Or, as Neal Carter would say, Campaign 101. As the Senate and House races take shape and candidates get to work, I’m going to try to post interesting articles on the nuts and bolts of various aspects of a good - or not so good - campaign machine. Yesterday, I saw this piece on avoiding your blast emails being trapped in spam hell. The fancy term is “deliverability.” Worth a read for the hard core campaign nerds out there.
Deliverability is an issue affecting nearly every campaign to some degree. Still, many candidates go through their races having no idea there’s even a problem with their mass email communication. Without recognizing the issue, they aren’t able to defend against it.
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If your email program breaks out statistics by Internet service provider (ISP), you can see if there’s a problem from a sudden drop off in deliverability. But in general, you can keep an eye on overall open and click rates, and pay attention if they suddenly nose dive. If you haven’t done a list cleaning in a while (or ever), or if you have had poor opt-in email practices, it’s a good bet that you have a deliverability problem now with one or more ISPs. The good news is that there are ways to fix this.
I particularly like the last of the nine suggestions. Bigger is not better as to email lists - bad practices turn a poorly managed list into spam very quickly.
It’s better to have a smaller list of engaged supporters than a large list that isn’t even receiving your messages, because they’re going directly to the spam folder. Cutting your list can seem scary, but it can translate to more votes, volunteers, and money if done right.