Vote of Confidence
Both candidates are simplifying their solicitation messages for donations in their e-mails so readers can more easily read the e-mails on their smartphones and tablets, says Loren McDonald, vice president of industry relations at Silverpop, a digital-marketing technology provider based in Atlanta. McDonald has been analyzing e-mails from both the Obama and Romney campaigns.
To make their e-mails more readable on mobile devices, the campaigns are making the sentences short and in single columns, and quickly getting to the call to action — asking recipients either to donate, volunteer or rally other people to vote for the candidate.
Romney also is using e-mails for more "retailing" purposes — getting supporters to buy T-shirts or bumper stickers touting his candidacy, McDonald says.
"I think it shows some real creativity around how to commit their supporters who are really passionate, to buy things to promote the campaign," he says. "It's also a more creative way to raise money, replacing messages like, 'We just need another $10 by midnight!'"
However, both Romney and Obama are potentially minimizing the amount of donations they could get by not consistently putting well-recognized names in the "From" box, such as Vice President Joe Biden pitching for Obama or John McCain for Romney, McDonald says. Instead, some e-mails come from the campaigns' directors of communications, while others come from local or state party leaders.
"A voter who doesn't recognize those names could just as easily not open the e-mails or just delete them," he says. "They need to stick with recognized, trusted brand names."
Obama and Romney are also using "gamification" to mine for receptive supporters. For example, the Obama campaign inserts messages within the game Foursquare, in which participants log on with their personal information, including their Facebook account names and passwords, to play a game to be mayor of a particular community. Obama can then contact the players to solicit donations or support to help get out the vote.