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First look at 2008 presidential email campaigns

Over at Political Gastronomica, blogger and author Sanford Dickert notices that the volume of emails from putative presidential candidates is starting to pick up -- but not all email efforts are equal.

But, what seems to be missing from some ... is a succinct, engaging narrative that poses a problem that is solved by our involvement. Getting us to engage and invest in the solution makes us stronger supporters in the long run.

I have to give credit to some of the players - like BlueStateDigital (behind the emails from Rod Smith) and Mayfield Strategies (behind the content from Hillary, Cantwell, Casey and others) - they are generating well-written and engaging content.

What worries me is that others - like Bayh, Biden and Feingold - who are trying to position themselves for the upcoming fight - are not winning the discourse. They are getting missives out there - but little engagement. Where are the real problems that we could solve with you - the candidates?

This is a great point. The purpose of email broadcasting is NOT to engage in cheap, easy, fast one-way political messaging.

Rather, email should be engaging. (Frankly, everything you do should be engaging, but let's get the email right first.) There should be a compelling reason for folks to get your email -- tell stories, engage folks, ask them to get involved in meaningful ways.

Above all else, think of your folks as "people" not "subscribers".

Related tips on P&T:
Build engagement by surveying your supporters
Still recruiting volunteers on the phone?
Now that's a compelling action alert email
How do you build your email list?
Post-election email strategy
Be Disciplined with Email