Sending out polls via email is a common tactic used in political campaigns. These polls aren’t the official kind used by pollsters or reported by FiveThirtyEight, but they do give the campaign teams an idea of how engaged email subscribers are.
Depending on the layout and question, email polls can serve as a way to segment your email subscribers into those highly likely to vote for your candidate, and those who perhaps need a little more convincing. Also, this allows you to tailor your email comms strategy accordingly.
Today let’s take a look at an email poll I just received from the Trump campaign. This email was sent at around 9.20am EST on June 22nd 2020.
The subject line poses a clear question: “Will you vote Trump in 2020?”
Simple and gets to the point quickly. If I was an ardent Trump supporter I would probably be pretty quick to open this…
The email content is… PEAK Trump. It’s everything I expected a Trump email to be and more.
Firstly – it calls out Democrats for their long list of presidential candidates. ?! Interesting, considering Joe Biden is currently the only Democratic nominee that I’m aware of?
This line suggests that the Trump campaign haven’t updated their copy in a while.
I decided to look into the UTMs to see if I could get any further information as to when this email was written, so I clicked on the header image and was brought to this URL:
Let’s break this down.
UTM Campaign = 20200622_17145_wel-series-trump-for-2020_donaldjtrumpcom_tmagac
Today’s date – June 22nd 2020. Likely auto-populated as part of the email build.
Sequence number – Looks like a number for the email series. The previous email I received was 17144, and before that 17143. I really hope this doesn’t indicate it was written in 2017…..
Welcome Series – This tells us that this email is part of a welcome series for new subscribers, rather than a reactionary email based on current events. Not hugely exciting and to some extent expected, but it helps to explain why the email copy is so outdated.
Website – This is where I signed up for the mailing list.
Trump Make America Great Again Committee – This is the joint fundraising committee made up of Trump for America and the Republican National Committee.
My favorite part of the email comes right in the middle:
“The mainstream media is already predicting a Trump defeat in 2020, just like they did in 2016.”
This is beautiful in so many ways:
- Ties the media with the Democrats as the two enemies of the GOP.
- Made me think that this was based on RECENT polls when in actual fact a Trump defeat has always been predicted, a welcome realization.
- Painted the picture that Trump is the underdog – a strategy that always serves him well.
Now, the poll itself is also iconic.
Are you voting for President Trump or A SOCIALIST DEMOCRAT.
Crying. It’s too funny. I think having this as the option is so much better than mentioning Joe Biden’s name (even if their copy was up to date!), and would definitely work better with their base.
But what happen’s if I click it the Socialist Democrat option?
The UTM Content tag immediately marks me as a Democrat. You love to see it.
In contrast, if I clicked on President Trump – UTM Content marks me as a Trump supporter.
This is what the landing page looks like when you click thru:
I mean, you can’t say he doesn’t know his audience.
I wonder what fate awaits me for future emails though, now that I’ve told him I’m voting for a Socialist Democrat.
The email ends with an urgency prompt: “Please take our Official Survey before MIDNIGHT TONIGHT”, which is slightly less compelling once you know this was just email number 5 in his welcome series.
Subject Line: 9/10 – It’s pretty good, but it doesn’t contain my name.
Personalization: 6/10 – It opens with my name, which is fine, but they could have gotten more personal with my zipcode.
Content: 6/10 – As a Democrat I want to give this 10/10, because it is such a pointless email, doesn’t solicit donations and is outdated. However, as an independent marketer(!?) I’ve got to dock marks for the fact that they haven’t updated their email copy in months.
CTA: 8/10 – The CTA’s were below the fold, when, given the subject line, this is very clearly an email where they could have opened with them. However, they were direct and it was very clear what the email wanted me to do.
Donate: 0/10 – It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that Trump does not rely on email as a fundraising channel….