Political Campaigns ask us "How can we get an open rate higher than 40%?" Segmenting your list, sending to the right audience and sending engaging emails should be part of your long-term strategy. "Batch and blast" emails are no longer effective because email providers will delay, flag and trap senders' messages and because batched emails are often filtered by users' smart inboxes.
Personalized Emails to High Engagement Users
Start by segmenting your email lists into two groups: high engagement and low engagement. Send an email to your high engagement lists thanking them for their support before sending it to supporters with lower engagement. Every 90 days, you should further segment your lower engagement list. Remove the email addresses of people who never open your emails. Curating your list will help you achieve a higher open rate.
When spam started to become a problem, email providers looked at IP addresses to block spammers and then examined common words/phrases. Now, email providers look at your overall email health based on IP, Domain, and Open Rate. What does a spam email to 5,000 people advertising generic pharmaceuticals and a campaign email to 5,000 disengaged people have in common? They both go to spam. With Machine Learning and A.I. being introduced into Spam Filters, more nuanced details will start to affect email.
The Good, the Bad, the Bounces
Bounces happen. People get married. They change jobs. The change internet service providers.. What is important, is starting off with the lowest possible bounce rate. AOL and Yahoo shut off email accounts after 12 months of inactivity. It’s important to check your email list if you haven’t sent to it in a while. An active list from 2 years ago may be a mediocre list today. There are several services that will check your list before you even begin your messaging campaign. Target a bounce rate below 2% for the first email.
First Time Candidates
How do you start an email campaign if you're a first time candidate? It's easy, start with your friends and family. They are already on your call sheets, send them an email to help them quickly give online. Do not buy an email list. People will want to contribute to your campaign if they know you and your message. An email from a candidate they've never heard of is very similar to an email from a Nigerian Prince. Get a voter file, buy digital ads, and create a "Call To Action" to get capture email and contact info organically from voters who want to hear from you. Use Pixels to re-target website visitors with a "Call to Action". Build surveys and ask for email address.