If you’ve read my first post, Enough already…., you know that I don’t believe that politics belongs in the email channel unless, of course, politics is your business.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was glad to see our election season come to an end. I was getting tired of seeing email and online industry pundits bending over backwards to insert Obama into their columns and articles. It was almost like these industry pundits wanted more to be – if just for a little while – political pundits, and join the MSM in the Media Malpractice of pushing for an Obama win.
Why Media Malpractice, I say? Well, for all of those online industry pundits who claim to be “numbers driven” you would think that they would know that we live in a divided country (about 50/50) when it comes to politics. With that they should understand that if you pick a side you’re going to turn off (or piss off) half of your audience – unless of course, politics is your business and you only target those who believe the same way that you do.
But for some, the euphoria lives on. Will it ever end?
At the end of the column Aaron asks what any of us might have learned or found effective in candidates’ or organizations’ emails. So, here is my take….
People don’t buy what they’re not interested in, and McCain – after a career filled with poking the base of his party in the eye – didn’t hold enough interest with the Republican party to rally their support.
Let’s talk about relevance for a minute. Would it be relevant for McDonalds to email specials on salads to vegans? Yeah, I didn’t think so. But, those in the online marketing space suffering from Obamania probably understand vegans more than conservatives.
The core of the Republican party is the conservative base. The conservative base doesn’t view McCain as conservative (See “poking in the eye” above), but the pundits all want to pontificate as though the conservative base was as motivated as the liberal base.
Therefore, the “relevance” of McCain to the conservative base wasn’t as high as the “relevance” of Obama to the liberal base. Good, bad, or indifferent, conservatives generally put convictions over winning – sometimes to their own demise.
Any marketer worth their salt must first understand the target audience and what motivates it. Those of you that keep Obamagushing don’t seem to know your target audience – at least 50% of it.
As for engaging, if it’s not relevant, there is not much to engage with or be engaged about….
Both sides had clear calls to action, but if one doesn’t see the value in what they’re being asked to spend their money on, the wallet stays in the pocket.
At the end of the day, the frequency of both parties was over-the-top. Were this conversation about XYZ company mailing at the same frequency I’m sure the pundits would be having a different conversation. And McCain didn’t promise something that he didn’t deliver on, like being the first to know by message who his running mate was. Were it about an online florist that didn’t deliver the order on time, again, this would be a different conversation.
There were flops on both sides and there were good things on both sides – but more flops IMHO.
So here’s a thought, let’s put politics aside and talk about these things as though it was a private enterprise and not your favorite political candidate. I’m sure that you’d find a lot less to gush about and a lot more to critique – and you wouldn’t be pissing off 50% of your market audience at the same time….
Any email marketer practicing Obama or McCain type email tactics will find at the very least a diminishing list and an abundance of complaints. If you want to do the industry good, put the partisian stuff away and get real about email marketing.
People aren’t as invested in the products and services that they buy online as they are in politics. It’s too bad that our industry pundits haven’t figured that out yet….