Labour - Tony and Gordon communicate
As anticipated, the Labour Party sent out two emails - one for fundraising on Tuesday (since Monday was a Bank Holiday) and today, a communique from the two men who run 10 Downing Street. Interestingly enough, the campaign seems to be following the wisdom of the consultants - if the populace thinks that Labour will win comfortably, their supporters will not consider the vote important and ignore the polls. So, while staying clear of communicating action statements ("Labour will..."), they are using the threat of a Conservative government if people do not come out to the polls. Interestingly enough, Labour hit upon the true nature of the email campaign methodology once again - communicate to the audience (Labour supporters) a problem (potential voter apathy), outlined the potential bad outcome (Conservative government) and how the reader could help (get to the polls). All designed to play to the individuals who have been reading the emails - and to get them to act.
Conservatives - someone learned KISS
After watching the continuation of the Conservative email campaign, this afternoon (2pm GMT) the Conservatives sent one of their best emails - from Michael Howard with a more compelling subject line and using video communicating the tactics of Labour (using the fear of a Conservative government) versus the party of action which the Conservatives are positioning themselves. Attached to these video links are a eight-point plan as to what a Conservative government would do in power in the first two years. Keeping it Simple and easy to read.
While this email is very pretty and has very compelling elements, again - there are challenges that can be learned from.
- Use text whenever possible
The use of a graphic for the eight-point plan looks good - but due to spam filters and slow connections (Digital Britain is still not a reality), graphics are not seen unless the reader allows the graphics to be downloaded.
- Summarize the point of the call to action
The use of the video is good, but the placement (in the center top of the page) with no explanation except the link description does not incentivise a reader to click on the link aside from the most interested of folks. Why should I click on these links? And what should I do? The first half of an email (think of the above the fold concept in newspapers) are designed to capture the reader - and lead them down to the next step.
- Be consistant with branding and personality
Ironically, while I like the fact that the oppressive blue template was removed - the branding disappeared which was present in the other emails. And, while the email came from Michael Howard, it was not "written" by him. Just by putting his name and a catchy subject line does not build the relationship. The previous email from Liam Fox was more personal and connecting.
But, a much better showing of the email than I previously commented on. One question will be - how soon does Zack and his team respond with an email to attack the Conservative plan?
LibDems - MIA?
In the closing days, the LibDems emails have almost become placid with the same rote content - and arriving much later than expected. In the final two days, no major calls to action - just a link to Mr. Kennedy's comments on the future of the party. The disappointment in this is the opportunity for the party to leverage their third-party status and draw out their supporters. From a recent Economist article, the LibDems enjoy a very strong support from the more Internet-saavy Britions - here is the channel where they can make a difference. With the final day, I look forward to a surprise in their campaign.