Let’s be honest, sometimes we are so absorbed by the everyday routine of life that we forget to do the things we love most. For many people, especially those who are passionate about politics, this often means they stay away from social media or send out lackluster tweets that don’t reflect their true feelings.
But what if we could harness the power of social media to help us be the best politicians we can be?
This is precisely what some Miami-Dade County politicians have done, and it’s working for them. One of the best examples is Mayor Francis Suarez. In the upcoming 2020 elections, Suarez is running for reelection and is considered one of the more progressive and innovative politicians in the country. He is also using political email marketing to great success.
Why Francis Suarez Chose to Use Political Email Marketing
Suarez was first elected in 2016 and is one of the few openly gay politicians in Florida. He also happens to be a member of the Democratic Party, which puts him on the opposite end of the political spectrum from President Trump. But despite the political difference, Suarez and Trump have a lot in common—they’re both prolific tweeter-in-chiefs who use their platforms to connect with their constituents.
“[Suarez] really reached out to us in a way that a lot of politicians have been ignoring or misunderstanding,” said Michael Anaya, the Chairman of Northside Tea Party in Miami-Dade County.
“They were trying to find a way to engage with their constituents not just during campaigning but even before then,” he said. “They really wanted to hear our concerns, they wanted to understand where we are coming from, and that’s something that was lacking in previous offices.”
What is Political Email Marketing?
Put simply, it’s the use of email to get political messages out to constituents. But it’s a lot more sophisticated than that. Political Email Marketing is a form of digital campaigning that has been around for a while. In fact, email marketing grew from 0 to 22.2% of the total digital market share between April 2021 and March 2022, according to the HubSpot Blog. That’s up from 11.8% in 2020.
Since 2010, political email marketing has been used effectively by members of both major political parties as a tool to connect with supporters and get out their political message. The most recent example of this was the re-election campaign of Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, a Republican, who successfully used email to get his campaign message out to his constituents.
Politicians can use various platforms to engage with their constituents such as social media, websites, and their email lists. But for the best results, they should use email.
Well, for starters, email is the king of platforms when it comes to digital campaigning. It has the highest “open rate” (the percentage of people who see your message and decide to click on it) of any other digital channel. The average user spends 90 minutes per day on their email, according to Litmus.
Further, email is the most reliable form of digital communication, according to HubSpot Blog. People get their email, whether it’s through a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device. With an increasing number of Americans living in mobile-only households, being able to access one’s email on the go is crucial.
How Does Francis Suarez’ Campaign Use Email Marketing?
Suarez’ campaign isn’t using one-off emails to reach voters. Instead, they are a part of an email marketing strategy they call “Daily E-mail News Letter.”
For each day of the campaign, the Daily E-mail News Letter includes a brief summary of the most important news, events, and media stories from the previous day. It also includes an opportunity for voters to give feedback on the issues that matter most to them. Finally, the Daily E-mail News Letter includes a roundup of the latest campaign news and a link to the latest press releases from the mayor’s office.
Thanks to this strategy, the Suarez campaign can efficiently send out hundreds of emails every day to its nearly 50,000 email subscribers. This allows the campaign to keep in touch with its constituents and stay ahead of the curve on issues that matter most to them. Most importantly, it allows the campaign to quickly adapt and respond to changes in the political landscape as it evolves.
Let’s say, for example, there is a major development that shakes up the whole justice landscape, like the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. The daily email newsletter would be a great opportunity for the mayor’s office to address this issue head on—before, during, and after the election. It could also be used to respond to Hurricane Andrew or the city’s recent water woes. And perhaps most importantly, it provides a steady stream of highly targeted political messaging that is always fresh in the subscribers’ minds.
How Does Francis Suarez’ Email Marketing Strategy Work?
The key to Suarez’ strategy lies in its use of hyper-targeted email marketing. When a person opens an email message from the mayor’s office, they are initially presented with a short pre-header that includes a headline and a short bio about the sender. In addition, the email contains a number of relevant links—to websites and social media channels—that the subscriber may find useful.
Based on their interests, previous engagement with the mayor’s office, and location data, the subscriber is then automatically redirected to a landing page that is perfectly custom-tailored for them.
Let’s say, for example, the email is about the city’s homelessness problem or a planned redevelopment project in a low-income area. The landing page will have relevant information about the issue followed by calls to action like “Learn More,” “Take Action,” or “Spread the Word.”
If the subscriber chooses to take action and makes a contribution to a charity that the mayor’s office thinks may be helpful, they will be forwarded to a thank-you page that further encourages them to contribute.
Finally, in order to stay in touch with their subscribers, politicians often include one-off messages in their emails that are designed to encourage people to engage with them online. These messages can take the form of a hashtag (#MyMessage) that can be used on social media or a web link that leads to a landing page that provides more information about the issue the politician is most passionate about.
How Can Others Adopt a Similar Strategy?
So, how can others adopt a similar strategy? Well, for starters, they should use a tool like Litmus to build and nurture their email lists. Litmus is a free tool that allows people to create and send branded emails while staying within the bounds of the law. These emails can be sent through their web-based dashboard. That way, they can ensure the emails are well-written, the subject lines are compelling, and the content is relevant to the intended audience.
Further, they could add a bit more education to their strategy by considering how they should respond to issues as they arise rather than simply sending out a generic response to every email they receive. This allows the politician to get much more out of their email marketing strategy and adapt to changes in the political landscape as they evolve.
The Bottom Line
In the end, political email marketing is about much more than sending a series of automated emails to one’s list of constituents. It’s about having a strategy with a clear goal in mind and using every tool at our disposal to make that goal a reality. For Francis Suarez, that means constantly adapting his strategy in light of changing political and social winds—all while still maintaining the integrity of his campaign.