Email for President! 2015 in Review
The 2016 campaign season is already kicking into high gear. It’s hard to believe some have been at this for 10 months already — it was in March 2015 that Ted Cruz took to the stage at Liberty University to announce his campaign.
He’s still in the race, but of the original 22 Democratic and Republican candidates, only about a dozen remain. The Republican race has been entirely upended by the formidable presence (and inconceivable resilience) of one Donald J. Trump. On the other hand, the Democrats seem to be lying low, maybe waiting for the herd to thin before pouncing.
One thing is certain, both sides are focused on building an audience and communicating their messages, and email remains one of the most effective and least expensive means of accomplishing those goals. We have been closely tracking each candidate’s campaign from day one, so here is our 2015 year in review.
We began our analysis in June with a look at one of the most fundamental, yet tricky-to-nail-down aspects of an email, the subject line. Each candidate had a different approach in the early days of campaigning:
- Ted Cruz took an excited tone, using an exclamation point, enticing supporters to learn more!
- More verbose was Rand Paul, whose barely-tweetable subject line ran off the page like a sans-serif Midnight Ride.
- Hillary Clinton was chided early in the race for being impersonal. Her simple “Welcome.” didn’t do much to allay concerns.
- Marco Rubio demonstrated some top-notch subject line strategy, welcoming subscribers to “the Team.” Direct engagement and an invitation to be a part of something tended to work very well, generating high read rates.
- And last, but not least, Bernie Sanders posed the question, “Are You with Me?” Months later, the campaign’s email list growth suggests there is a resounding “Yes” from grassroots supporters who have turned out in record numbers to “Feel the Bern.”
The subjectivity (no pun intended) of subject line analysis can make it difficult to replicate universally. Segmenting and targeting can help clearly identify audiences and speak to each in their own language.