Recently, we conducted a study of over 1,000 voters asking: “How many different political email mailing lists are you subscribed to?” The vast majority of respondents (71%) were not subscribed to any political email lists.
This highlights the important need to reach out beyond your inner circle of die-hard Republicans and grassroots activists. Digital should never be a computerized representation of who you see at your local county party meeting or state convention.
These insiders and activists will be on many lists (6.3% of respondents reported subscribing to four or more political email lists) and represent a core group that is flooded with countless fundraising emails over the final 72 hours of any fundraising quarter. Clearly, these people who receive literally dozens (if not hundreds) of solicitations and appeals for last-minute cash, are not your target donors.
Instead, individual campaigns should look to build their lists beyond consultants, insiders, and pundits to donors and supporters with whom you have developed personal relationships — key stakeholders in your district or state who will give you their full attention when you click “send” on your end-of-quarter emails.
This also highlights why stealing emails and borrowing lists is ineffective. In the end, you’re going to see two things happen:
- You’re going to get high spam/unsubscribe rates because these people have never expressed interest in hearing from you, don’t know who you are, and genuinely don’t care.
- You’re going to be competing with the campaigns you’re borrowing lists from and handicapping your chances for success.
You should be focused on building your list the right way. Doing so will reduce your spam/unsubscribe rate. It will improve your open-rates and click-through-rates, ensuring that your message and appeals are seen by the right voters and/or donors. And, it will enable you to raise more dollars from more donors in the long run.
So which way is it going to be? More half-hearted attempts to scrape a list together, or a committed effort to excel?
Your fundraising — and your election — may be on the line, so choose wisely.