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2022

Senate Majority PAC

  • $42.6 million raised online
  • 763K individual contributions
  • 357% return on ad spend
Senate Majority PAC
Senate Majority PAC

Introduction

Effective email marketing is essential to any modern fundraising strategy, but it can be challenging to reach supporters when emails are being marked as spam. When Authentic took over Senate Majority PAC’s email program, we were faced with the daunting task of reviving the senate campaign fundraising program after a devastating 74% bounce rate in the wake of the 2018 midterm elections. In this email marketing and branding design case study, we will explore how our team tackled this issue head-on and implemented best practices to turn the program around.

Services

Email Fundraising, Branding, Design, Deliverability Improvements

Overcoming a 74% Bounce Rate: How Authentic Revived SMP’s Email Program

When Authentic inherited SMP’s email program, we quickly realized that a significant portion of emails was not making it to supporter inboxes, with 74% being marked as spam. We knew that we needed to take immediate action to improve the program’s deliverability and increase the chances of emails reaching supporters. Our team worked with IP and spam-based blacklists to refresh SMP’s sender reputation, ensuring that emails were no longer automatically marked as spam.

We then implemented best practices and techniques for email deliverability, including optimizing the email content and subject lines, segmenting the email list, and regularly cleaning up the list to remove inactive subscribers. We also conducted A/B testing to determine the most effective time of day and day of the week to send emails.

The results of these efforts were clear: we were able to significantly reduce the bounce rate and increase the number of emails reaching supporters’ inboxes. Our open rates increased from single digits to industry-standard rates, and our click-through rates saw a dramatic improvement as well. As a result of these improvements, the SMP email program became a major piece of their fundraising infrastructure and remains so to this day.

Flip the Senate: How a Rebrand Transformed SMP’s Email Fundraising

To improve audience segments, we conducted a months-long warm-up process where we reintroduced SMP to its 1,000,000-person supporter base in small batches, gradually increasing subscribers to avoid the spam folder. We also recommended a slight rebrand from “Senate Majority PAC” to “Flip the Senate” to rebuild trust among previously-active supporters. This email marketing and branding design case study’s result was a stronger fundraising program with higher open and click-through rates.

“Authentic’s team is professional, creative, and committed to developing digital programs that are unique to each client. They have been great partners in the fight to win and maintain Democratic control of the Senate.”

Karen Hancox, Senate Majority PAC

Conclusion

The success of SMP’s email program demonstrates the importance of effective email marketing and maintaining a positive sender reputation. Through our efforts, including working to remove the program from IP-based blocks and blacklists, implementing best practices, and regularly cleaning up the email list, Authentic was able to revive the program and increase its effectiveness. This email marketing and branding design case study’s result was a stronger fundraising program with higher open and click-through rates.

As demonstrated in the 2020 General Election cycle and beyond, the email program continued to be a major piece of SMP’s fundraising infrastructure, with SMP ranking as one of the top fundraisers on ActBlue in 2022. This case study serves as an example of how strategic email marketing can transform a struggling program into a vital fundraising vehicle, and the critical role it plays in modern political campaigns.

In 2022, we also redesigned SMP’s website and updated it’s branding. You can view that work here: senatemajority.com