The last few days of September were wild.
Typically, most weeks preceding any end-of-quarter fundraising push are. But with Election Day right around the corner, it was especially intense.
Activists, pundits, and politicos talk on and on about the “keys to victory” but let’s make one thing abundantly clear: All of those keys require money…and lots of it.
With just a few weeks remaining before the November 4th election, the campaigns that raced to the end-of-quarter fundraising deadline as if their very existence depended on it are those most likely to be best positioned for the final full month of GOTV that remains in Election Year 2014.
But why is end-of-quarter fundraising so important? Why can’t every day bring in new donations at such a rapid clip? Simple: The end-of-quarter provides campaigns with the number one motivation donors need to give: urgency. As the days, hours, and minutes tick down, you’re able to clearly define why it’s so important to get involved immediately.
It also provides a very telling examination of the campaigns that “get it” versus those who do not. The latter group is typically comprised of campaigns who:
- Fail to make digital a priority. Not investing appropriately and not utilizing the available platforms.
- Steal lists and spam. Rather than building a reputable, opt-in list, they take shortcuts to compile a massive database of names — which net them zero results, and plenty of headaches (no one enjoys being kicked off of one email platform after another).
- Consider their digital outlets as a source for preaching to like-minded folks instead of making powerful asks for support, and donations.
The campaigns that “get it”, on the other hand, are committed to:
- Building a strong digital following and making online outreach a priority on the campaign.
- Investing in proven strategies for building an email file. Digital advertising, social media polls/petitions/surveys, and cross-platform data management.
- Utilizing all available digital resources to engage in meaningful conversations that inspire action, and achieve campaign goals.
See the difference? Above all else, the most critical lesson to be learned is that building an opt-in email list is essential for success.
Tomorrow, we’ll be releasing a study of over 1,000 voters asking how many political email mailing lists they are subscribed to. It’s an absolutely fascinating insight into how much opportunity remains in online outreach.