5 Nasty surprises to avoid when using an email list in a political campaign

By: Ron Fox

Use of Email campaign for political elections have been an important part of the election campaigning. However it is very important to understand that emailing for political election campaign should be performed in a way which benefits your campaigning. The can-spam laws contain regulations regarding emailing and have definitely affected how you can conduct an email campaign.

Did you know this about using email software?

1. It is legal for you to email to a voter list as long as certain things are included in your email, such as an opt-out feature, an address, and no deceptive practices.

2. The email program on your computer limits the number of emails you can send at one time and is not suited to sending bulk emails.

3. Even though it is legal, virtually no email marketing service will let you use their software to send emails to your list. Constant Contact, iContact, MailChimp and almost every other email marketing service will refuse because they will not allow the use of a mailing list provided by a 3rd party, even if it is legal and an opt-in list. They will only allow you to send emails to individuals with whom you have personally established a relationship. Reason, if they receive too many complaints that emails sent through their service were spam, they could be blacklisted and their business hurt. They don't want the bother.

4. There is email software you can purchase to send bulk emails. Costs money, learning curve varies with the software, and still the possibility of being black listed as a spammer if not done correctly.

5. There are companies that provide email services for large political campaigns. However, probably not within the budget of a local campaign.
It's like being all dressed up and no place to go.

Recommendation: We at WinAnElection were ready to stop offering email lists because of the problems candidates had using them. Then we found a solution with the NationBuilder campaign management software we offer our clients. 3rd party voter lists can be uploaded into the program, emails easily developed in compliance with can-spam laws, email campaigns easily managed, and emails sent through NationBuilder at very affordable prices.

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Ron Fox is the founder of WinAnElection. WinAnElection is dedicated to developing affordable professional election campaign tools so that more ordinary citizens can participate in our democratic processes and find ways how to win an election

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