Cheap NFL Jerseys Hillary supporters: hope you are fans of [insert group here] - ThinkStream
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Hillary supporters: hope you are fans of [insert group here]

by Matthew Dybwad on Jan.12, 2009, under Posts

Hillary Clinton is renting out her list (Ben Smith’s Blog: Renting out the list – Politico.com), hoping to cash in on other “aligned” groups who will pay to solicit to people who gave Clinton their email addresses when they supported her political campaign.

How many of those people do you think anticipated getting hit to participate in completely disparate organizations? How effective do you think that list is going to be the 5th time they rent it? The 10th time? I wouldn’t want to be the poor liberal cause that gets stuck at the tail end of that list’s usefulness. Nor would I want to be on that list, even if I were a supporter, since my reason for opting in clearly no longer exists.

This is one more reason why: a) rented email is at the very end of the list of outreach opportunities I suggest to campaigns and, b) amassing large lists for strategic campaign use is ultimately futile, once the specific issue that galvanized people to support the cause has become irrelevant.

This is a theme I’ve been discussing with great frequency of late in relation to the Right’s need to scramble toward a model they are familiar with: listing building and rented email. My thought here: focusing on building mammoth lists for use by the entire online Right is a waste of time.

As a means for groups to try to build up their own base and/or identify online activists, a contact cultivation program that utilizes online advertising to bring users to simple online engagement devices is far more cost effective, scalable, target-able, optimize-able, (insert your favorite “able” here) and ultimately brings the organization more qualified contacts.

Not to mention the list churn issue, which will only get worse as a lists get larger, older, and more diverse.

I agree that email is the killer app, but I take issue with the idea that building and holding huge lists that can be messaged by different smaller groups will ultimately prove nearly as valuable as enabling groups to easily access and leverage the kind of tools they need to cultivate their own contact base. After all, no contact is more valuable than the contact that actually opts into your organization specifically.

If what we’re trying to do is shoot fish in a barrel, instead of trying to just make one fish barrel bigger, why not give everyone their own barrel along with all the tools they need to fill it with their own fish? Then we can focus on making it easy for barrel owners to let their fish interact smartly with one another so that all the players gain the maximum amount of benefit from the community of fish.

In other words, we give organizations the tools that they need to identify and cultivate their own supporters while at the same time ensuring that those tools also facilitate the process of leveraging those supporters across the spectrum.


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