It’s not as if I need a reminder that it’s the end of the quarter.  But, if I did, I would be all set.  Has your email box and voicemail exploded like mine the past few days?

Here are a couple examples that got me to unsubscribe:

  • The state-wide campaign that utilizes a Constant Contact format that allows you to “fake a forward”.  Just this morning I received an email that looked like a standard forwarded email (no border or header).  It was addressed to me,  “Dear Catherine”, and went on to suggest that my support was needed.  Not until I scrolled down to see the forwarded message did I know for whom this support was so essential.
    The takeaway from this is:  Just because you CAN do it, doesn’t mean you should.
  • I got another one that I deleted right away so I can’t remember the exact pitch, but it was something along the lines of “Georgia needs you to support X”.  The rest was much too heavy handed and condescending to influence me.  Fortunately, it was someone I don’t support anyway.
    The take away from this:  Keep it simple and don’t talk down to us.

I prefer the direct approach:  If you believe in my candidacy, help me reach more voters by  contributing to my campaign. Dress that up with endorsements, issues, photos, but that’s the basic message that works for me.

What works for you?  Do you have any favorites or guaranteed “unsubscribes”?

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32 Responses to And the begging continues.

  1. Jules says:

    Here’s what works for me…
    1. Its personal
    2. It includes some proof of performance ie what my money will be used for or what previous donations have been used for.
    3. You recognize I’m not an atm.

  2. JMPrince says:

    Email filters, very hard (sometimes)! I get filtered myself all the time. Unless… JMP

  3. griftdrift says:

    Email filters. Not that hard.

  4. JMPrince says:

    On what works for me:

    1.) I really hate the calls, I know what most are going to tell me before they get much out, so I usually try & stop them at the top of their script. And tell them, ‘I’ll save you some time, & Thanks but we no longer take solicitations over the phone, if you’ve got something to tell me, get it out it in a letter & send it to me & we’ll give it due consideration’. That stops 90% of them. Fifty% I’ll not likely hear from again. Until maybe next year.

    2.) If I know you or have met you, or you come well recommended from a trusted reliable source? You’ve got a 50% better chance, with almost anyone, but especially here.

    3.) I’ll listen to robo-calls just long enough to try & ID the source, then hang up. We get them from all sides too.

    4.) We get lots of unsolicited mail, from all over the country. Society for the Preservation of GeoDucks, Saltwater Economists for so & so (Rush Holt maybe?). The Bull of Atomic Sci. I tell everyone, ‘we’ll give it due consideration’. And we do. At the end of the month, if we’ve got it, we reach into the huge ‘basket of solicitations’ and pick out a few at random. You might get lucky.

    5.) If you’ve got a secular cause, you’re much more likely to get some attention from the spousal unit. The wife is a much softer touch there. With the political ‘stuff’ much less so. At the end of every year we round up what we’ve missed giving to which causes & if you’ve not bothered us too much in the prior year? You’ll be getting more money. It’s surprising how effective that is soon enough. And some of them we’ve been giving to for over 25 years, and mostly? They don’t bother us much!

    6.) Nothing political coming to our business address or it’s location will ever be answered. For anyone. For any reason.

    That’s pretty much it. I surprisingly don’t mind the emails, especially when well done & informative, (Wendy Davis here is the gold standard clearly). Give me something that can get me a good sense of the campaign & what you want to do, why & how & where. I appreciate you’ve got a lovely family. Really. Need a bit more than that to reach for my wallet. JMP

  5. Bernita says:

    OK here’s a first – I just received a robocall fundraising pitch from Ken Hodges. Said he needed money to buy tv commercials.

  6. Bernita says:

    I never understand what the big deal is about getting random solicitations from candidates. Over the years I’ve come to realize that these emails are akin to robocalls. If you don’t like them then just unsubscribe yourself. Something that is a lot harder to do when it comes to getting off a robocall list. You leave yourself open to these emails if you ever gave your email address to one candidate, the State Party, or engaged in any political activities over the years.

    I do believe that a candidate should send out an initial email introducing themselves and then asking do you want to stay on their email list.

    Now what I hate is when the State of Georgia sells my business phone number to solicitors. That really peeves me.

  7. Steve Golden says:

    I sent out a bad one today, so anyone who didn’t like it, that was my bad. It’s been a crazy day at work, so I’m using that as my excuse.

  8. Brandon T says:

    As someone who focuses on fundraising for a living, I thought I would add my few cents.

    1) I hate farming email lists. For starters, it’s a waste of time. If you have no existing relationship with a donor why burn the bridge of a potential contribution? Chances are, people aren’t going to give to you just because you are running. They need a reason. Whether that be friend, friend of a friend, targeted race, etc. You really box yourself into a generic blast email when you farm. It’s like getting divorced before you even went on that first date.

    2) Don’t always send out blasts asking folks for money. Give updates about the race, thank folks for their support. Keep people engaged.

    3) THANK your contributors personally. All of my candidates send a hand written “thank you for contributing card.” No form letter with electronic sig. Doesn’t matter how much the amount.

    There is a big difference between a donor who gives a contribution and a donor who is invested in your campaign. In the long run, you are going to get more from the folks who actually care about you winning as opposed to giving just so you will stop asking.

  9. Sara says:

    Candidates who send me a ton of unsolicited emails, and are hereby banned from ever receiving a dime in contributions from me:

    Darryl Hicks
    Joe Martin
    Hank Johnson

    Also, I would like Organizing for America to leave me the hell alone.

  10. I am amazed by the number of organizations that continue to call me on the phone even after I have given them the “What are you doing in Georgia” schpeel (I’m talking to you DSCC & DCCC). The DNC called us the other night at dinner time and nearly would not take “no” for an answer. One tries to be polite but when they get so pushy you basically have to hang up.

    As for the emails. I actually like it when they ask for a specific amount. Or a range of amounts with an explanation of what the funds will be used for.

    I do get irritated that this all comes at the last minute. Some of the folks I’ve heard from in the last 48 hours have not done squat to keep me informed of their campaign or platform. I know I can look a little boxy sometimes, but I do not resemble an ATM. Do I?

  11. Tony says:

    I usually remove myself from all lists of any type, so I don’t get much directed at me. Jen gets tons of mailers because a few organizations sold her out a long time ago. She has returned countless mailings with “REMOVE ME” on the envelope, but the same organizations keep sending letters. This is not a way to endear yourself to potential donors.

    I may join this marketing list for the potential entertainment value:

    • Jen B. says:

      Here’s who sold me out: 1) Sierra Club. I haven’t donated since 2002, I’ve moved five times and yet? Sierra Club sends me a letter almost every month; and, 2) GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). I made a donation to them in ’08 and now I’m every GLBT mailing list known to man. Guess what, GLAAD? Fuck you. Not getting any donations.

      • Jen B. says:

        Example. Today I received a letter from the Human Rights Campaign addressed to my maiden name. GLAAD is so dead to me.

  12. JerryT says:

    …. and don’t get me started on the Fraternal Order of Police calls!

  13. Mel says:

    There is one more thing that always gets under my skin. I don’t respond well to any sort of “Women for” appeal. Especially if it’s pink. I’m talking to ya’ll Team Barnes.

  14. Steve says:

    I’ve gotten mighty sick of the OfA and DNC emails. Regardless of the subject at hand, they -always- want money. It would be nice to get an old-fashioned call to action without having a hand shoved in my pocket.

    • Mel says:

      The DGA is the one that always irritates me. Even though I’ve unsubscribed from their emails, and asked to be taken off their call list, they still call. Lately, they’ve been very aggressive. Total telemarketing fail.

  15. Melb says:

    I like when campaigns send out a donation blast especially at the end because usually I am thinking that I will donate $50 or $100 to someone, but then I get busy and forget. Once I get an email it gives me a quick and easy way to give my donation that I otherwise probably would not have sent.

  16. Jason says:

    I just enjoyed the call where someone asked me for $250. I told them if I had $250, it’d be paying off my debt.

  17. Jen B. says:

    I liked Doug Heckman’s recent email. He’s not running in my congressional district, but made sure to point out that a) he knew that; and, b) that my current congresscritter has no opposition. I’m kinda wondering though where he got my email from since the letter was addressed to my full first name.

  18. Tim says:

    I agree with Mel, I like to know what my money is going towards. If I know the candidate already and am aware of what they’re doing, same thing. But very happy when candidates let me know what my money is paying for.

    Another pissing point – do NOT add my name to your list when I haven’t asked which applies to that same candidate with the bad constant contact forwards. I can tell b/c I have two email addresses in the state party system and they always “magically” appear on candidates email lists that I didn’t sign up for, yes Joe Martin this means you…

    • Sara says:

      Thank you for mentioning this! I am suddenly on a bajillion candidate email lists and I have never, ever signed up for a single one. It guarantees I will *never* support a candidate if I get an email from their campaign begging me for money when I have never shared my email address with them.

      Also, since I haven’t signed up for any of these email lists at any point in time, I can only assume that my email address was added to a list by one of my political friends working for either a campaign or the state party, who then shared their email contact list willy-nilly without considering whether I wanted heaps of political spam in perpetuity.

      When I find you, whoever you are, I will throw beer on you.

      • Our company recently signed on with Constant Contact for email marketing. They have very specific rules about their mailing lists:
        Question: What is the Constant Contact policy for adding email addresses to contact lists?

        Answer: Constant Contact allows you to import list(s) of email addresses for your use in the Constant Contact service. These email addresses must be “opt-in” email addresses. An opt-in email address (a.k.a. “single opt-in”) is one in which the holder of a specific address has had a previous relationship with you or your business, and has given their consent to receive future email communications from you. This could be through web based or in-store sign-up forms, previous product or service purchases, memberships, business or other personal relationships.

        Forms of email addresses that are NOT allowed are:

        1. Any purchased, rented, or appended list of email addresses from ANY source no matter what that source claims.
        2. Any non-specific or role email addresses (Examples of these are: postmaster @, webmaster @, sales @, business @ ).
        3. Any distribution lists or mailing lists, i.e. email addresses that mail to more than one email address.

        Importing addresses that violate these rules will make you subject to our Anti-Spam Policy and may result in the immediate termination of your account.

        I don’t intend to report anyone but there have clearly been some violations.

  19. Martin says:

    I’ll share a tactic I like. Give me a definitive, tangible thing I’m investing in, e.g.: “Your contribution of $100 helps voter hear our radio ad ___ times” or “By donating just $25 today, you make it possible for us to mail ____ democratic households.”

    I don’t think campaigns ought to use this in every fundraising pitch; for me, it tends to lose its effectiveness if you do it too often. But it’s a good way to stand out from the sort of standard boilerplate fundraising language.