Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

Spirit Airlines is at it again. Early Tuesday, well ahead of official election results, the airline sent an email to subscribers with the subject line, "Romney Wins!" Opening the email revealed Spirit's newest airfare sale, geared towards the presidential election. "Romney Wins. And So Do Obama and You With These Incredibly Low Fares," read the email, which offered sale fares starting at $29.80 one way. Reaction on Twitter to the faux election results and airfare sale triggered negative comments, however.

Our ballots have been cast, final results have been tallied … and most of us are glad the election cycle is over. Pundits are calling this the most expensive presidential campaign in history, and the price tag on several congressional and constitutional issues have raised a few eyebrows. … It’s interesting to note the prominent role direct marketing played in these elections. … Political campaigns use multiple touchpoints to connect with voters, including direct mail, online advertising, emails and various social media platforms. Those of us in “battleground” states have been reminded political campaigns are exempt from "Do Not Call."

Amid all the hoopla around politicians using social media platforms to engage voters, the Obama and Romney campaigns are still employing a stalwart communication tool: email. The problem, however, is that both campaigns constantly break the golden rules of email, to the frustration of many. First, there are the subject lines, which are usually misleading or do little to inform recipients what the message is actually about in the hopes of getting them to open the email—a practice known in the digital journalism world as “clickbait.”

In 2005, Merck & Co.—the huge pharmaceutical conglomerate—was poised to get FDA approval for Gardasil, a supposedly foolproof vaccine against cervical cancer. In June 2006, the influential government Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), recommended that shots be given to all pre-teen girls starting as young as nine at the discretion of their doctors. Merck operatives and lobbyists blitzed state legislators with the news. Their message of fear: Unless you make Gardasil a requirement for entrance into junior high and high schools, girls in your state could die of cervical cancer. So far, fearful lawmakers in 20 states are drafting bills that make the

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