Slate.com discovers “thirsty” email engagement tactics

Slate.com:

The editor assumed that someone had replied to one of his emails because the “from” line read, “Rachel, me (2).” When he opened the email, however, he discovered that “Rachel, me (2)” was actually just a phony name that the Democratic fundraising group Act Blue and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign were using to make it seem like part of an ongoing thread. The New Hampshire senator’s campaign did not reply to Slate’s request for comment.

This is a pretty commonplace tactic among political organizations — though it’s typically leveraged by committees more so than candidates. I cannot say empirically, but I suspect that many people have exactly the reaction that the author had: the feeling that they were lied to.

For digital strategists, email marketers, and online fundraisers, it can be tempting to let our “thirst” for online fundraising revenue drive us to less-than-tasteful tactics. This article is a healthy reminder that there is a cost to increasingly aggressive approaches, and that cost is the loss of trust among our candidates’ supporters.

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