Email is vital for good communications in the election process. Political campaigns need to engage with the widest audience possible. That means sending email to donors, supporters, volunteers, and voters. Want to run a successful email-driven political campaign? Start by addressing the 2 key areas where political email marketing often falls short: email data quality & email deliverability.
1. Email data: An unknown quality
Quality email data is a critical piece of the campaign contact journey. Without it, you’ll never generate the awareness, volunteer activity, and donations you need to win.
That’s because dirty data will tarnish your sender reputation and keep you out of the inbox. Poorly executed political email marketing campaigns can even taint the candidate if people think they’re being spammed.
Most campaign managers attach a specific value to their contact database. But many don’t place enough focus on email data quality. Buying and trading email lists is commonplace in the political fundraising arena. Bad data from these sources is like a flu virus. It can infect every database and campaign that comes in contact with it. Expect big problems if you’re not cleaning this data.
2. Email deliverability: Inconsistent and poorly managed
Email deliverability is a crucial metric for any organization that relies on email to communicate with its base. It’s used to measure the percentage of your emails that make it to the inbox. Did you know that 90% or more of deliverability problems stem from email data quality issues? Quite simply, poor email data quality = poor email deliverability.
B2B and B2C senders go to great lengths to get as many emails delivered to the inbox as possible. However, some extremely busy political senders are not up to speed data hygiene best practices.
Why is that? Political campaigns often rely on volunteers and have a limited amount of time to get their message out to the widest base possible. This can result in them favoring quantity over quality when it comes to email marketing. As a result, they end up deploying campaigns without making sure that their lists are clean and problem-free before hitting “send”.
Why Clean Your Political Email Marketing Data Now?
All eyes will be on local, state and national elections in 2020, beginning with presidential primary and general elections. Candidates are already making moves to separate themselves from the pack. Campaign managers, technology partners, and consultants should follow suit.
Now is the time to take steps to improve your digital engagement and campaign revenue! The first step is to get your email database into shape by identifying and removing emails that are:
- Deliverable, but bad (Spamtraps)
- Malicious or otherwise toxic to the sender’s reputation.
This will deliver more emails to the inboxes of voters who want to engage with candidates.
Essential aspects of list hygiene
You have to be careful about the email validation service you use. Most only check to see if an address is either: Valid (deliverable); or Invalid (no delivery). They do this by “pinging” the address. On it’s own, email pinging is unreliable. Many factors can skew your findings, including:
- Every spamtrap will ping as a deliverable email, so you will keep messaging it and look like a spammer
- Checking Yahoo!, AOL and Verizon addresses can return inaccurate results;
- So can checking addresses at “accept-all” domains;
- Some ISPs also block email pingers.
To improve accuracy, our email validation service uses a three-step system to:
Verify each address in real time to confirm that it’s valid and can accept mail.
Our patented spell-check technology corrects as many as seven errors in a single address and fixes any typos in your file.
We check each email address to identify and flag spamtraps and other damaging email addresses.
- Spamtraps & honeypots;
- Bogus and accept-all email addresses;
- Frequent spam complainers; and
- Those that don’t return a clear verdict (unknown).
2 steps to a cleaner campaign database
Want to maximize digital engagement and campaign donations? Clean your email database before you send your next political email marketing campaign! Here’s what’s involved:
1. Scrub your email database
Make sure that every email address in your file is safe to message. Remove bounces and weed out deliverable but potential toxic addresses like those we mentioned above. You can also expand your reach by correcting some of the typos (to the right of the @ sign) in your database.
2. Clean all newly acquired email addresses before messaging them
Once your house file is clean, make sure that all incoming email data lives up to the same quality standard BEFORE it lands in your database!
This includes all purchased, rented or shared lists, digital registrations, and emails you collect over the phone, on paper forms, or anywhere else. It only take one bad apple to spoil the bunch, so be sure to identify and secure all of your campaign’s input points. Hitting just one spamtrap could get your campaigns blocked and/or blacklisted!
There are a variety of options to help you collect clean email data at every point of entry. With FreshAddress, you can upload the new email addresses you collect in batches and add real-time email validation to your digital forms.
Check your list for free:
Want to gauge the overall quality of your political email marketing lists? Our Free List Check service is a fast, easy, and free way to do it! Use it today to scan your list for quality issues that hinder your ability to reach the inbox. If we discover major red flags, you can resolve them by using SafeToSend and other FreshAddress services.
Other political campaign database services
FreshAddress can help you tune up your other contact points as well with these services:
- Reactivate lapsed donors and add email addresses to your postal-only file to increase donations.
- Add new preferred donor emails addresses to fill in gaps in your postal-only file and update inactive emails with your donor’s current preferred email address.
- Note: These services are not for prospecting.
- Append names and postal information to your email-only file for direct mail campaigns.
- You can also use this service to segment and personalize email outreach geographically if you don’t have names and addresses.
If you are doing social media matching, such as Facebook Custom Audiences, for select political clients, FreshAddress can append emails to increase match rates for both supporter and prospecting campaigns.
The 2020 election season is already in full swing for many campaigns. Start today to make sure one of your most valuable assets – your email database – is ready to work at top speed to help you achieve your goals.