If you’re responsible for handling online communications and marketing for any organization, you need to understand both marketing and technology.

Case in point: an election was held on Tuesday.  Some of the races in Virginia were very close, including one near where I live.  I just received an email from one of the candidates (two days after the final votes were cast) urging me to vote.  The first sentence of the email was: “Have you voted yet?”  I can tell that the people who sent me the email clicked the “send” button on time.  I’m sure they hoped the email was going to hit me on Tuesday, when I still had time to vote.   But it didn’t get to me until today.  Thursday.   Two days too late.

If you have an important message, like “Don’t forget to vote in the next eight hours!” it won’t do any good if your email hits peoples’ inboxes 48 hours after the polls close. 

From the outside looking in, it’s impossible for me to tell if the campaign team should blame the company that provides their E-Newsletter software, or if they should blame themselves for being too aggressive in sending out emails over the course of the campaign.  (My hunch is that they should blame the E-Newsletter company, because the company probably did not have a good plan in place to schedule E-Newsletter requests on election day, when the load on their servers was guaranteed to be far higher than normal.  But if that’s the case, the fault still lies with the campaign, because the campaign needs to insist that the E-Newsletter provider develop a plan and stick to it on a critical day like that.  You can’t leave anything to chance when things are that important.)

Will Marlow is an online marketing consultant.  He can help you send out an E-Newsletter that not only reaches your prospects on time, but also wins more people over to your point of view.  He’s also the co-founder of  AlumniFidelity, which you should check out if you care about fundraising for schools and nonprofits.  Email him at w.b.marlow@gmail.com.