Gmail users prefer to vote for Obama, Yahoo users prefer to vote for Romney!

Vote for Kermit! Political parties don't know how to manage email marketing.
Vote for Kermit! Political parties don’t know
how to manage email marketing

Return Path put out a great infographic about the use of email marketing by both political parties during the 2012 presidential election. The results are interesting and somewhat funny. Both candidates use email marketing strongly, but just take a look at the differences!

  • Obama has five times the number of email subscribers as Romney
    TweetThat’s a telling stat. But, I’m not surprised by this since Obama is a sitting president who’s had 4 years in office to grow his subscriber list. Do you suppose he personally manages his email lists? Yeah, you’re right. He probably has someone to do that for him. But, I just checked our customer list and no, he’s not a customer of our email marketing software product. Go figure.
  • Where inbox placement is concerned, Obama is beating out Romney at 68% inbox placement vs. 50%. So where does the rest of that email go? To the spam box. That’s what I’ve been harping on small businesses about. You’ve got to really appeal to your subscribers if you want to stay in the inbox.
  • Vote for spam!You don’t get to just cast your ballot in the 2012 presidential election, you also get to vote on who’s email gets sent to the spam box. In this case, Obama loses with a whopping 5% of all recipients taking the time to manually mark his email as spam. Ouch. Romney is at just 0.8%. Not bad for a political party.
  • Deleting email without reading it
    This metric isn’t the same as marking an email as spam. If your subscribers aren’t opening your email at all, that is not good. Again, Romney has the edge.


  • Gmail subscribers vs. Yahoo subscribers. This is the most interesting stat!
    Gmail users vote for Obama and Yahoo users vote for Romney!Tweet

    I honestly would have had no idea if you had asked me to predict this one. We do see stats that say more technical people prefer Google products as compared to Yahoo products, so maybe Obama has appealed to the tech nerds? But that’s OK. This is America. You tech nerds can vote any darn way you please. Click the infographic below to see the stats up close.

Hey nimrod, stop abusing your email subscribers
Last year I did some consulting work with a political party (and they shall remain anonymous) about their email marketing strategy. I must say that I will not relish the opportunity again. Political parties are motivated so strongly and on such a finite timetable that they push way too much email to their subscribers, resulting in the poor statistics outlined here. They just have not gotten the message about how to use email marketing without abusing it.

Are you wasting your money with email marketing?

Click to

Just think about how different the influence of all these political emails might have been had both candidates had 98% inbox placement (a deliverability metric to which you should aspire). How much voting influence has been lost because they sent out too much email, too quickly, in excess of what subscribers were expecting? And just look at the results. First of all, large amounts of money have been spent to send huge volumes of email that ends up never reaching the subscriber. And more importantly, just think about how much money was not donated to the political party since so much of that email did not reach the subscriber. You still have to pay for email that never reaches the inbox.

Email that doesn’t reach the inbox means less revenue for your organization

So what should be your take-away from reading this article?
You need to be convinced, or convince your executives, to stop looking at things like the number of subscribers and how often you can email them. Instead, focus on email marketing best practices. What do your subscribers want from your emails? How often do they want to receive it?

Have you been bombarded by political emails? What was your favorite one? Tell us in the comments.

Image credit: Walt Stoneburner under Creative Commons

About Nate Goodman

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR Nathan Goodman is a freelance fiction writer and the author behind The Special Agent Jana Baker Spy-Thriller Series. "A terrorist on the loose, a country in panic, and time is running out..." FOR A FREE COPY of book one, visit the author's website.