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What Can Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign Teach Your Brand about Email Marketing?

As arguably the most inflammatory and controversial politician in North America, businessman Donald Trump’s bid to claim the presidency of the United States has caught the attention of interested viewers from around the globe. Whether you agree with his politics or think his campaign is something that registers closer to a carnival spectacle, it’s hard to deny that Trump is a master of marketing his personal brand.

In fact, some email marketing experts – like Media Post’s Loren McDonald – think that there are plenty of lessons that brands like your own can learn from “The Donald.” With this mind, let’s spend some time dissecting the finer points of Donald Trump’s tumultuous – yet effective – presidential bid and see what tactic and tips translate to the inbox.

Understand Your Target Audience and the Market Climate

While some political experts view Trump’s over-the-top posturing and promises as mere grandstanding and attention-seeking, McDonald explains that this approach is a strong example of just how a politician can understand – and adapt – to the desires of his or her target audience. Trump knows that bravado and boisterous rhetoric performs well with the demographics that make up his constituency, so he caters to this methodology in his speech writing and debate appearances.

This isn’t to say that your brand should adopt the exact same approach to connect with consumers in the inbox as Donald Trump does with potential voters on the campaign trail. Rather, the lesson here is that understanding the context of the customer experience and adjusting your content to fill the needs and desires of these viewers is a powerful way to build a lasting and meaningful connection.

Keep Your Message Simple

“Make America Great Again!”

The message backing this slogan and Trump’s campaign in general is simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. As Marcus Specter of Australia’s King Kong marketing blog points out, by adhering to these core concepts, Trump has branded himself in a way that resonates with his audience and translates well to a variety of outreach channels.

Unfortunately, not every industry, marketplace, or audience lends itself to such direct language or message structuring. However, if your brand is able to keep things simple in the inbox and get straight to the point with its email marketing content, then making an impact with your target viewership can become a far more expedient and direct process.

A Big Budget Isn’t the Only Key to Success

While current and former candidates are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to keep up with the media frenzy created by this candidate, Trump generates an astounding amount of buzz merely by being himself. From TV coverage to in-person meetups and voter rallies, the world is constantly receiving updates on Trump’s every move.

The email marketing lesson hidden within this observation? Just because you spend a ton of money on this – or any other – marketing practice, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to win over your target viewership. Members of your contact list want things like constant interaction with your organization, mobile-friendly messaging structure, and access to content from industry influencers, so focus less on the raw budget numbers for your campaign and more on spending these valuable resources in a smart and efficient manner.

Social Media Is the Ideal Running Mate

With over 6.47 million followers on Twitter, it’s safe to say that Donald Trump is clearly winning on the social media front of this election cycle. Considering how important a strong social presence is in today’s digital landscape, it’s hard not to assume that having such a powerful following bodes well for Trump’s chances of garnering votes as the election cycle continues its march toward a new POTUS.

This same concept also applies to your brand’s prospects with its target audience. Sure, email marketing is still the top dog when it comes to connecting with digital customers, but social media is the perfect “running mate” for your inbox operations. By remaining active on the platforms that truly resonate with your target audience, you can generate even more awareness for your email offers and content. This increased exposure helps garner more contact list sign-ups and brand reach, thus creating a positive feedback loop across these heavily intertwined channels.

As you can see, there are plenty of email marketing lessons to be learned from the sometimes controversial, yet always exciting, campaign of Donald Trump. Whether Trump truly does make it all the way to the White House or ends up watching as his campaign go up in flames, there’s no denying that tapping into at least some of the marketing tactics embodied by this larger-than-life figure is good way to build a strong bond with your inbox audience.

About Victor Green

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