As Political Messaging Shifts to CTV, Email Backs Up Campaigns

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The 2020 election is days away. This year’s election is like none other for many reasons. From a marketing perspective, it’s unique when compared to previous years because of Connected TV (CTV).  

This year, voters are finding themselves watching more CTV content than usual, as the country collectively spends more time indoors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a recent report, the time users spend on their CTV devices increased 81% year-over-year from 2019 – around 4 billion hours per week. The presidential campaigns took advantage of this behavioral shift. In August, the Biden campaign reserved a record-breaking $60 million in digital media focused on CTV. This means voters are seeing more CTV political campaign ads. 

With the highly anticipated election days away, campaigns know that it’s crunch time to get their messages in front of the right people. Marketers need to be precise to execute on targeting and attribution. Thanks to our old friend email, they have a reliable way to do so. 

Cross-Platform Strategies

By understanding which emails are opened or left unopened in voters’ inboxes, campaigns in 2020 can strategically serve the right ads with the right messaging to the right voters on CTV devices, where attention has grown over the last several months. 

This year’s voters are experiencing political exhaustion and division, making it particularly difficult for campaigns to break through the noise and get their messages out. With a cross-platform strategy, something that was not as developed or readily available for the 2016 election, political marketers are able to uncover what messaging will most resonate with their target audiences on an individual level. 

Behind the Scenes of CTV Ads

To be sure their ads are going to a relevant viewer, advertisers are relying on online ID matching to link multiple devices to the same user. This works by using deterministic matching, which recognizes the same email being used across devices to determine that devices belong to the same user. By connecting multiple devices to a single email, political campaigns gain insight into which messages they’re sending to an individual how many times, as well as how many messages the individual opens. 

This is crucial, as email open patterns change throughout an election cycle. As the election progresses, voters experience political campaign email fatigue, which is the campaigner’s cue to focus more on CTV. Additionally, a campaigner may notice that emails addressing a certain political issue are opened the most and deduce that the issue is most important to voters. Using this strategy, political campaigns can make their way from voters’ inboxes to their big screens with impactful messaging. 

What it All Means

The email address plays a major role in ensuring political campaigns deliver the right message to the right audience. In an era when a single email address is often linked to a plethora of devices, cross-device targeting is not just possible but essential for successful political campaigns. 

In a loud election where social media is overrun with fake news and unsolicited user-created opinions, campaigns must communicate in a consistent and streamlined way with voters, serving only ads that they want to see in their preferred channels. Campaigns might not win a voter on one issue but could sway or motivate them on another if they know what resonates with them. 

This election year, the power of email should not be underestimated.

Kerel Cooper is the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at LiveIntent