How NOT to email your customers about voting in the mid-term elections
I received a very helpful email from Checkli on November 4th.
They sent a free voting checklist. How helpful!
Except… I’m not eligible to vote in these elections. I’m not in America or American.
If I didn’t read the news (okay, Buzzfeed), I wouldn’t even have known which elections they were talking about.
But that glaring issue aside (which by the way could easily have been dealt with if they’d used data to segment their users), there are a bunch of missed opportunities for Checkli to connect with their customers.
It reeks of auto-generation. Let’s count the ways this email is making me cringe…
- The subject line and email don’t match. “Your free voting checklist- please review” is confusing in itself. But when I opened the email, there’s no context — or text. Just a big Checkli logo and a blue button.
- The call-to-action. “Make a free checklist.” That’s the CTA in an email that’s supposed to give me a voting checklist.
- The three other checklists included with the voting one. If your subject line tells me you’ve sent me a voting checklist, don’t include three other completely unrelated checklists with it. Because when I open that email and see all those checklists? I’m going to click on the “2018 Hallmark Christmas Movies” checklist first.
The timing of the email.
Sending a voting checklist seems like a good move. But let’s be honest, if you haven’t already figured out everything you need to figure out to cast your vote — you won’t be doing it a couple of day before the election.
Every newspaper, news channel, and late night show has been talking about the mid-term elections for weeks. Heck, even Ellen got in on the action.
The right time to send this email? As soon as early voting opened at the very least.
The number of emails
Checkli sent just one out-of-the-blue email.
This was such an excellent opportunity for them to re-engage their list. You don’t often get a chance to take advantage of a political event without risking censure. They didn’t even have to pick a side. Just encouraging and inspiring their users to vote would have been enough.
What they could have done instead: Nothing re-engages an email list like a well-crafted email sequence. Checkli could have created an email sequence leading up to the election highlighting the details of each item on their checklist. Instead, all I got was a voting checklist.
What’s interesting is that their checklist makes for a perfect email sequence in itself.
An email sequence Checkli could have sent
Email 1: Voting checklist — a little background on why they’re choosing to email about the mid-term elections with a CTA that gives them the checklist.
Email 2: Find out if you’re registered to vote — walk them through the process so it shows them what to expect and takes away the anxiety.
Email 3: How to find out where your polling station is.
Email 4: Friendly reminder to find out what their local polling hours with a link to where they can do so.
Email 5: Tips on how to schedule time from work to vote
Email 6: It’s voting day! Link to your voter checklist again. Maybe a picture of Checkli’s team going to vote.
Checkli has never sent regular emails. I created an account in 2016 and only received five emails from them since- two of which were on the day I signed up!
If they wanted to champion voting as their cause, a sequence was the way to go.
Why I care…
Two reasons. One- I’m an email copywriter. It breaks my heart to see companies flounder great opportunities to connect with their customers and make an impact.
Second — I’m passionate about voting. I voted for the first time this year at age 32. I was an expat for ten years, and before that, we were under a martial law. So even though I was over 18, no elections were being held.
What this means for you and your business
Whether you’re championing a cause or running a promotion, email sequences are important. Don’t skimp on them and for the love of god, don’t send an auto-generated, copy-less email to your customers.