Best Practices for Political Email Campaigns

We’re well into full political campaign swing.   There’s been heated debates on both sides, campaign dreams rising and crashing, and copious amounts of commercials, social media messages, and emails….oh the emails.

Campaign managers have become more sophisticated, incorporating social media into their campaigns via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but email is still important. Email is a necessity for many candidates in federal, state, and local elections. Read rates can be an indicator of true engagement between a candidate and his or her likely voter/donor base.

You may not know that CAN-SPAM only applies to commercial email. This means that the political email you get from candidates doesn’t have to be CAN-SPAM compliant. However, it is in the best interest of anyone sending email to follow CAN-SPAM best practices. It’s best to keep your readers happy, especially when you want to leave a good impression.

Here’s a quick rundown of the best practices for being CAN-SPAM compliant (and someone constituents would donate money to):

  • Take people off your mailing list no more than 10 business days from when they’ve unsubscribed
  • Provide a noticeable unsubscribe link on all your emails
  • Don’t use false or misleading header info or subject lines

 Marco Rubio included this subject line in a recent email campaign. Illustration: Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Emails provide a platform for fundraising. They also provide a direct connection with prospective voters. Voters are becoming increasingly aware of what makes a good (and not so good) email interaction. So why would you want to jeopardize your relationship or reputation by missing out on easily following CAN-SPAM laws?

As we race towards election day, let’s keep an eye on the political email in our inboxes and see if they are adhering to best practices or if they have slipped into some bad habits.

If you would like to find out how we can manage both your suppression and opt in lists, please give us a call.


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