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View Diary: How BC04 made better use of its email list (238 comments)

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  •  Email lists are rented all the time (none)
    Just like in direct mail lists are compiled, bought, traded, rented and sold all the time.

    The value of email direct marketing is the cost of a mailing is so much lower than the regular kind.

    The failure of a badly done email campaign is that people tune it out like all the other Bulk Commercial Email they get -- the ubiquitous spam.

    Email marketing can be tremendously powerful -- if you build up a relationship with your readers.  Simply considering that they are a source of cash is not just abusive of the relationship but in the long run unprofitable.

    A good email series will over time sort and qualify your list, so that you don't dun those who are having trouble keeping a roof over their heads but would be willing to write an LTE that clarifies the campaign position for their local newspaper readership. In this and other ways you would inspire and encourage each to give as each can.

    I'm working on a book about using your web site and emails to help small business owners run and promote their business, so I have done a lot of research and thinking on the issue.  I'm surprised to read that the Kerry campaign did not get some of the basic principles of marketing let alone email marketing.

    •  i have not (none)
      come across a non-profit that rents its list out and i have worked for a couple and get over 40 of them feeding into a website i run.  there is a difference between e-marketing for businesses and e-activism, both in tactics and demographics.
      •  Fair enough (none)
        In terms of renting out lists with the orgs you deal with.
        Do you think the Right's "faith" based organizations were so circumspect?

        The right to privacy is a serious issue to grapple with and many average web surfers have no idea what they agree to when they request some sort of information.  They fail to read the fine print that expressively gives permission for their email address to be "shared".

        Do you think no one asked anyone on their org's list to somehow join another list, ie by responding to some sort of poll or request for information?  

        That no one shared their mailing list by writing about some other org's concern with directions on how to get involved in that org's list?

        Whether for business or for non profit both sides need to build relationships with their readers, need to ask them what their problems are and how happy they are with the service you provide.  

        I think you can read here how many people feel that the email campaigns they were subjected to did not do these things.  And it seems to me the KE suffered for it.

        •  i should clarify (none)
          I wrote:"They fail to read the fine print that expressively gives permission for their email address to be "shared"."

          I should have said:"They fail to read the fine print on some sites that expressively gives permission for their email address to be "shared"."  

          And that those sites don't have to be non profits to sell/rent their email lists to non profits.

          •  sure they all have a privacy policy (none)
            which you can usually get at on the bottom of the website here are some examples here  here and here.  most orgs have very detailed ones that do not permit them to rent their list.  

            that said once they do in some form have your name they do not fail to use it to the max.  users frequently find that when they sign a petition that they somehow failed to read the fine print or uncheck a box that automatically signed them up for the list.  most of the orgs employ compainies like Kintera or GetActive that create their websites and their activism centers.  these companies have regulations that they set for unsubscribe links and how easily you can get someone on your list.  beyond that the organization sets up the full privacy policy that goes into more detail.

      •  ACLU (none)
        Actually, the ACLU rents out it's mailing list (I don't know about e-mail, however) pretty shamelessly considering what the organization is all about. I made a donation to the ACLU, using my middle name in addition to my first and last name...and in a short time I was subjected to a flood of solicitations from liberal organizations, all addressed to me using my middle name.
        •  yup (none)
          pretty standard practice i am afraid. HRC, Sierra Club, they all do it.  the funny thing is that they sell each other their lists and it goes round and round.  it is pretty refreshing not to have it happen with email.  people get enough spam the last thing they want is an organization they respect and trust passing on their email address.

          p.s. if you dont want an org to sell your name, just make sure your request it when you sign up.  they let you know in the fine print of most mailings if you are a member that there are options out.  it is a simple change to a flag in a database for them.

          •  Ears are burning (none)
            Oh my, not 5 minutes after I posted about the ACLU selling my name, my phone rings and it's the ACLU!!!!
            •  lol (none)
              you can ask to get off their phone list too.  or just tell them to bug you once a year to renew.  oh and a good option is to give once a month, they can gouge you for a fair amount, but you never get renewal notices or phone calls unless they screw up.

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