Last week it was revealed that Hillary Clinton had an approximately 40:1 advantage over Donald Trump in campaign cash. This announcement, tied, as it were, to actual numbers and not to Trump’s verbal dysentery, panicked a lot of the GOP establishment. Naturally, the Trump campaign panicked, too, and started slinging random numbers against the wall. The campaign finance director, Steve Mnuchin (hey, is that last name even American? Has Trump ever checked his passport?) between bouts of heavy drinking, said, “We just started our online campaign. Online mailing [Tuesday] did over $3 million. Donald, in an unprecedented move, agreed to match the first $2 million personally that came in. So we did over $5 million online yesterday, and we’re just starting the effort.” Hope Hicks, poor, dim little Hope Hicks, claimed the campaign raised $3.3 million on Tuesday and $3.4 million on Thursday. All of this via email solicitations. Or, more precisely, two email solicitations.
Unbelievable, you say? Well, a lot of people thought so and Advertising Age set out to investigate.
The Donald Trump email that helped the campaign generate $3.3 million didn’t score well by accepted email measures. According to email tracking firm Return Path, the first-ever fundraising email sent by the campaign had a remarkably high spam rate and a very low open rate.
Nearly 60% of those first-ever fundraiser emails, however, never reached inboxes. Instead, they were automatically relegated to recipients’ spam folders, according to Return Path, which evaluates email campaigns using estimates based on its panel of 2.5 million active email users.
The email tracker also reported that just 12% of recipients opened the email and 6% deleted it without reading it.
In May, 7.9% of the emails sent by the Trump camp were caught up in spam filters, according to Return Path. Even that nearly 8% spam rate is considered very high by industry standards.
So why were a far larger percentage of the Trump camp’s first-ever fundraising emails snagged by spam detectors? It could be because those emails came from a domain that the campaign hadn’t used in the past, said Tom Sather, senior director of research at Return Path.
Throughout the primaries, the Trump campaign sent emails from the DonaldTrump.com domain but on June 16 it introduced its DonaldJTrump.com domain into its email efforts. Spam filters did not recognize the domain.
“Since it’s a new domain he’s being penalized,” said Mr. Sather, noting that trained email marketing professionals would be aware of this threat. “These are things that professional email marketers prepare for,” he said.
Trump is an incompetent running an incompetent campaign staffed by raging incompetents for whom he is an employer of last resort. He can lie about his fundraising, and probably about his converting his “loan” to his campaign into a contribution. But he can’t sustain these lies for more than thirty days at a time thanks to campaign reporting requirements.
Hopefully when Trump arrives in Cleveland, down in the polls by double digits and with his staff having to hitchhike their way there, sanity will snap out of its coma and send Trump packing.