Marc Montoni: To really reach people, we need more than email

Marc Montoni in IPR comments:

One of the (many) things I have repeatedly tried to convince Libertarians of is that email is a woefully bad way to get real warm-body participation. They’re great for reminders, or for an occasional nudge, but they are NOT a recruiting mechanism. They *can* be used for recruiting and fundraising, but the fact is that real letters — not to mention ringing a doorbell and shaking a hand — work at a MUCH higher rate.

Establish a project for which you need X dollars. Pick out a list of 100 LP members in your area. Send 33 of them email fundraising messages. Send 33 of them hard-copy letters mailed via USPS. And go visit the other 33.

I am fully aware that the emails are by far the cheapest method of contacting the members — but you get what you pay for. Email is CHEAP. To many people, emails say we don’t care about them, if that’s all we’re willing to invest. Far too many libertarian “leaders” rely almost exclusively on email for communicating with their fellow members. If we’re serious about building the movement, or the party, we have to actually knock on doors and meet our fellows.

8 thoughts on “Marc Montoni: To really reach people, we need more than email

  1. FYI! [More Don Lake]

    And then ethical follow up, and damp down the bizarre behavior ……..

    ‘you never have a second chance at a first impression ……….’ and yet, the sweetest milk can sour rapidly under the wrong conditions!

    Ethics, ethics, ethics, the Rs and Ds don’t have em and the alternative political types need to find some!

  2. Gains

    The Rs and Ds also do not know how to do the grass roots as well. The Rs treat their activists like poop and the Ds have a lot of people wondering why they are in a coalition that perpetually tells them to wait until next election.

    The secret to politics is: “Politics is about people.” and the author above makes a critically important point about effectiveness that many might benefit from. Face to face with one person, making a friend is worth 10,000 spambox bound emails.

  3. Donny Ferguson

    Door knocking is A-ONE the TOP way to engage voters and volunteers. That’s why unions invest millions in their canvassing programs and why the RNC makes it the focus of their 72 Hour Plan.

    Direct mail is second. Live phone calling is third.

    I tell candidates they aren’t allowed to spend a dime on anything until door-to-door program is fully staffed and funded. Then most of the rest gets spent on direct mail to back it up.

    Most groups fail to make that kind of investment in political technology.

  4. Matt Cholko

    Montoni does beat me over the head with this “e-mail isn’t good enough” stuff all the time, and my experiences have proven him absolutely correct.

    I’m glad to hear from Mr. Ferguson that direct mail is second. Frankly, except when working on a campaign, I don’t want to knock on doors, and I NEVER want make cold calls. So, at least the second best thing is something I’m comfortable with doing all of the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *