Day 378: 6/1/20

My emails seem to be back in sync. I’m getting one-for-one again.


For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of 1 candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, but I’ve been on 28 mailing lists! This blog breaks down recent emails with charts and excerpts. If you already know all of this, feel free to skip to the next chart!

I signed up to all mailing lists either on May 21 or the day the candidate announced, whichever was later. Using a different email address, I have donated at least $1 to all candidates who have been on a debate stage (I have given additional donations to my preferred candidates through my personal email, but the campaigns have linked the two accounts together and may ask for more as a result).

When showing breakdowns by campaigns, there will usually be 2 numbers. Emails to my non-donor account will be indicated by a darker color/top bar in horizontal bar charts. Emails to my donor account will be indicated by a lighter color/bottom bar.

Unless otherwise specified, all other charts combine the donor and non-donor numbers, as they are roughly 1-for-1, so the percentages and relative differences don’t change much. You can divide the numbers in half to get the rough estimate for what someone not signed up twice would be receiving. The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.

If you want specific data on any particular day, feel free to drop a comment!

First day of a brand new FEC period

Well, I don’t know if I should remain disappointed or be unpleasantly surprised. Joe Biden sent 4 emails to each account on June 1, and in none of them did he talk about the unrest.

He asked for four things. Well. Three.

Instead, Biden asked me to donate. He asked me if I’d like a membership card (if I donated). He asked me my opinions on how the campaign should handle the summer months. And he asked me if I would endorse him.

At least it wasn’t all red

He did take a few emails away from fundraising, but he still continued to act like nothing was wrong in the country. (As of the time of this post, Biden HAS addressed the riots in an email, but not by the time period I’m covering in this post.)

Re-reading the disclaimer at the top and bottom got me thinking.

If you’d like to pause fundraising emails for the next two weeks

Fundraising emails.

That really does sum up their email strategy in two words.

The Biden campaign team does not believe that emails are a good way of communicating with their supporters. This is why they are not using their emails to communicate with their supporters. The one and only purpose of the emails is to raise money for Biden. It is not to inform or educate their supporters. It is not to encourage them. It is not to empathize, to connect with, to praise, or to organize.

It is solely for money.

My guess is that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“Nobody is going to read the emails, so let’s not bother putting an effort into making them engaging and informative.”

The emails are not engaging and informative, so nobody reads them.

“Yep, we were right, not worth the effort.”

Now, I will say, there was one rather nice email signed by Jill Biden during the fundraising splurge last week. It was exactly the sort of email I said Biden should send more of, connecting more on a personal level while still asking for money. However, because it was a one-off oddity in the flood of begging, pleading, crying asks for money, it felt very jarring and disingenuine. This wasn’t the normal tone of the Biden campaign, and it put me on edge.

This is what happens when trust is broken. I trusted the Biden campaign to use my email to be informative and keep me up-to-date on the campaign. The Biden campaign has done all but shove pop-up ads into my inbox. I no longer trust the Biden campaign to respect my time or email. Restoring that trust takes more effort than one good email. They need to turn off the flood and take the time to build up the quality of their communication.

Until they do, don’t bother subscribing. I’ll let you know if there’s anything worthwhile.

1100 donor emails on the dot!

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