Short headlines, text (not HTML) emails, clear messaging, and different perspectives. That’s what the two major campaigns are doing.
To get people to open, candidates are using subject lines that are short and sweet. As seen on ClickZ, the candidates have used very simple subject lines such as "Appalling" and "Imagine." According to a MailerMailer study, it was found that open rates were 5.1% higher for subject lines under 35 characters and that click through rates were 1.7% better. See the study.
Interestingly, the politicians are publishing primarily using text-based emails, not nicely designed HTML. There could be a number of reasons, but they focus on a personal style, typically with a couple text links for calls to action (e.g. volunteer in your town today) and usually one graphical link.
If nothing else, the email needs to be clear and to the point, and candidates are sticking to one simple point in each email. For example, Obama announced his clear response to McCain’s personal attacks with a single email with a link to Obama’s video about McCain and the Keating scandal. The call to action is clear – watch the video and tell your friends.
Change it up with different perspectives
While the candidates have had a history of using, at times, too many variations of their From address, they offer a variety of perspectives by sending email from other supporters, spouses, or appropriate individuals. Recipients don’t always connect with the person speaking, so by changing the writer the recipient may end up connecting better with someone else, and ultimately support the overall position as a result.
Read more about email marketing in the 2008 political sphere:
- The Real Presidential Debate: What’s Up With Candidates’ Email Campaigns?
(You’ll need to create an account with MediaPost to see this one.)
October 1, 2008
- Learning From the Presidential Race in Your Inbox
September 3, 2008
- Why the presidential candidates flunked the email test