Email Election: The Lib Dems Step Up

lib demsHere it is – the second installment in our series of blogs exposing how the three main political parties are using email marketing as part of this year’s historic ‘digital general election’.

In this blog we’re focusing on the party that’s leapt from being the dark horse to the pollsters’ front runner – the Liberal Democrats.

In less than two weeks since Nick Clegg’s popular performance on the UK’s first ever Prime Ministerial TV debate, the Liberal Democrats’ profile and popularity has soared.

But will the Lib Dems’ winning streak translate to the email inbox? And where do they stand in the ‘email marketing election’ league table?

Here we find out.

The sample

Two emails sent by the Lib Dems during the last week: a personal email from Hilary Stephenson, the Lib Dems’ National Campaign Director, and the party’s weekly newsletter roundup. Check them out here.

The judging criteria

We judged both emails against our renowned ‘Hitting the Mark’ benchmark study criteria.

The results are in…

Overall, we don’t think this was a bad effort from the Lib Dems. The email from Hilary Stephenson is well targeted and speaks directly and powerfully to the party faithful, although she does tend to leave her key rallying call until pretty late in the body copy.

It’s always better to get your key call to action into the subject, your heading and opening paragraph, and make sure it’s above the fold.

However, there are still a number of important calls to action (download a poster, join the Facebook group and sign someone up for emails) that come across clearly.

Local targeting

It is impressive to see evidence of geographical targeting in Stephenson’s email – the constituency referenced is very close to the postcode we used when subscribing.

The weekly newsletter is more general in its approach, no doubt to appeal to a wider and less committed audience. What the newsletter needs to do much more of – and better – is to encourage recipients to click through to the website, to engage with the site and to take action.

Clear and compelling calls to action are critical in any email campaign. There are click through links to read the full articles, but other links, including links to social networks, are buried far down the page.

The scores…

The combined scores for the Lib Dems’ two email campaigns are laid out in the table below, based on our Hitting the Mark matrix. The numbers in the first column show the total points available. When added to the scores for their web sign-up process (see our previous election blog), the party currently stands on 26 out of 35.

election_tablev2

Are the Conservative and Labour parties doing email marketing better? Will one of them surge ahead? Find out in our next email marketing election post.

Make sure you subscribe to our blog RSS feed (at the top right of this page) or follow us on Twitter to keep up with this series!

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