My friend Charles Lenchner has a fascinating new obsession — he’s keeping track of advocacy emails from MoveOn.org and publishing them for the larger advocacy community to check out. The goal? To study an unusually effective list and get an idea of their tactics over time, including subject lines, content, narrative arcs and all of the other elements that go into a successful email campaign.
Of course, it’s almost impossible to get a full picture from the vantage point of a single recipient because MoveOn segments its list, sending different messages to different people depending on their interests, demographics, location or past actions on behalf of the organization (anyone trying to follow the Obama campaign’s email outreach in 2008 had the same problem). Still, Charles’s project has the potential to be a great resource for the broader advocacy community and a learning tool for all of us struggling to break through the inbox clutter and get our messages read. Nice work!