Ask anyone who works in political fundraising and you’ll hear about it: Small-dollar donations just aren’t what they used to be.
And while that’s due to a combination of factors, including the current economic and inflationary environment, it doesn’t change a stark reality for political campaigns: They will need to step up their email game in 2024 in order to meet fundraising targets.
“Email is the workhorse of digital marketing when it comes to driving small-dollar donations,” said Jordan Cohen, SVP of Political and Advocacy at AudiencePoint. “We all use Facebook, we all use Google, but about 70 percent of online donations will come through email. It is the number one channel.”
One of the biggest issues political marketers need to solve next year: a decrease in engagement rates across the board. Enter the data collective Cohen said AudiencePoint has been building for years now. It’s a data pool made up of major senders — commercial, nonprofit, and campaigns alike — contributing data that takes in more than 90 percent of email addresses in the U.S.
While political practitioners are used to things like issue affinity, donor files and voter files, Cohen argues they simply don’t have the predictive reliability campaigns need in this environment. That a donor gave during the ’22 midterms or four years ago in the presidential cycle isn’t fully predictive of how they will behave today because economic conditions are so different.
“Audience Point has a different angle, a different set of data,” said Cohen. “And specifically, it’s looking at email response rates: opens, clickthroughs, purchases across hundreds of major senders and we’re able to see if people are responding right now to a marketing pitch.”
With ACTIVATE, AudiencePoint’s solution for political campaigns, the data is used both to improve email marketing effectiveness, as well as to build custom audiences for display and social media ad targeting that reduce waste and have higher response rates.