Yesterday, I talked about the delivery advice that could be gleaned from the Politico article The best e-mail lists in politics. While there are some good practices and attitudes expressed in the article, there are problems with how some of the political lists are being handled.
For instance, Ken Magill signed up for any number of political lists during the last election cycle and has been chronicling the email he has received from the various campaigns. Yesterday he posted about the mail he has received at the address he gave Secretary Clinton’s campaign and how far and wide the list is being shared. He points out a couple truths missed by the Politico article.
In e-mail marketing—and politics is marketing—permission is not transferable. Passing e-mail lists around is a sure way to draw spam complaints from recipients, possibly resulting in delivery troubles as ISPs begin to treat the messages as spam.
But Clinton’s list must be working. Otherwise, no one would rent it.
Ordinarily, I’d launch into a trademark rant here explaining that Clinton and the folks who rent her list are in for some hard lessons in e-mail deliverability as more and more people hit the “report spam” button.
But apparently people aren’t complaining. Maybe politically active people are more tolerant of unsolicited e-mail pertaining to causes they likely hold dear.
However, Clinton’s file is most likely growing staler by the day. It’s unclear what list-hygiene practices the people who manage it are implementing, but plain logic says that with the emotions of her presidential bid long gone, getting new names to replace those that churn out is going to be extremely difficult.
Politicians sharing postal lists is an old practice. Obviously both Republicans and Democrats are trying to duplicate the practice with e-mail lists. And they’re both going to find out it isn’t that simple.
I do believe that some recipients are more accepting of sharing lists around, if the new mail is relevant to the recipient. So what the political lists are doing may not damage their delivery too much. A small amount of sloppiness may not damage reputation or delivery in this case.
However, lack of restraint is a common trait with both marketers and politicians. It remains to be seen if the political operatives abuse lists to the point where their delivery and their reputation are damaged.