Part 1: Signing up for the emails
Ouch – the Labour Party is in hot water today following a personalised direct mail campaign that felt way too targeted for some of the cancer patients who received it!
Direct mail then is not having its best day. But how are the three major parties measuring up in their use of email marketing campaigns to deliver their message, communicate their values and win votes?
Are they targeting their advocates, preaching to the converted, persuading dissenters, or blanket-spreading their good words?
The digital election
The BBC’s technology correspondent Rory-Cellan Jones recently blogged that the Conservatives had told him they had what they believed was ‘the biggest e-mail database in this election’, enabling them to send their messages direct to nearly half a million people.
Labour, says Rory, claim its e-mails are more targeted, typically reaching 20,000 people at a time.
So we decided to find out for ourselves, sign up and see just how effectively the three main parties are using the email channel to build and communicate with their database of potential voters.
In true non-partisan style, we applied our renowned ‘Hitting the Mark’ best practice scoring criteria to the process of signing up on the parties’ homepages.
Getting the email sign up process right
This is the first hurdle for the parties to clear in the ‘email election’ race, and it’s a crucial one. Too many marketers miss tricks here and get it wrong, restricting their database building capacity.
We looked for which party makes it easiest and quickest to sign up for their emails and collects enough information to personalise (by name) and segment (by locality) for initial messaging.
The results are in (no waiting till 4am in the morning, here).
The Email Election results as they stand
So at this kick-off stage the Lib Dems have swung into an early surge! But a week is a long time in politics – let alone in digital marketing. The true test will be in the emails that actually get sent to us.
Make sure you subscribe to our blog RSS feed (at the top right of this page) or follow us on Twitter to keep up with this series!
To see samples of the email sign-up screens and thank you messages we assessed, click here.