Fundraising emails work! ... except when they don't. An insider's perspective.

This week our inboxes were once again cluttered with emails from campaigns and other political organizations. But why?

It's quite common for folks in the world of digital politics to claim that these emails work. On its face, it's not incorrect; every time an email goes out, the dollars - at least a few of them - come in.

But there's a cost. A huge cost.

These EOQ blitzes annoy supporters -  and when people are annoyed, they unsubscribe. Each unsubscription equals another person who is less connected to the campaign - and we need them connected if we want them to volunteer or donate. Plus, there seems to be more of a focus on short-term metrics like dollars - at the expense of a long-term sense of community and connectedness.

President Obama set out to change politics - and the country - for the better. That included changing the relationship between campaigns and supporters. He understood that we need to make people feel connected if we want them to support us, to volunteer for us, to donate to us. A few years after Howard Dean pioneered email fundraising, Obama revolutionized it. The conversational tone is still featured in today's OFA emails.

Unfortunately, most campaigns have run away from that (just like they ran away from our President himself).

Today, political fundraising emails have gone out of control, offering little substance except for fear and groveling. No updates on events, no big announcements, pleas for money.

And that money? Well, a lot of it is going toward consultants - including digital consultants - when it could instead go towards things that could help us win elections.

The consultants see dollar signs.

The Democrats see defeat.

We have fewer seats in Congress than at any point since the Truman era. Democrats have only 58 of 148 seats in Michigan's legislature. Voter turnout in 2014 was lower than any other midterm since 1942 - when many eligible voters were overseas. (Yes, gerrymandering played a role - but how did the gerrymanderers get in office? Exactly.)

We can do better. I know we can. The Democratic Party is one of the greatest forces for good in the world. Not just the country - the world.

That's part of why I founded Humanoid Digital. It's also why I am so active in the Party.

Let's fix this. Together.

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