It would be hubris to think that these results are solely down to the email programs of the different parties but email surely played its part.
At the end of the day, political parties sell personalities. They talk about policies but those only matter if the voters have faith in the politicians who turn those policies into law. In other words, it is all about relationships. As we all know, email is the best channel for building relationships and the channel through which consumers want to build and maintain relationships with brands.
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats did a better job of building these relationships. First, they sent more emails. It is always a fine balance of sending enough and sending too many but clearly the three or four emails sent by the Conservatives did not do the job. Similarly, the emails from Labour and the Liberal Democrats were a good mix of putting forth their policies and partisan campaigning with messages designed to motivate their supporters to get out and vote on the day.
Where all of the parties fell down was in nurturing undecided voters. They all assumed that people signing up to receive their emails were die-hard supporters. There was no attempt made to identify where we were on our journey to supporting their party. This caused issues right from the start. In many cases, we thought we were signing up to receive emails and we found ourselves on pages that talked about “membership,” “accounts” and “public profiles”. Instead, they should have asked to get to know us better with questions like:
- What is your relationship with the party?
- What issues interest you?
- Are you planning to vote?
Email is the best marketing tool for building relationships and relationships are built on two-way communications. The political parties that actually bothered to send emails made little to no effort to build relationships with their email programs. Labour and the Liberal Democrats were both in the little effort camp and that effort paid off on polling day.