Obama vs Romney: The email face-off

Obama vs Romney: The email face-off
Obama vs Romney: The email face-off

When it comes to employing state-of-the-art email marketing, the Obama and Romney camps are both losers.

That's the assessment of StrongMail, an email-marketing provider to brands such as MasterCard, Sony and AT&T. The company analysed emails from both camps from 11 August to 10 September – and found each campaign lacking in several areas.

Content

Obama's emails are more finely tuned to digitally savvy consumers, who are more likely to fall into a younger demographic. Copy is tight, clear, conversational and, sometimes, skirts the boundary of polite discourse.

'I'll Be Damned' was the subject line of a September email rejoicing that Obama had raised more funds than Romney in August.

That level of informality was not found in Romney emails. His more conservative base was served text-heavy emails detailing topics such as vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan's budget plan.

Volume

For every email sent by Romney, Obama sent 20, partly due to a much bigger Democrat voter database.

Yet bigger is not necessarily better in email campaigns, and Obama registered a higher spam rate: 93% of Romney emails made it to inboxes compared with 85% for Obama.

Personalisation

Obama's average open rate was 10.7% against Romney's 6.4%. The subject lines in Obama emails tended to be more personalised and geographically segmented.

Romney emails, meanwhile, contained much less dynamic content, according to StrongMail.

However, the Obama campaign dropped the ball when it came to people who made donations via email links; they continued to receive the same donation messages with no recognition - a big miss.

Romney's people, Strongmail concludes, need help with the basics, like email's 40-40-20 rule of reaching the right person at the right time with the right creative.

This is an abridged version of an article that first ran in Direct Marketing News

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer