher newsletters. Candidates are able to target a politically interested and informed section of the electorate by working with firms such as LiveIntent, which serve ads within email newsletters.
“Without the ad blocking that you can use on Web sites, email advertisements are more likely to be seen and engaged with,” says Kelly.
With many potential voters receiving 10+ political emails per day, the reach afforded to email is hard to ignore. The more campaigns spend, the more they will ask for donations and the more emails will be delivered.
Separately, on the more traditional political front, Telemundo, in partnership with CNN and the Salem Media Group, will host a GOP debate in Houston, Texas this Thursday. The debate is slated to run from 8:30 p.m. - 11 p.m. Eastern Time. It will be the first and only RNC-sanctioned debate on a Spanish-language network. This is the last encounter between Republican presidential hopefuls before Super Tuesday, when 12 states, including Colorado and Texas, choose their GOP nominee.