I was listening to Pod Save America the other day and they were discussing Joe Biden’s imminent 2020 run. Dan Pfeiffer mentioned that one concern the campaign may have is the size of Biden’s list. The BIG news out of 2020 is that when Bernie Sanders launched his campaign and Beto O’Rourke they both had HUGE first day donations. And they were a lot of small donations adding up to insane amounts of money. Biden is concerned he doesn’t have the list. He hasn’t run since 2008 and he didn’t run after 2016 so he hasn’t had to work on building his list in over 10 years. And 10 years ago fundraising was VERY different than it is today.
On top of that, one of the rules of entry into the Democratic Primary Debates is to “Meet the grassroots fundraising threshold, which requires obtaining 65,000 unique donors and a minimum of 200 donors per state in at least 20 states.”
Writing a big check from a couple of donors will no longer cut it folks. So why do I think you as a small business owner should care about this?
Your list matters
Continuing to cultivate your list matters. Biden is in a pinch because he ignored his list for 10 years. If you had something big to announce (a new program, book, service, etc,) would you have the list to get your version of 65,000 unique donors?
So what do you do?
- Have a Welcome Series – give people something when they join your list & welcome them to your community
- Talk to Them Regularly – don’t let them forget who you are (I feel like I say this every time I have a blog post about lists but it obviously needs to be repeated)
- Don’t Just Ask for Money – In politics this is common. The daily donation request. But in business I see this happen all the time too. Your newsletter is just a sales pitch for your latest product or service. Educate me about your awesomeness and then down the line ask me for money. Don’t start out like this.
Your list, and your communication with that list, is an important piece of your marketing tool kit. Stop ignoring it.