I probably should have made this post some time ago, but then again I don’t think that it would have had the same impact as doing so now.

If you’ve read some of my posts you know that I’ve taken political emailers to task on several occasions and I’m not usually nice about it.  So why do I critique political email practices?  Because bad email practices are bad email practices regardless of political affiliation, but let me give you a few more reasons….

  1. It’s a Taboo Subject
    We all know that it’s impolite to talk about politics or religion, but the more intrusive government becomes in our lives the more they are the skunk in the middle of the room (I’d have used elephant, but wouldn’t want to be accused of playing favorites).  How can you not talk about it? 

    On the flip-side it’s easy to get all butt-hurt and take it personal.  I don’t talk about the personal side, I talk about the operational side that has no ideology.  And the people that are sending these messages out have no reason to be offended, but plenty to be embarrassed about.

  2. It Provides Real-World Examples
    I’m a consultant, and before that I worked for a large enterprise organization.  How much business do you think I would have if I wrote about my clients?  I can’t show the really stupid or really smart things that they’ve done with email; duh!

    Or how long would I have kept my job if I was writing about how my employer was doing anything?  Hell, I went through the ringer once because MarketingSherpa wanted to quote a question that I asked of an event panel…. 

  3. It’s Competitive
    Ginger or Mary Anne?  We all have our preferences; so what?  And sometimes preferences change; so what again?  If you’ve ever noticed, I don’t write about the product that’s being promoted, I write about the simple basic email tactics employed to promote and measure whatever the message is. We haven’t gotten to measurement yet because we’re still trying to consistently hit the Inbox with a single identity.

    The key to email marketing is the message not the method; meaning just sending your message by email isn’t enough, it has to connect with the recipient.  But without tried and true methods of message deployment for maximum delivery to the recipient’s Inbox, everything else is simply academic.

  4. It’s a Treasure Trove of Topics
    It might not seem like a treasure trove with all the time that I’ve spent so far on Sender Names, but why do you think that is?  Could that have anything to do with the fact that studies show the Sender Name as being the first thing a recipient looks at when deciding which messages to read and which to report as spam?

    There are all kinds of things to talk about with political email.  How they measure and what – if at all – and the different things that they’ve tried from video to SMS to SWS.  If they’re not measuring these things, then they’re implementing them just to implement then – another check on the list of things to do.  Don’t worry, I’ll get to some of these things soon enough!

    And last, but not least:

  5. Self-Preservation
    I know that sounds counter-intuitive, and you might even be wondering if the IRS has kicked down my door or frozen my assets yet.  Do I lean one way or another?  Sure.  Do I take cynical jabs here and there?  Duh….  Do I push an agenda?  Only elegance in email marketing and messaging.

    As political emailers see their messages have a harder and harder time reaching the recipient’s Inbox due to their own inability to grasp the basics of email messaging and little things like, oh, deliverability, what are they going to do?  If they aren’t going to change their ways, are they going to legislate our ways? 

    And who knows better about the email industry and channel?  The people that work in it every day, or a bunch of politicians that don’t want to live by the same rules the rest of us do?

So there you have it; why I critique political email practices.  It’s not about politics; it’s about email….