Can a Bad Email Program Lose an Election?

Posted by David Toushek on

Two months ago the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) was at the top of the polls with a strong lead over the incumbent Conservatives and the struggling Liberals. So what changed? Well, the debates seem to have helped as Trudeau surprised a lot of people with his strong performance, his ideas, and his passion.

But what about advertising? It seems the Conservatives, with arguably the largest war chest at their disposal, have outdone and out spent the other two parties with more Twitter activity, more followers, and much more television advertising. All this spending hasn’t apparently gotten the Conservatives very far in the polls, but imagine where they would be without it!

What’s interesting, though, is the battle between the Liberals and the NDP—both of which are trying desperately to appeal to Canadians in every way possible and convince them that they are the party that will “Stop Harper.”

So what effect has advertising had on the Liberal party’s success? Don’t forget that this is the party that was all but snuffed out after the last federal election, and has mounted a major comeback despite the odds (and the constant attack ads) to rise to first place. How have they managed to beat out the NDP that just a few short months ago surged to 40% support in the polls and had federal power within reach for the first time in its history?

And why is the NDP sitting back and letting the Liberals steal their supporters (along with their funding and their votes)? Why in the final days before this crucial election when victory has never been closer, yet slipping through their fingers, aren’t they emptying the coffers and throwing every bit of cash they have at this to reach Canadians? Have they given up? Don’t they believe in advertising? Or are they perhaps broke?

Did they fail (as my colleague suggested several weeks ago) to reach their email subscriber/fundraising base? Did they spend their money sending email campaigns to junk boxes when they could have returned my numerous calls and emails to partner with Return Path and actually reach the inbox?

I can’t tell you how much of each party’s fundraising comes from email marketing. But I can tell you that some of the party’s campaigns below reached the inbox and generated much needed funding, and others, well… take a look:

election2

Sent October 14, 12:20pm

  • Subject Line: Don’t let it go unanswered.
  • 34.3% Junked*
  • 5% Read*
  • 7% Deleted Without Reading*

election1

Sent October 13, 6:03pm

  • Subject Line: Not too late
  • 3.1% Junked*
  • 34% Read*
  • 6% Deleted Without Reading*

election3

Sent October 13, 8:48pm

  • Subject Line: Just noticed
  • 4.8% Junked*
  • 24% Read*
  • 10% Deleted Without Reading*

* Figures are approximations based on Return Path’s proprietary panel data


Popular this Month

 Video in Email: Is It Right For Your Business? (Part 1)

Video in Email: Is It Right For Your Business? (Part 1)

Video in email is nothing new. Marketers have been using some form of video...

Read More

 [New Research] Are These Hidden Metrics Harming Your Deliverability?

[New Research] Are These Hidden Metrics Harming Your Deliverability?

Reaching the inbox is not as simple as hitting send. Once a message is...

Read More

 What Job Is Your Subscriber Hiring Your Email To Do?

What Job Is Your Subscriber Hiring Your Email To Do?

Over the last 16 years, I’ve worked as a product manager, run product...

Read More

Author Image

About David Toushek

David is a Regional Sales Executive providing email marketing expertise to some of Canada's largest brands. David challenges marketers to push beyond the status quo and to see gaps and opportunties they wouldn't otherwise be able to see. He helps many of Canada's top marketers to increase their engagment rates and revenue and to beat their competition.

Author Archive

Stay up to date

Enter your name and email address below to subscribe to our mailing list.

Your browser is out of date.
For a better Return Path experience, click a link below to get the latest version.