The political donation e-mail solicitations seem to never end, especially for those of us who have made a political donation in the last decade or two. According to a recent user-survey, many of our users have come to regret making those donations – and it has nothing to do with the organization or campaign, everything to do with their annoying marketing techniques.
The good news is we have several steps you can take to reclaim your inbox and stop the solicitations – including one solution that will end them once and for all.
Why Do I Keep Receiving Political Donation E-Mail Requests?
One of the perplexing parts of this issue is once you’ve donated to a campaign or signed up for the e-mail newsletter of a political campaign, you start receiving solicitations for unrelated candidates and causes. According to a recent report published by San Francisco Download, this is most often because the sign-up or donation you made may have appeared to be directly affiliated with a specific candidate but in truth, it was linked to the affiliated political party or another organization. Once that political party or organization captures your e-mail address, it will have no reservations about using it for campaigns it deems similar or relevant.
Another thing that often happens is the campaign you supported sold its e-mail list to another candidate. Many campaigns, even those which are successful, wind up with a cash-poor balance sheet and outstanding vendor bills. Tangible assets like e-mail marketing lists are, unfortunately, assets that have some value. This can be an easy way for campaigns that are winding down to settle its outstanding bills and a way for a new campaign to jumpstart its marketing efforts.
How Do I Stop Political Donation E-Mail Solicitations?
It’s no secret that these political donation e-mail solicitations clutter your inbox and interrupt your day, especially during the run-up to major political campaigns.
Try the Old-Fashioned Unsubscribe
The most straightforward step is also the most effective one: Unsubscribe. Most political emails are required by law to include an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of their message. By clicking this link, you are directing the sender to remove your email address from their list. It’s worth noting that while this process can take a few days to go into effect, it should ultimately stop emails from that specific sender.
Reach Out Directly
If the unsubscribe link doesn’t work or isn’t present, you can reply directly to the email requesting to be removed from the mailing list. Make sure to keep your message polite and to the point, as there’s likely a real person reading it on the other end. You can, however, gently remind this person that it is their legal responsibility to remove you from an e-mail list once you’ve requested they do so.
Even still, sometimes there isn’t a person at the other end of that inbox, so we need to try alternative methods.
Use E-Mail Filters to Send Political Donation E-Mails Straight to the Trash
Every email service provider offers some kind of filtering or blocking system. For instance, Gmail users can select “Block” under the ‘More’ menu in an open email, which will automatically send all future emails from that address to the spam folder.
You can also set up filters to automatically delete emails containing specific words or phrases commonly found in political donation solicitations.
The Nuclear Option: Stopping Political Donation E-Mail Solicitations at the Source
If the aforementioned steps have not solved the issue and, let’s face it, if you’ve reached this page and this step in our guide, that’s probably the case, there is another option. It is the e-mail marketing equivalent of taking something out at the root-level.
In 2023, several states began requiring tech companies comply with something known as the “right to delete.” These laws broadly state a consumer has the right to request that a business delete their personal information, including both “personal data provided by or obtained about the consumer.” This is an important distinction as it covers both information you may have provided and information you may have provided someone else but landed with a new party.
These regulations say a business must comply with a consumer request to delete their personal information by permanently and completely erasing the personal information on its existing systems or de-identifying the personal information.
These laws apply to the e-mail marketing platforms political campaigns use to send their fundraising e-mails.
While e-mail marketing platforms have not made these requests as easy as Facebook and other social platforms have, e-mail marketing platforms must comply with the law. These laws require businesses to confirm receipt of a deletion request within 10 business days of receiving the request and to respond to the requests within 45 calendar days.
That means you may be mere weeks away from re-claiming your inbox and never receiving a (fake) e-mail “from” Donald Trump or Joe Biden again.
How to Demand a Political Donation E-Mail Platform Remove Your Information
- First, you need to identify the e-mail marketing platforms that appear to have your information. You can do this by scrolling to the bottom and reading the “fine print.” These are most commonly firms like Action Network, ActBlue, and WinRed. Here’s an example from an Action Network campaign:
- Navigate to the corresponding website and locate their contact information. Here are the contact methods for the most popular political e-mail marketing providers:
- Action Network: email@example.com
- ActBlue: https://actblue.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
- WinRed: https://winred.com/contact/
- Send a request for delete message. Here’s a sample of what that might look like:
Hello, my name is [FIRST LAST]. I'm writing with a demand to delete my account and all associated data from [COMPANY NAME] servers. It has come to my attention that users of your platform have been abusing my personally identifiable information. Please remove all entries for [E-MAIL ADDRESS] [AND SECOND E-MAIL ADDRESS, IF APPLICABLE], and prevent users from sending e-mails to those accounts in the future. Please let me know if there is any additional information necessary for the processing of my request. I would like to receive a message notifying me when this process has been completed. Thank you for your assistance.
- Follow up. If you don’t hear from them within two weeks, follow up and gently remind them that state law requires they acknowledge your request within 10 business days.
When an e-mail marketing platform scrubs your personal information, it should remove your personally identifiable information from all campaigns currently in their system and end those pesky political fundraising e-mails once and for all.
If you need additional assistance, contact us today. A member of our team would be happy to help.