Political campaigns today are more complex due not only to restrictions on fundraising but also because more mediums are available to capture voter attention and loyalty. In addition to candidate door-to-door visits, pep rallies, televised debates, telephone calls, and billboard ads, the internet can now be added to the outreach repertoire of many campaigns.
Email campaigns have gained popularity not only for their time and cost efficiency but their ability to reach a large number of voters. There are several benefits that result from the use of email to gain votes.
Many political candidates maintain websites which include a link for voter registration as well as an option to subscribe to their newsletter or news alert service. It is from this process that a list of interested voters is formed. Obtaining email addresses through other means may be construed as spamming and should be avoided at all costs to maintain trust with the general voting community.
An ideal way to gain voter allegiance is through email campaigns, due to their unobtrusive nature in comparison to phone calls and literature that inundates mailboxes. This form gives the voter the option to receive the message by simply looking at the subject line or quickly scanning the body of the email from a political candidate. Additionally, with the aid of email marketing software, messages can be personalized using names and demographics regarding their interest in particular political issues. This can assist a candidate with connecting to potential voters and capturing their attention with what interests them.
As previously mentioned, email campaigns have the ability to reach the masses in very little time and with relatively low-cost. Announcements regarding fundraising events or speaking engagements can easily be promoted to interested individuals through email. Additionally, people can be directed back to the candidate’s website with a simple click-through to read more about the candidate’s position on a variety of issues. A poll can easily be conducted as well using email campaigns.
Email campaigns can also be used to reach other large groups of people without spamming them with unsolicited campaign messages. Various political organizations such as a college’s Democrat or Republican clubs are natural sources of subscribers for a candidate’s emailing list.
Additionally, there are individuals who are temporarily residing away from their district, city, state or country, who can easily be contacted through email. They preserve the right to vote, as long as they keep some sort of residence and should be included in political campaigns in their area. For example, those in the military can receive messages from a political hopeful with reports from their home town or district. This could be to the advantage of the candidate in that they may gain a vote because they were conscious of the need for a military person to stay informed and in touch with news from home.
The continued use of email permission marketing can foster an ongoing relationship with voters. This is especially important if the campaign takes places over a long period of time or in different stages. For larger elections, email campaigns may have to be run for the primary and general elections six months later.
When a candidate is elected, email campaigns take on a different form. The politician can then use email to keep in touch with their constituents and gain favor with them by staying connected as promised. Furthermore, political party members in another region out of their jurisdiction can be updated with news about the politician’s achievements or issues they are working on.
The overwhelming advantage of email campaigns is the ability for political candidates to develop relationships with voters by reaching them on a more personal level. The same can also be done to obtain more volunteers to help run the campaign. Email can more easily facilitate fundraising efforts as well. Without significant efforts such as an effective email campaign to gain the loyalty and commitment of voters, volunteers and donors, the political hopeful may remain a just a candidate.