In today’s blog post, I provide four examples of how not to run your email marketing, based on U.S. presidential campaigns. I will also provide four tips for the campaigns on how to improve their efforts, which I think many marketers can learn from as well. I tried to keep this blog post as politically neutral as possible, which turned out to be easier than I thought when I started since most of the efforts were pretty poor.
The 72-day study of presidential campaign email marketing
I enjoy David Meerman Scott’s use of U.S. presidential campaigns as marketing case studies in his blog posts. I agree with him that the lessons learned can be applied by all organizations. Inspired by this and with my focus on email marketing at MarketingSherpa, I signed up on March 7 to receive emails from each U.S. presidential candidate: President Barack Obama, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. (Please note Newt Gingrich did not provide an opportunity to register for email alerts.)
I consider the need for candidates to win over my vote for president of the United States to be a complex sale, and I correlate it with the long sales cycles of B2B organizations. After watching my inbox fill up over 72 days, here is what I discovered from my unscientific study of the candidates’ email campaigns as related to B2B email marketing best practices. Unfortunately, the experiment turned into mostly what not to do.