After our campaign, Clinton is up in Pennsylvania by +10 (an extreme jump of + 12 noted by many commentators – with only a +4 in Ohio and +1 in Florida).
We suggest that our campaign secured a small boost in Pennsylvania polling in Clinton’s favor. We want to continue this project for the remaining weeks leading up the election to secure a lead for Clinton in battleground states and emerging ‘toss up’ states within Clinton’s reach.
Our core strength relies in the ability to distribute content dynamically to specific demographics on mobile devices, along with access to one of the largest and most extensive double opt-in email databases in the United States, giving us unparalleled targeting and reach.
What we did.
On July 25th, Young Aware Americans PAC officially launched a first wave campaign in Pennsylvania during the DNC Convention, reaching a select group of more than 80,000 single women located in the Penn State.
We were able to specifically target a significant base-set of Republican single women, Democrat single women and Independent single women (in addition to a portion of undeclared online users) with some very surprising results.
How to win this election.
We learned a few very important things regarding Election 2016 from our first case study test. Primarily, different demographics respond uniquely to different messengers with different content. We demonstrated that optimizing the content and message dynamically during a campaign can make a substantial difference in voter engagement.
Our first campaign shows:
- Positive, upbeat messaging ‘trumps’ policy driven or fear driven messaging.
- Michelle Obama likely produces the most engagement and responsiveness among single women in Pennsylvania, more so than HRC or other notable figures. See Report 01 below.
Using FLOTUS in this campaign cycle, especially in swing states, is likely to attract more attention from this demographic. YAAPAC will be using content containing Michelle Obama more frequently in our outreach to this demographic, in Penn state and beyond, in order to secure single women’s attention.
- Concerns about Donald Trump are viewed as non-partisan among Republican, Independent and Democrat single women. To secure this demographic, reaching out to Republicans and Independents may yield almost equal results.
- Republican women in Pennsylvania are almost as likely to engage with concerns about Donald Trump as Independents and Democrats.
Out of 20,000 emails sent to single women, ages 18 – 35, Democrats performed only slightly better in “open rates” and “click-throughs.” Focusing on Republican and Independent single female voters is likely to be just as favorable as female Democrats in this swing state.
- Single women voters may be more responsive to messaging and engagement in ‘safe’ online environments, such as female-oriented publications (like Glamour) or email rather than social media.
- Social Media, especially Facebook, is overflowing with male-leaning political animosity (both pro-Trump and pro-Bernie) and likely to turn away softer or less confrontational voices.
During this time, our core capability was proven: we are able to find and distribute political content (not political ads) to specific demographics to create voter awareness.
Inside of this campaign, we ran three operations:
- Message and issue awareness via content. We distributed politically informed GIFs along with content articles of a political nature to 60,000 single women, 18 – 35, on mobile apps in Pennsylvania. (See ‘Mobilize the Vote’)
- Email Blasts. Using a sophisticated double opt-in email database, we sent 20,000 emails specifically targeting three sets of demographics among single women, ages 18 – 35. Single women Independents, Republicans and Democrats. From this blast, we cultivated 5,745 opt-in email addresses for YAAPAC future awareness.
- Facebook. We began case study testing “Operation Influence,” using Facebook video, memes and content articles to determine responsiveness and reactions to politically motivated content opposing Donald Trump, reaching over 100,000 Facebook users.
Message and Issue Awareness breakdown.
July 25th – July 29th, 2016. Single Women (18- 35). Pennsylvania.
Targeted 60,000 single women, ages 18 – 35, on mobile devices to gauge responsiveness to different types of political content, not political advertisements. These women were targeted in Pennsylvania by correlating female mobile users who have dating apps installed on their mobile devices.
For this case study, we distributed a dynamic ‘Smart Native’ content page to roughly 60,000 single women on mobile apps in Pennsylvania. Each 24-hour period corresponded with one night at the DNC convention, and we swapped content each day to align with the previous night’s theme and messenger. These pages were presented as full screen interstitials in-between taps and swipes on mobile apps.
Specifically, we took a basic message ‘opposing Trump,’ using third-party opinion or news articles (Washington Post, New York Times, Huffington Post) along with an animated GIF. (Please see our article library and GIF library for examples.) We then tracked content responsiveness.
For example, if the same message is delivered by Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, we tracked which source single women in Pennsylvania would be more likely to engage with, click-through or simply pay more attention to.
As our report shows, Michelle Obama delivering a political message opposing Donald Trump yields more engagement and attention than Hillary Clinton (or any other speaker) during the Democratic National Convention. Using Michelle Obama GIFs to create awareness of topics and increase engagement is a significant takeaway from this first case study.
Clear Choice 2016
Starting July 25th, to get a sense of what ‘pre-DNC convention’ attitudes among single women in Pennsylvania were, we used Hillary Clinton’s own content messaging on Giphy.com and used her GIF to draw attention to a Washington Post article, Donald Trump’s Poses Unique Threat.
Note: HRC’s GIF is policy driven.
Do policy driven issues attract attention and engagement in a random sampling of single females, 18 – 35?
Here is what we found from our test:
We were able to procure 92% of these single women’s attention with the GIF and an average of 27 seconds was spent on the content page ‘Clear Choice’ – but with just under 2% of them truly engaging in the page – and of that amount, only around 20 of them wanted to follow through on reading the Washington Post article. While our attention capture was strong, the content itself did not have strong appeal or resonance with this sampling of single females.
This was on the first day of the DNC convention and before Michelle Obama’s speech.
FLOTUS like a Butterfly
The following day, after the DNC opening and Michelle Obama’s speech, we swapped our GIF from HRC’s policy GIF to a Michelle Obama GIF from her convention speech titled, “When they go low, we go high.”
We used this GIF to contrast the RNC convention with a content article on VOX Trump describes a hellscape that does not exist.
The results? Wow. A 525% increase in engagement, and a 168% increase in retention awareness.
We were able to capture the attention of the majority of the users with our ‘Smart Native’ page, but the average time spent on the unit was 168% more than Hillary Clinton’s GIF. Additionally, 10% of these users were focused and engaged with the page itself and more than 150 of these users went on to VOX to read the full article.
Women Rule the World
We ran two more tests, again each over a 24-hour period, both aligned with the theme of the previous DNC convention evening to see how responsive single women in Pennsylvania are to these issues. First, instead of Michelle Obama, we went with Hillary again, but this time in a more entertaining setting, using a GIF from Jimmy Fallon.
This message was less wonky and less policy focused, taking an uplifting route with Jimmy Fallon posing the question to Hillary, “Does Donald Trump intimidate you?”
We used the Fallon/Clinton GIF to generate awareness to the message Come January, Women Could Be Running the Western World and linking to the article on The Huffington Post.
This content saw a 179% increase in engagement from our base-set. Good, strong… but not as strong as Michelle Obama.
Bait with a Tweet
Comparatively, we also ran a GIF of Clinton’s provocative statement, “A man you can bait with a tweet cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons,” along with the article, Hillary Clinton is right: Trump threatens World War III.
Would single women voters in Pennsylvania be more, or just as responsive, to a ‘tougher’ Hillary Clinton taking a fierce tone as they would with HRC appearing on the Fallon show?
This content produced 67% less engagement than Hillary’s warm, strong, yet firm sitting with Jimmy Fallon.
The Independent message
Lastly – how did single women respond to Michael Bloomberg’s ‘independent’ message? Would an Independent notable male attract their attention and engagement with issues in this election or concerns about Donald Trump?
This content performed the worst, down 37% overall with single women in Pennsylvania. The majority of these users bounced away and spent the least amount of time (two seconds!) and over-all retention, and only 5 users even bothered to click-through and read the full article. Bloomberg does not communicate the message to this demographic very effectively.
We can continue to evolve our content swap to determine, down to the zip code, which political messaging by which political messengers is the most effective with this or any demographic. For now, it appears that single women in Pennsylvania are most responsive to positive, strong and upbeat messaging, using Michelle Obama to reach these voters and encourage them to vote November 4th.
YAAPAC Email Blasts.
6666 Republican Single Women (18 – 35), 6667 Independent Single Women (18- 35), 6666 Democrat Single Women (18 – 35). Pennsylvania.
In narrowing down our analytics and field testing for responsiveness, we wanted to see the difference in behavior between Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are single women, ages 18 – 35, in the state of Pennsylvania. What are the differences in response to concerns about the election, specifically Donald Trump?
To perform this test, first we wanted to make sure that the subject line in the email was ambiguous enough so as not to clearly lean in the direction of Hillary as opposed to Trump, but rather to address a concern with the overall election. Secondly, we wanted to make sure our email database was sophisticated, with double opt-in users who are valid Pennsylvania residents, consumers and voters.
We ran SUBJECT: “Clinton and Trump: Both Unpopular, only one of them is a threat.” The ambiguity of the subject line was intentional, as we did not want to alienate Republican or Independent non-voting single women with a ‘Pro-Hillary’ email. We also wanted to attract more ‘apathetic’ single women voters and believed this ambiguity would have greater appeal.
Our open rate was very high, 26.20% of 20,000 single females in Penn state opened our blast with only this subject headline. We use this only to draw a conclusion that it reflects a significant number of Pennsylvania women have an ambiguous concern regarding the election.
Yet we targeted Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Were the open rates the same?
Democrat females opened at a rate of 29.57%, the highest. Independent females opened the email at a rate of 24.25% and Republican females opened at 24.78%. It’s intuitive that Democrat females would trend higher, but not so intuitive that Republican and Independent single women would have almost an equal open rate. From this data we can derive that single women in Pennsylvania have a non-partisan concern regarding the election.
It gets curiouser and curiouser.
Only 30 Democrat females choose to ‘unsubscribe’ from YAAPAC emails, and only 31 Republican females did, while Independent women doubled their opt-out of the political cycle (at 60 unsubscribes). Republican and Democrat single women equally choose to continue to engage with YAAPAC emails after it was clear that YAAPAC opposes Trump in the election.
What’s more, if the ambiguity in the subject line doesn’t tell us the concerns specifically of each demographic with Donald Trump, the in-line behaviors of these three demographics did. Independent single women in Penn state had the highest click-through rate to political content (including even liking us on Facebook and visiting the YAAPAC blog).
Republican women had a click-through rate of 7.3%, while the Democrat females rate was 8.3%, a negligible difference.
From this we can determine that in Pennsylvania among single women voters, the ‘critical choice’ between Trump and Clinton is not perceived in a clear partisan manner – and any difference in performance among Republicans, Democrats and Independents is negligible.