Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Email Marketing and Politics

This is the first time a politician of any kind has used the internet for daily one-to-one dialogue.

- Steve Cone, Chief Marketing Officer at Epsilon, a database marketing agency

In Michael Bush, "Why Watch Obama? Here Are 13 Million Reasons," Advertising Age, April 13, 2009

During the presidential campaign, President Barack Obama amassed a database of 13 million fervent supporters. After the campaign the Democratic National Committee took over the database and began an email campaign to reinforce and mobilize Obama supporters for the long haul. "Turn out the database has continued to be one of his biggest assets, and the 'permanent campaign,' as it has been dubbed, continued to roll on after the election, with e-mails from President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and campaign manager David Plouffe asking supporters to identify ways to get involved in their communities, donate money to the DNC and to the inauguration ceremony." For example, the president recently signed one email that asked people to support his proposed budget by phoning the email recipient's local congressional representatives. (The phone number was included in the email.)

Marketers are marveling at the effectiveness and organization behind the activity, which they say consumer products firms should learn. But some worry that the DNC might be starting to commit an email sin that too many marketers commit: Sending out too many emails and risking the audience's annoyance.

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