Election Emails and the Best Practices of Politics

Mariana Santiago, Email Marketer, marianawrites LLC

Presented by: ​Mariana Santiago, Email Marketer, marianawrites LLC

The American political system and email marketing have been intertwined since they discovered fundraising through email. Best practices and relevant tips.

Mariana Santiago 0:16
Hello, and welcome to elections and email. No, it doesn’t have to be spammy. Yeah, you should care. My name is Mariana Santiago. And you can find me at St hardening gmail.com. I’m a freelance email strategist, with a knack for writing really good email copy. And I’m someone who spends a lot of time paying attention to American politics. If you to pay attention, any attention whatsoever, really, to American politics, you’re probably on at least one would be politician or actual elected officials list of email subscribers. Even if you don’t, you still likely received at least one email from someone running for office since before November. Likely having read some of these emails, many of which are poorly written, many of which are poorly designed, many of which go to people who just don’t want to be emailed. You might ask yourself, why should I care about American American elections in email? Isn’t it all just spam from power hungry politicians? And the answer to that is, you should care. Because public policy affects the real lives of real people. Elections control public policy, and money. Not entirely, but to a disconcerting extent, controls American elections. This 2014 headline from the Washington Post says it all money wins elections, and emails make money. To illustrate this point. Let me tell you a story about t men you might have heard of former president brock obama and now deceased war hero, john mccain. Before Barack Obama was a former president, he was once upon a time a first time senator in his only his fourth year serving in all political office on the national level. And he was running a presidential race against a man with served on the national level for more than two decades, place as a house Rep. And four times as one of the Arizona senators. You think Barack Obama would have been at a disadvantage, right? Considering the other candidate had a far greater amount of experience on the national level? Wrong. That’s not how it played out. brock obama’s fundraising team to know famously incredible job of getting broth fancy music to win the election. And Obama outrageous McCain by a massive amount. How did his team do that? through the internet, and the majority of funds donated digitally, or from email marketing. What does this teach us? It tells us that even when the odds are against us on paper, if you raise a lot more money than your opponent does, you’re still likely to win the race. And it tells us that you know, marketing is one of the best ways to raise money. Just in case you wanted a few more numbers. brock obama raised $690 million over the internet, exclusively in 2012. And 500 million of that came from email. And sure, if you want your preferred candidate twin, you should consider developing some sort of email marketing programme for that candidate. To that end, we’re going to talk about a few things today. In regards to best practices when it comes to campaign email marketing programmes. We’ll cover best practices in email design, email, copywriting, email strategy, and email list building. We’ll also briefly go over the legal implications of running an email marketing programme as part of a campaign to an American political office. Because Contrary to popular belief, there are indeed regulations when it comes to digital marketing is a bad idea not to be prepared. By the end of the session, you should have a better understanding of best practices, and election email marketing, and you might even feel prepared to make a contribution to this grand society. by volunteering for a candidate you believe in. Or if you’re planning on running yourself, you should feel empowered to implement your own email marketing programme. Let’s start with list building. As you may or may not know, many states allow you to buy voter lists. That is long list featuring information, possibly possibly not including email addresses, about people were stripped of vote in that state have various requirements on who’s eligible to buy Federalists out less and less of the email addresses attached, just had to email those lists. You’re not in violation of can spam and you’re not in violation of law. We’ll get to why it’s a good idea and the second Don’t worry. So to quote an interview with FTC attorney Christopher Brown, the can spam Act applies only to commercial email, whether sent individually or in bulk. It doesn’t apply to non commercial bulk email. Furthermore, political messages are protected under the First Amendment. One might ask if fundraising emails cross the commercial line. But that’s a that’s a discussion for another time.

But just like jello, Wrestling 1980s bullets and wearing crocs to a first date, just because it’s legal, get a good idea. In fact, building your subscriber list based upon records from purchase voter lists is not a good idea. Here’s why. Many DSPs will kick you off their platform if they realise you’re building a list or uploading a list, not based upon explicit consent. Even if the purchases list was so legal, that the literal actual government itself was involved in the sale. Secondly, it’s just not a good idea to email people who don’t want to be emailed, who aren’t expecting your emails, and you haven’t signed up for your emails. It’s rude and it’s kind of a bad marketing strategy. And if nothing else, campaigning is an exercise in marketing. Here’s a few ideas on other ways to grow a candidates email subscriber list, offer a lead magnet, you could do a one sheet or listing or candidates views. A list of reasons explaining why your candidate is better than the other candidate. You can offer to send a bumper sticker to everyone who signs up for your email list and then you get the added bonus of visibility. The possibilities are endless. Another idea, collect email addresses at in person events. If all goes according to plan, we’ll all one day be vaccinated in congri in public again, when that happens, you can hold campaign rallies, you can go to local festivals, you can go to public events, kiss babies, shake hands, whatever. But when you’re out and about collect email addresses. The third thing I’d like to say is that you should really place a form above the fold on his her or their campaign website. You’d be shocked at how many candidates make it difficult to find the subscriber form or to opt in to their email subscriber list. The Joe Biden Kony 20 campaign, for example, place their form in the very footer of their homepage, which is a Yikes. a better idea is to place the form above the fold on the website. So people can opt in as soon as they get to the website. And you might even want to use a pop up. Let’s talk email strategy. Let’s say you’ve gotten yourself a decent sized list. And you’re now thinking long term strategy. If you’re thinking in terms of automations or workflows don’t automations and workflows work beautifully for e commerce, email marketing programmes, bgb, email marketing programmes, subscription programmes, SAS or technology, email marketing programmes, the list goes on. But they don’t work as well for political campaign email marketing programmes, for a few reasons. First, it’s easy to set and forget email workflows. You design them, you write them, you automate them, and you go on with your life. Grateful you’ll never again have to manually send a birthday email. The problem though, with setting and forgetting something in the context of a campaign for public office, is that things change quickly. In campaigns. Candidates are expected to respond to the news of the day, and working scandals and other funds arises quickly. And given that those things typically aren’t planned, it’s difficult to set up automations around them. So we’ll leave the workflows aside. And let’s set up a store and you plan on using the proceeds to fund your campaign. In which case Sure, go ahead and set up an abandoned cart flow. But besides that, here are four types of emails. I suggest you emphasise in your campaign email strategy. Volunteer organisation, your email subscriber list is a great place to find potential volunteers. If you’ve built your list using content based practices as I should just do, but if you do that, you literally have a list of people interested to hear from you on a daily basis. Which means there has to be somebody in there who cares enough about your candidate to canvass, they hand out flyers command events. Whenever you’re looking for people like that had to email us. Secondly, email newsletters, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of sending emails to your subscriber list. No matter how small or large it is, update the people who care enough about your campaigns and subscriber only because you didn’t buy our lists, right?

Number three, get out the vote emails. If you want people to vote for you, or your campaign, or your candidate, you’re going to have to remind them to vote for you. One of the best ways to do this is email people reminders, which essentially forces them not to forget, send your subscribers reminders of when they’re supposed to vote for you. Send them links to resources, helping them identify which location they’re supposed to cast their vote at. Connect volunteers, you recruited via email to people who need rides to the polls, get out the vote with the help of email marketing, and you can get into public office. And last, but certainly not least, direct response style fundraising. This is the king of all reasons for political email. Email is one of the big bucks are friends. And if email is not a major part of your campaign fundraising strategy, you’re not doing everything that you can to guarantee your candidates web link to a payment processor, like act blue, or win read. In every fundraising email you said, better yet, linked to the specific donation amount on your email list into specific donation amounts has been proven to increase overall donation rates. So it’s a strategy worth pursuing. Alright, we’ve got a list, we’ve got a strategy. Now we’ve actually got to write the emails. Here’s a few quick tips on how to write email copy that your subscribers will actually want to read. And with a little luck, how to write emails that will inspire your subscribers to open their wallets. First, don’t apologise for emailing your subscribers. I’ve seen quite a few political kept emails with copy that reads something like I’m sorry for asking you to donate again or sorry for my fifth message today ball but that’s bad. Well, here’s a basic set principle of sales and marketing that you can apply to fundraiser. If you act like you’re on the wrong for asking for something, people will believe you’re wrong for asking for something. ask for donations without begging or apologise. I know what your candidates worth. And you shouldn’t be ashamed of trying to get them into office, too to write about your voters needs, not about your candidates heroism. There’s a misconception among many people interested in running for public office. And the best way to win that public office is to remind everyone in their district of all the wonders they brought to life, and everything they’ve ever done. That sounds impressive. is bad, free, no. Copy. Your voters care about themselves, not about your candidates resume. Talk about your candidates accomplishments, in terms of what these accomplishments suggest your candidate might be able to do for the voters. And not in terms of how amazing your candidate is. And third, I’d like to remind you that they’re not idiots. They’re your neighbours. So the customer is not a moron. She’s your wife is a quote well known amongst copywriters attributed to advertisings message master David Ogilvy, with a little reworking we can apply that quote to the situation. When you’re reading a campaign emails, remember that the people who will be reading those emails are your neighbours, literally not figuratively, as you should live in the district you’re wanting to represent. They’re not idiots. Don’t talk down to them, and be honest with them. Okay, so we’ve written like a copy for our campaign emails, and now we need to design them. If you’re coming from the land of e commerce, particularly cosmetics or fashion, you might be thinking in terms of glossy photos, photos, images, whatever. Stop doing that. This is the world of campaign fundraising. And the name of the game is accessibility. Accessibility is the single most important factor and campaign email design. That’s because everyone needs to be able to read your campaign emails, because everyone should be able to get the information they need in order to decide whether or not they want to vote for your candidate. And the best way to ensure that they get the information they need to decide, yes, that’s the person I want an office is by giving it to them yourself through email. Moreover, if your emails are unreadable to people with visual disabilities or any other sort of disability whether it helps Not that’s a form of discrimination by making information available to people who need adaptive technologies, your district meeting against them. Discrimination is not a good look on people running for political office, so don’t worry.

Here’s a few brief tips on accessibility. run your test emails to a screen reader before you send them to the general public. Make sure the text can be read out loud, clearly and understandably. To that end, be careful with your use of punctuation and avoid misspellings. Even intentional misspellings. Even if you think was spelling word on progress will make our email seem more folksy or humble or whatever. Screen readers don’t always parse misspellings as well and odd and they don’t parse our choices and punctuation easily. And there’s no reason you should make it any more difficult than the absolutely necessary to screen readers to understand your message. Moving along, let’s briefly discuss the legal and financial implications of email marketing for political campaigns. Or put another way, your campaign reporting obligations regarding our email marketing programme. And unfortunately, you cannot embark upon an email marketing programme without having to deal with campaign finance or reporting laws. What does email marketing have to do with campaign reporting you might ask? Well, if you plan on fundraising through email what you should be, you’re going to garner donations, donations, we’ll send them what says they were and how they were processed, or all things election Commission’s want to know about. So be sure to keep track of what you’re raising and where it’s coming from. Moreover, if you’re using an ESP, but you should be as you shouldn’t be emailing hundreds 1000s 10s of 1000s or more people from your personal Gmail account, you’re going to have to pay for that ESP. If you’re hiring email marketing consultants, you’re going to have to pay them. And if they’re kind enough to volunteer, you should really consider reporting the time spent on your campaign. As an in kind donation, ensure keep receipts, document everything, hire an accountant, and check in with your jurisdictions Election Commission. In general, it’s a good idea to make a good faith effort to follow the law. That’s everything I have pradel Thanks for coming to elections in email notice naturally spammy and yesterday here. I hope you’re feeling motivated to find a political campaign that you believe in to volunteer or work for, and I hope you’re feeling confident that you’ll be able to make a contribution. campaigns don’t run without money, and these days isn’t enough.