We’re now only eight weeks from Midterm elections which are arguably the most consequential and supercharged in memory. Unless you’ve been in a cryogenic state for the past twenty months, that hyperbole needs no explanation.
Parties and pols make extensive use of the email channel. It’s fast, flexible, cheap and — put to its most common use — reliably drives fund-raising. With access to appropriate data, political mailers can segment, target and personalize based on voter location and behavior. Political email’s only major downside? Its spam rates are often grossly elevated. Why? Because political email is exempted from CAN-SPAM regulations, with the consequence that many political emailers don’t observe subscriber opt-in and other email marketing best practices relating to audience, contact and message optimization.
Political organizations and candidates email robustly on both sides of the aisle. Updating our previous (March 2018) analysis, we took another look at this activity for the thirty-day period ending September 11th. Activity and performance metrics vary widely.
For the Democrats
We again looked at domains of three entities representing the national party:
- The Democratic National Committee (Democrats.org)
- The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC.org)
- The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC.org)
The table below provides activity and performance data for each. All three have large overall email audiences; the two larger of those at or about 3-5 times the size of the smallest. All three are mailing heavily, especially the DCCC, which supports congressional candidates across the nation, in races where the stakes are highest this year. Inbox performance is problematic, but read rates are above average to moderate, and generally improved from our look last March.
As reflected in their subject lines, mailing themes are issues-based: (e.g., “SIGN ON: Stop Kavanaugh;” “The GOP is going after people with pre-existing conditions”), and urgently stated (e.g., “BEGGING you, Keith;” “Our democracy hangs in the balance;” “Special interest cash is POURING in;” “Trump PANICKING”). As is customary, all body content includes strong fund-raising appeals. “Proxy” senders abound; e.g., Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Adam Schiff, James Carville (his subject line: “Trump SCREWED”), Hillary Clinton, John Lewis, John Kerry.