Archive for October 2nd, 2006

More on Delivering Emails to Congress

Hi folks, GetActive has very politely asked that I pull down the numbers I’d posted yesterday on their delivery rates, both because they’re preliminary and for reasons of industry competition. To be neighborly, I’ve done so, though I may caution them that anything that goes out over email to hundreds of clients is likely to get reprinted SOMEWHERE, if not here. To sum up their piece, they say that their clients’ messages ARE getting through, via web-form or fax if not directly through email (they tailor their system to connect via online form for those congressional offices who’ve stopped accepting direct emails). They also say that they’ll be releasing their delivery rate numbers in a study later in the year.

As I said before, I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more about this one, seeing as email was the first online persuasive tool to be widely adopted and is still central to most larger advocacy groups’ online strategy. At NET, we’ve been using GetActive’s fax-if-email-unavailable feature for about the past year. And remember, if you have the resources, you can always print messages out and deliver them directly. Of course, the real question is what happens to that email once it reaches the office, not whether it gets there.

cpd

2 comments October 2nd, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

More Problems with Email Advocacy

Jeffrey Birnbaum’s K Street Confidential column in today’s Post looks at the problems involved in sending mass emails to Congress, including the fact that many messages never get through and that staff don’t put much stock in those that do. A study last year by the Congressional Management Foundation has already made this point, and new research by Capitol Advantage (which reader Sonja has helpfully found on their site) reinforces it:

Now we know that these efforts are working well. According to the Capitol Advantage study, six of the 10 leading companies that run Web sites that send e-mails for interest groups failed to deliver even half of those e-mails through their systems.

Of course, Birnbaum reports that other vendors are disputing the results, but it’s clear that emails to Congress on their own have an effect ranging from negligible to none. They can help with an integrated legislative strategy, and they can be more effective when aimed at corporate, agency or state targets, but we’ve pretty much poisoned the well when it comes to Congress. Like so many things in life, the harder something is to do, the more value it’s perceived to have, and emails are just too easy to send.

cpd

2 comments October 2nd, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us


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