I am tired of getting misleading e-mails from United States Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ).  Really tired of it.  It’s not that he’s lying about votes, or spinning the issues, or flip-flopping while saying he’s always been consistent.

No, it’s much simpler than that.  He’s just trying to trick me into actually reading the e-mails his campaign sends out.

It starts with the subject line, which always starts with a FW: or an RE:.  These stand for, respectively, “forward” and “regarding” and are used to note that an e-mail is part of a chain of messages.  FW is for messages a correspondent received and is sending to you because they think you need to read it.  RE: is used to reply to a message the recipient has already read.

Yet the ones the Menendez campaign sends out are the first in a chain.  They stick it in there to trick the reader into thinking the message was a forward or reply, and I see that as disrespectful to their supporters.

Oh, but it doesn’t stop there.  The first line of the message I got today says,

Bob just called and asked me to make sure you had the latest numbers toward our February goal.

Oooh, you mean a US Senator was thinking about ME?  And wanted me to have inside information about the campaign’s goals for February?  I am so honored he respects me so thoroughly!  WOW!

I know Bob Menendez didn’t call Fran Kat Watson about me or, probably, anyone else on the list.  I know he doesn’t know who I am, because each time I meet him I have to be introduced.  Imagine how the thousands of people who have never met him feel!

In two lines — subject and initial — the campaign has screamed from the rhetorical rooftops that they think I am a simpleton who can be tricked into reading the 20 paragraph message — just a little long — and then donating money.

Which is why I stopped at the end of the first line.  I want a campaign who respects my contributions, whether it be listening to my complaints and applauds, accepting my donations, or walking the street door-to-door for them.  I don’t want a campaign that thinks it has to play silly mind games on me.

The folks who write these messages have all sorts of spreadsheets and data that says they need to do this.  The problem is those numbers come from corporate sales efforts where their efforts are a matter of volume.  

But a campaign has a limited population to draw from so they can’t just go after more people for their e-mail list with a t-shirt giveaway or a coupon.  Their donors and supporters are finite, and the more of us they belittle the smaller that pool gets.

I’m going to donate to the campaign, and support Bob Menendez because Joe Kyrillos would be bad for NJ, bad for the country.  But these messages aren’t helping.

Comment (1)

  1. JeffO Teaneck

    In order to review it against this blog entry, I had to retrieve it from my “trash” folder (an icon description, not an email description; the real trash goes into my spam folder). A couple points:

    First: “Fwd: __” (in this case “Fwd: Five Minutes”) is certainly a gambit to hit us “non-responders” up again for a donation.  However, if vmars had continued reading beyond the first line, he’d know this email did include a “Forwarded Message” previously sent and “signed” by Alicia Menendez, the Senator’s daughter. (I vaguely remember it from three days ago — though yahoo has already automatically deleted it from my “trash” folder.)

    Second: Yes, the email did start “Dear Jeff,” followed by “Bob just called and asked me to make sure you had the latest numbers toward our February goal.” However, Senator “Bob” plausibly does want me and everyone else on his campaign email list (the plural collective “you”) to get an update on their February fundraising goal.

    Maybe because I’ve spent a good many years in direct mail marketing (not as much in email marketing), I tend to be a little more tolerant of these practices. And I’d imagine they have people who track their results and make marketing decisions based on their own efforts, not just the experiences of corporations.

    Which is not to say I too am not mildly annoyed — not only at the Menendez campaign, but also at the Obama campaign, the DSCC campaign, the DCCC campaign, DNC campaign, Act Blue, Bold Progressives, etc., etc., who’ve identified me as a soft touch. In particular, I’m annoyed that every month has a goal, with allegedly dire consequences if it’s not met. I’m also a little annoyed at the Obama campaign especially, which I suspect has shared my email address with some of the others.

    But, they do what they have to do. So to quiet my mild annoyance, I just think Koch Brothers.


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