Our poor email inboxes! If you’ve ever donated to a political campaign, yours has probably been filling up with fundraising appeals from groups you hadn’t heard about before they sent you a note. Political organizations have bought and sold lists for years, but the now-expired Google and Facebook ad bans seem to have jump-started a growth strategy that’s annoying at best and counter-productive at worst.
Other bad email practices in abundance these days? Insane volume, spammy sender/subject line combinations, ridiculous donor-match rates, insincere asks…all signs of a churn-and-burn mentality. My latest Campaigns & Elections column runs through a bunch of these tactics and explains why they can hurt the fundraisers who use them — along with everyone else in the industry. My favorite part? A selection mad-lib subject lines from one of many abusers, lovingly chosen from the seventeen messages they sent over just three days.
I’m most frustrated with groups that ought to know better, since if you do good work, you shouldn’t have to be a bad fundraiser. Check out the article for details and for alternatives to these and other bad email practices. Pro tip: if I learn about your campaign from my spam filter, that’s probably a bad sign.