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Is the President Sending You Emails? Marketing Tips from the Presidential Campaign

Is the President Sending You Emails? Marketing Tips from the Presidential Campaign

Check out this great blog by Jenn Mayer, as she explains how to be successful at email marketing.

As November looms closer and closer, talk of the presidential campaign is louder than ever. In this age, candidates don’t just campaign through televised debates and rallies. Rather, they take advantage of digital, email, and text message campaigns – just as you should. Their hits and misses in digitally interacting with their supporters can teach us a lot about how to manage our marketing campaigns.

President Obama was known as the “first social media president”. His use of social media, email, and mobile outreach allowed him to motivate supporters in a way that normally would have required an army of volunteers stationed around the country. His campaign relied so much on the Internet that Ariana Huffington, editor in chief of the Huffington Post, said “Were it not for the Internet, Barack Obama would not be president.”

In 2012, Obama’s Republican opponents have adopted his strategies in the form of intense e-mail marketing. This infographic ( compares the last four Republican candidates standing and their email tendencies. Now that the primary is essentially over, with Mitt Romney as the likely candidate, we can analyze this infographic and see what might have helped Mitt win, and then apply that to your email marketing campaigns.

First, Mr. Romney’s e-mails were among the shortest of the field. The take away? Keep your emails reasonably short, while including relevant and attention-grabbing information. Your reader’s want to learn something from your message, but remember that they have lots of other e-mails to wade through.

Another important part of e-mail marketing is pushing your reader to your social media sites. Mitt Romney included links to his Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and personal website in his emails, while Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul did not include any. Allowing readers to continue onto your other sites makes it easier for them to form a bond with your brand and ultimately, decide to buy.

One mistake that Mitt Romney did make was sending out emails for his campaign from many different people. His campaign sent out messages from fifteen different people, while Santorum used only five. Most people decide whether or not to delete an email based on if they know the sender. Keep the message for your brand clear, and make sure the “From” line stays consistent.

Perhaps the most important part of email marketing is to encourage your readers to make a purchase from you. In the case of politicians, they want not only votes, but campaign donations. Rick Santorum’s emails explicitly requested a donation 92% of the time, while Mitt Romney’s did only 72% of the time. This might be a reflection of where they stood in the campaign – Santorum was the underdog, and needed funds to continue the fight. While you want to call your readers to action, some people are put off by too hard of a sell, especially when it’s in their personal inbox rather than TV or print ads. Similarly, voters need to learn about the candidate and trust him before they will be willing to donate to his cause. Lure your readers with why they should buy from you before you push them to do so.

In many ways, buying a car is similar to choosing whom to vote for. Both decisions are important, and will effect the next four to eight years of your life (or more!). Take a page out of the President’s book, and watch your sales increase.

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Tags: ad, advertising, agency, automotive, car, company, dealership, marketing


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Comment by Tom Gorham on June 1, 2012 at 12:44pm

Paul Potratz, I appreciate the advice in many ways.  I NEVER talk politics in business.  But the effectiveness of campaigns is a different story.  All of the campaigns must learn one lesson that is also good for businesses.  Don't overkill!

If a constituent contributes today, don't tell him tomorrow that it's life or death that he contributes again right now!  FORGET IT! It shows no appreciation for what he just did.

These political campaigns may seem sophisticated but they're not.  They could learn from what WE do everyday!

I receive a request for money from different political personas everyday and they are all sooooo urgent.  It is overkill and makes me want to delete, delete, delete....

Coordinate!  It is called multi-platform advertising. 

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