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Interesting List-Building Tactic in a Democratic Activist Email, With a Republican Online Game for a Chaser

BY Colin Delany | Thursday, August 16 2007

Cross-posted on e.politics

Just got an interesting email from the DNC asking me to...no, not to give money, but to send a thank-you note. (Paging Miss Manners...). Actually, it's a clever idea, since constant begging for donations can be a big turnoff for supporters and can hasten an email list's decline.

Instead, in this case, the message asks recipients to send a note of support to a Democratic local organizer, using a national party field staff conference as a hook. Of course, there IS a donate button at the bottom of the message (they'd be crazy to leave it off), but it's not the focus. And when I took the bait and sent a nice note through the party's online form, I was redirected not to a donations form (which I expected) but to a tell-a-friend page. Who knows what happens to the actual thank-you notes once you hit the submit button, but this seems like an excellent list-maintenance and list-building exercise. And, it helps keep supporters focused on local political organizing, which has been a party priority under Howard Dean.

Update: The Republicans fire back! An email arrived from the RNC an hour or so after the Dem note (I'm on both lists, natch) touting a match-Democratic-candidates-with-their-positions game. I gave it a try, but I gotta say, kind of lame execution — aren't games supposed to be fun? This one's neither terribly intuitive nor particularly rewarding, and the spin applied to the Democratic candidates' statements is dizzying. Next!

cpd