Anyone still wondering how rank outsider Donald Trump made it the White House to become the 45th US President is being urged to study his team’s use of email marketing, which, it is claimed, has valuable lessons for all brands.
According to email marketing firm Mailjet, the Trump campaign has been outstripping Hillary Clinton’s in its use of email to engage grassroots voters for months.
The research analysed emails sent by Trump and Clinton’s teams over the course of the last two months, including communications around the first and second TV debate, and scored the emails according to a range of metrics including design best practices, personalisation, subject line, cross-channel marketing and the creativity of the content.
Analysis revealed a crucial under-investment in personalisation from the Clinton campaign, which scored 55% lower than Trump emails, with basic errors such as using ‘Friend’ in place of the recipient’s name detracting from the overall quality of engagement.
By contrast, on average 27% of Trump’s weekly emails used the area code and previous donation history to deliver a more tailored experience, calling on subscribers to make more campaign noise in their locality or take advantage of limited time opportunities to double their donation amount.
While it may not be the most technically advanced, Trump also won points around his use of the call-to-action. While both campaigns stuck to an average or one or two calls to action in email communications, the Trump campaign bundled donation amounts together in one-off emails to manage a staggering 25 call-to-actions in one communication alone.
Josie Scotchmer, UK marketing manager at Mailjet, explained that the Trump campaign also provoked a sense of collaboration, regularly asking for opinions and feedback.
She added: “As well as a higher email frequency (13 per week to Clinton’s 9), the content complements the message, as he’s asking subscribers to invest in the future of America by donating to his campaign – by donating to Trump Pence you are supporting the cause and joining a club, one in which you can opt-in for yard signs and purchase merchandise.
His messages also evoked a rather strong sense of fear. There had always been a feeling of the impending deadline (“X days to go…”) and a constant reminder that Clinton cannot be trusted with the responsibility.”
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