I’m not one for getting all political in my musings, however there’s so much activity in politics that it offers a window into all kinds of marketing practices. A political race is, after all, to a great degree a branding exercise, dependent on brand awareness and trust, and reliant on paid, earned, and owned media. And sometimes, on occasion, a politician hands you a wonderful example that underscores what NOT to do.
Here’s one that will resonate with all email marketers: A complaint has been filed (June 29, 2016) with the US Federal Election Commission (FEC) that alleges that Donald Trump been sending campaign fund-raising emails to foreign elected officials. Two points:
- Accepting campaign donations from foreign citizens is forbidden in accordance with US federal election law.
- It is also against US campaign finance law to knowingly solicit donations from those who are foreigners.
Evidently foreign diplomats from Britain, Australia, Canada, Iceland, and Scotland have received fund-raising email solicitations from the Trump campaign. You know this means those email addresses had foreign email domain names (such as .uk), so it’s unlikely that anyone cleaned those lists with an eye to how the lists would be used.