Eric Cantor’s Eyes: A Post-Election Democratic Fundraising Email Stands Out

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The Usual Suspects moved quickly as news spread of Eric Cantor’s sudden fall in Tuesday’s primary election: my inbox filled fast with fundraising messages from the Democratic party committees, outside political funding groups, individual candidates and more. But one DNC message stood out from its peers, both in the catchiness of its subject line and the drama its content conveyed. Let’s look at what made it stick in my mind.

First, the subject line: “Congressman Eric Cantor”. Damn! I didn’t know you COULD put struck-out text in an email subject, so this one got my eye right away. Plus, it’s a simple and clever way to get a message across that Democrats were in a mood to celebrate.

Next, the actual content, in this case one one BIG image (actually seven big images in a column, but who’s quibbing), something that I’ve seen groups trying more lately. Most of us who’ve run email lists normally advise against all-image emails, in part because some email systems don’t display graphics automatically. Imagery can also cause problems on cell phones, though in this case you’ll see that they used big text to avoid one of the common mobile pitfalls.

I like the imagery in this case because it’s dramatic and it tells a story visually — it’s a like a film montage rendered in static, vertical form. It’s immediately dramatic and compelling, and it’s instantly distinguishable from the mass of nearly identical, text-heavy fundraisers that barraged my inbox around the same time. The message simply stands out, from the subject line to the content.

Of course, results are all that matters, and I’d be curious to see what kind of open rate this message yielded and the donations it brought in. Was it unusually successful? Was its success due to the design factors described above, or would ANY message from the DNC in such a moment have performed equally well? In any case, see what you think: the big image is below, and here’s the “donate” link if you want to check out the landing page as well.

DNC fundraising email sent after Eric Cantor's primary defeat

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