When we last checked in on the two major party nominees, the Clinton machine had its email operations in pristine condition and Trump needed to put down Twitter and pick up the phone to get his things in order. Weeks later… not much has changed and one could argue the ravine between the two has only grown wider.
The past two weeks saw two national party conventions and a massive differential between email operations, output, and successes. eDataSource has been tracking political emails this election season through its panels.
Clinton’s team sent 218 emails to an estimated 21 million recipients during the RNC and 216 emails during its own convention. eDataSource estimated it emailed 21 million addresses during the RNC convention week.
Trump’s team only sent out 35 emails during its own convention and 20 during the DNC. eDataSource estimated it emailed 2 million addresses during that same RNC convention week.
The situation has a number of possible explanations: Clinton inheriting a frankly better operation from Obama compared with Trump’s standoff with the RNC and its data; Trump’s late start; and, to a lesser extent, the fact that Clinton’s strong fundraising allows her to promote email recruitment at the top of her website, while Trump prioritizes fundraising and the email request requires scrolling.
Why this major differential? I put that question to John Landsman, eDataSource Director, Strategy & Analytics.
“Who can get into the mind of Mr. Trump” Landsman joked. His serious guess? “He has decided that other digital media, such as Twitter and texting” are more important.
Landsman said Trump is clearly engaging with people and they are listening and giving.
“He is undisputedly the king of earned media,” Landsman said. “But he has not developed the email channel to any great degree. Why he doesn’t want to use it is a mystery.”
But also plaguing the Trump campaign are significant spam issues. eDataSource panels have found that many of Trump campaign messages get delivered immediately to spam, while Clinton only intermittently has this issue.
Landsman said that Clinton’s inbox deliverability tends to be up in the high 80 percent/low 90 percent region, whereas Trump’s from the GOP domain tends to hover around 40 percent/20 percent.
It’s unknown exactly why Trump has such high spam rates, but the Trump campaign found itself in hot water when it sent unsolicited contribution request emails to members of the Scottish Parliament. Sending emails to people who have not opted-in can cause serious spam issues.
Though problematic, the spam issue is not rare for politicians. During the primary season, virtually all of Trump’s competitors’ have run afoul of spam issues.