Originally published by Campaigns & Elections on April 29, 2020

Coronavirus has disrupted almost every aspect of our society and our economy, and these ripples are being acutely felt in the world of political fundraising. In some cases, fundraising receptions have become video calls and rallies have become live streams. But for most campaigns and groups, email remains the primary touchpoint they have with their supporters and donors.

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Send emails that speak to what people need in this moment (Photo from Unsplash)

So how should you adapt your email program in the current conditions? Here are some ways to keep your program active:

Up your mix of non-fundraising appeals.

One way to navigate this is by diversifying the kinds of emails you’re sending. This is an emotional moment for many. People are seeking comfort, clear and reliable information, and a venue to get involved and make a difference. Send emails that speak to what people need in this moment. …

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Your cause is important.

You’re emailing your list because you need to get their attention. You craft a well-written, well-designed email.

But when you send, something frustrating happens. Open rates are languishing in the teens (or even worse, single digits).

Since only a sliver of your list is even opening your email, your email doesn’t perform as well as it should.

Then, to add insult to injury, you’re talking to a major supporter about the topic you just sent an email about and they ask: “Why didn’t you send me an email about it?”

Sound familiar? We hear about this issue from potential and new clients at A+G all the time. It’s a problem many campaigns face every day. In a world where emails are still a prevailing form of online communication, bad deliverability can be deadly. …

For down-ballot races and small to medium-sized organizations, these tools can be a lifesaver.

Remember when it was “novel” and“fascinating” to see the emergence of digital impacting the political space?

Today, politicians and organizations connect with voters and stakeholders through their screens like never before. Digital platforms aren’t just for communications, it is a prerequisite to win.

At A+G, many of our clients are smaller organizations and campaigns who, while agile, operate on smaller budgets. But it’s important that digital be accessible to good causes of all sizes.

That’s why we’re always trying to help progressive organizations up their digital game.

As they focus on their mission, our job is to make sure they run the most effective and efficient digital campaigns possible within the resources at their disposal. So we put together a list of some of our favorite online marketing tools and apps, which all have a free version, that can help build up a better digital program. …

The outcome of the 2016 election still haunts us but it offers many insights and indicators into what digital campaigning will look like in the 2018 election and beyond.

Among the biggest lessons following 2016? The importance of connecting with voters through authentic communication and organizing on digital channels.

Here are three of the most important trends we’ve seen.

A Mobile Environment

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No surprise here. Mobile has been a massive trend for years and it’ll only continue to be more important. 69% of all media time is now spent on smartphones. …

As marketers, we have every reason to stick to a mobile-first strategy. After all, 69% of all media time is now spent on smartphones and 80% of global internet usage happens on mobile.

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Make sure your digital program performs at it’s best by meeting your audience where they are: mobile.

When you need to reach an audience, you need to reach them where you are. And whether your audience is consumers, supporters, or likely voters, that means mobile. People spend more time on mobile devices than all other media combined and most users keep their phones within arms reach 24 hours a day. It’s a vast ocean of opportunity. …

As digital strategists, we hear from clients all the time who are looking to add value to their digital program without breaking the bank. Our clients, mostly campaigns and political organizations, are organizations whose missions we care deeply about as progressives.

That’s why we work to make sure our strategies are actionable and result in immediate impact for them. Here are five low-lift and specific steps you can take to up your digital game.

Authentic voice — don’t sound like a robot.

The ultimate goal is to win somebody over — whether you’re asking them to purchase something, sign on to something, like a petition, or asking for their vote. …

Trump has been president for 284 days.

So far, he’s only bombed a half dozen countries. Unfortunately, that includes a couple of our former allies. Oh well. Diplomatic relationships around the world have been ruptured and the rest are strained.

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The Democratic Party is allowed a website. For now…

Israel no longer trusts the United States and Iran is just days away from the bomb, but that’s okay: Trump says he’ll nuke the whole region. He’s followed through on threats to withdraw support from NATO, and Russia is turning Eastern Europe into puppet states. China has similarly taken over Southeast Asia. …

By Giovanni Hashimoto

The Asian American activist community has exploded with commentary on Margaret Cho’s gag lampooning North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un at this year’s Golden Globes — with many criticizing its representation of Asian Americans.

Kao Kalia Yang writes why many saw the bit as problematic:

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were on either side of her. Margaret Cho was in the middle. Amy Poehler had on a beautiful blue evening gown. Tina Fey wore an elegant black and white dress. Margaret Cho had on an army uniform. Amy Poehler’s hair was parted to one side and Tina’s was parted to the other, clean and shiny. Margaret’s hair was pulled back into a severe bun. She wore an army cap. She had thick white powder on her face and incredibly red lips. She opened her mouth, streams of words, barely recognizable as English came forth in a thick, heavy caricature of an Asian American accent (never mind that there are many different varieties). …

That guy. Why won’t he shower?!

1) Pizza is your life

Pizza is not just a major food group on campaigns, it’s everything. Not the delicious artisan kind either, just the gross stuff from the local pizza place. Try not to have too much too soon: there’s no escaping it once GOTV starts.

2) You know your Taylor Swift

You don’t have to be a fan to learn all the lyrics; somebody in your office will be. And they will have you singing along her newest album, that she released just in time for GOTV, in no time. When you think back to a cycle, the soundtrack will be the corresponding Taylor Swift album. …

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Sen. Warren would lose power in a Republican Senate

With the election 33 days away, control of the Senate is coming down to the wire and hinges on the result in a few key states — and the result couldn’t be more important.

A Senate led by Mitch McConnell would be devastating for progressives and anyone who hopes to move the country during the president’s final two years in office. Instead of progress, we would see gridlock and ongoing battles over issues that should have been settled long ago. …


Giovanni Hashimoto

Progressive digital politics.

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