Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Mailbag

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 719

One of the things I’ve done as part of this caucusing experience is sign up at each campaign’s web site (except for Kucinich and Gravel, I mean. Gotta draw the line of plausibility somewhere!). This isn’t out of any sense of commitment to any of them at this point, but rather to let them know that there’s an email address in Des Moines that they should be targeting, and to keep tabs on what everyone’s campaign is broadcasting to their base of supporters.

It’s been an education so far. The “vote for me” content is no surprise, but the numbers, as is so often the case, are telling. Since signing up on the various campaign sites, here are some stats that I find interesting:
Total campaign emails received this month = 24
Source of greatest number of emails = Clinton (7), trailed by Biden (5)
Source of least number of emails = 3-way tie: Dodd, Richardson, Vilsack, all with just 1 each
Longest lapse between emails = Vilsack (7 days)

What is all this supposed to mean? For starters, it tells me a lot about the level of net-roots focus in the campaigns. Who is keeping their supporters and prospective supports in touch with their candidate? Who is reaching out, and who is laying back? Who understands that on-line activists are a crucial early contest constituency, and is working to get their message out to them?

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from the numbers so far.

Also fascinating to me is the question of why every campaign - especially those of the lesser-known and less well-funded candidates - isn’t really, really, REALLY working their mailing lists. The people on these lists are universally volunteering to receive campaign email, which costs nothing to create, nothing to distribute, and is virtually guaranteed to reach its intended audience. Campaigns who treat this channel of communication as an afterthought do so at their peril.

My advice to the campaigns: keep those cards and letters coming!


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