Talking Online Politics With Bill McIntyre, Part 2
Between now and the general election, candidates will use urgency surrounding certain issues. "If you really want to see change in our health care system, give now." And if you respond, they know you are susceptible to health care messages. If that doesn't work, they may come back with, "Give now so we can elect a candidate that is going to reduce global warming." E-mail has allowed candidates to more easily track who responds best to what message.
Incentives, such as bumper stickers, jackets or the chance to meet the candidate, also are important. The folks at the Obama campaign are being very smart and opportunistic. They know he's going to give an acceptance speech at the convention, so they sent out an e-mail with this basic message: "There are going to be 20,000 people at the convention. Obama is going to make this cool acceptance speech, which will be history in the making. For a donation of $5, we'll enter you in a raffle to win a round-trip for two to the convention to watch that acceptance speech outside on a big screen in a secure area with 10,000 other people." That's a brilliant incentive, and all it's doing is giving folks the opportunity to go watch the guy give a speech and view it on a big screen TV. You could watch it on your own screen at home, but people want to be there.
Reach Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.