Hillary vs. Bernie: Applying Email Marketing Measurement to Track a Political Race’s Shifting Momentum
Bernie Sanders was winning. Heading into the first Democratic presidential debate, Sanders’ email messages were reaching more users than Hillary Clinton’s and his program was performing significantly better. In the week before the event, nearly 95 percent of his email reached the inbox, almost 19 percent was read, and less than 13 percent was ignored (deleted without being read).
The Clinton campaign clearly lagged. Less than 16 percent of its email messages were being read and 10 percent were going straight to spam. On the positive side less than 12 percent of the campaign’s email was being ignored, but the program needed a boost to catch up to Sanders’ engagement, and the televised debate provided a timely opportunity to reach a national audience and energize subscribers.
Clinton emailed her subscribers that night, “Turn on Your TV,” and 20 percent read the message. The next day 19 percent read the message, “She won.” Over the following week the Clinton campaign’s email program maintained its lift with statistically significant improvements in read rate (17 percent) and inbox placement rate (91 percent).
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About Tom Sather
Email data and deliverability expert Tom Sather has worked with top-tier brands to diagnose and solve inbox placement and sender reputation issues as a strategic consultant with Return Path. As the company’s senior director of research, Tom is a frequent speaker and writer on email marketing trends and technology. His most recent analysis of new inbox applications’ effects on consumer behavior was widely cited across leading business media outlets including the Financial Times, Ad Age, and Media Post.