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'Let's get coffee, Friend' - The campaign begging emails clogging up America's inboxes

From Broadway tickets to coffee with Ivanka, the Clinton and Trump campaigns are trying every trick to hook donors.

EMAIL CAMPAIGNING IN the US is nothing new. The Obama campaign in 2008 is largely credited with setting the standard for modern digital electioneering efforts.

And the Democrat’s team perfected their approach in 2012 – taking in around €500 million based on email campaigning alone.

Data from each mailout was, of course, pored over by campaign staff, as they analysed which tactics worked and which didn’t.

Why do they work so well? Jordan Cohen, the chief marketing officer at the online marketing company Fluent, gave this analysis to NPR:

Ultimately you’re able to have a one-to-one conversation with an individual, rather than blasting a conversation to the masses.

Emailing costs “literally a fraction” of what a marketer would spend on other media, like TV, radio or print, Cohen said.

Letters from the Trumps 

GOP 2016 Convention Eric Trump Source: John Locher

Anyone who entered their email address on the Trump for President site (not to mention, Irish journalists who exchanged emails with the campaign around the time of the businessman’s mooted visit here in May) have been receiving a steady stream of emails from the campaign ever since.

That effort from the embattled Republican’s campaign has stepped up several gears in recent weeks.

In particular, there’s been an upsurge in entreaties from Donald Trump’s adult children. They’ve been trying out a range of new angles too.

We’ve been trawling the mails (so you don’t have to):


Coffee with Ivanka anyone?

“Would you like to join me for coffee sometime soon?” the email begins.

Your campaign contribution of $3 today will automatically enter you to win a chance for a trip to campaign headquarters at Trump Tower to sit down for coffee with me.

Ivanka’s email was followed up with a similar one the following day, titled ‘Let’s get coffee, Friend’.


Campaign 2016 Trump Source: Evan Vucci

‘my father’s check for €2 million’

Stepping up the hard sell, an email bearing Donald Trump Jr’s name with the above subject line landed on 27 September – the day after the first presidential debate between his father and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“Friend, your contribution today will be instantly matched for double the impact in our race to defeat Hillary Clinton.

A few days ago, my father issued a $2 million challenge to pro-America patriots everywhere. If you will give us a critical fundraising surge before the September 30th FEC deadline, my father will match everyone’s donations up to $2 million.


GOP 2016 Convention Ivanka and Donald Jr check their emails. Source: Carolyn Kaster

The emails from the Trump children make frequent use of the phrase “my father” – and attempt to strike a chatty, personal tone.

In a mail sent just before the first debate, Eric Trump says a donation of anything from €3 to €100 dollars will boost his father’s morale “strengthen his courage, and humble him as he takes the stage to fight for you — and the American people”.

It’s also indicated donors would have their names handed to the candidate in person, if they made a timely donation.

Here’s another line from Eric, from a mail sent just ahead of the second debate as his father’s campaign reeled from the release of that ‘groping’ video:

“My father has been preparing for tomorrow night’s debate and I know you’re going to be proud.

To ensure he delivers a tremendous victory for the American people, I will once again hand him a list of supporters who made a contribution in honor of our great movement.

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‘Make a statement – I’ll share with my father’

The rhetoric was stepped up in a fresh mail from Eric this week, as the Trump Organisation’s head of Development & Acquisitions insisted “we have all of the momentum on the ground going our way”.

The mail continued:

But Crooked Hillary Clinton continues to raise huge sums from Wall Street banks and special interests, leftist elites like George Soros and Hollywood liberals. This is allowing her to outspend us big time on the airwaves.

A post-script on the email makes liberal use of capitals and italics:

P.S. Help us fight back against the Clinton campaign machine, her insider cronies and the lying liberal media – they are DESPERATE to tear down my father and our Republican Party, so they can maintain their grip on power and protect the rigged system in Washington.


Letters from Hillary

Not that Trump’s is the only campaign making every possible effort to clog up America’s inboxes, mind.

As NPR reported during the summer, one mail from Hillary for America drew particular ire from voters when it included the subject line ‘Hamilton’. The email offered the reader a chance to sit next to the candidate at a performance of the show, if they donated a dollar.

The former Secretary of State has also been roping in family members to help with the effort – although we can probably be pretty certain Chelsea Clinton isn’t holed up in an office somewhere in New York, typing out her messages and sending them personally.

At least, let’s hope not…

Read: ‘You’re talking about abuse. It’s not cool’ – US athletes line up against Trump’s ‘locker room’ defence >

Read: “Repugnant”: Barack Obama has given his first reaction to Trump’s groping remarks >

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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