Email Inboxes and the Iowa Caucus
Rubio’s Third Place Win
Never before has third place seemed like such a victory. After the caucus, Marco Rubio stood at the podium beaming as if he had just won it all. His enthusiasm and optimism was not totally unfounded. While not quite a dark horse, the Florida senator went into Iowa seven points behind Donald Trump and was able to close the gap to 1.5. With his high-heeled boots planted firmly on the edge of oblivion, looking down at the long tail of the elephant pack, Rubio claimed a hard-earned bronze.
Of the top three Republican candidates, Rubio’s email strategy most closely approximates what a seasoned marketer would expect to happen prior to an election. Volume and number of emails steadily rises to a peak just prior to the event. Still, that spam rate is astronomical. If Rubio wants to make sure his message is received, he has got to figure out why his emails aren’t making it to the inbox.
Democrats Promote Equality
The Democratic race might have fewer participants, but it is certainly no less competitive. Bernie Sanders astounded critics with a stunning come-from-behind tie. Almost exactly one year before the Iowa caucuses, Sanders trailed presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton by 55 percent. In Iowa, voters reduced that margin to a mere 0.3 percent. While Team Hillary were right to claim victory, they were undoubtedly feeling the Bern with Sanders hot on their heels.
The Clinton camp has been expert at segmentation, testing, and delivery. Low spam rates ensure emails are making it to the intended destination. Though, a 12 percent read rate leaves about 10 percent of uncertainty as to who, exactly, is #withher.
Like the Clinton camp, Bernie and Co. are segmenting and testing like pros. Read rate is higher than average for presidential frontrunners for both parties, but so is the spam rate.
Each candidate seems to have a unique email marketing strategy. The Democrats are perhaps most alike in that both Clinton and Sanders employ best practices that ensure emails reach their audience and speak to their audience, and key metrics are gauged to swiftly change tactics when necessary.
Like their mascot, the Republicans are a bit slower moving, lumbering along with outdated email practices, resulting in (with the exception of Donald Trump) exceedingly high spam rates. As primary elections heat up and delegates come at higher and higher costs, Republicans will have to adapt to new school email practices to stay relevant with their audiences; a challenge, but not an impossibility. After all, even Dumbo could fly!