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Monday, November 23, 2015

7 Ways to Ask for For Campaign Donations ( Election 2016 )

Find a list of all my blogs about the presidential candidates' e-mails here.


Asking for money is never easy.

Here are 7 different kind of approaches from some of the presidential candidates.

1. The LOGICAL ARGUMENT-approach 

"... The only way we can win — countering the influence of Wall Street, health insurance companies, and the rest of America's oligarchy — is if enough people come together to join our movement.
So, are you in?
Contribute $3 to our campaign to show the billionaire class that ENOUGH is ENOUGH. Help us win this.
Thank you, deeply, for everything you do...."
[Bernie Sanders] 



"... We will have many more campaign stops coming up. Look out for email invitations from us - and don’t forget to show your support by purchasing the only official campaign merchandise at
[Donald Trump] 


3. The KIND-OF-PUSHY approach 

"... Gisela - In just one hour Jeb will take the stage, and as of right now you haven’t stepped up to show your support.
Will you chip in just $1 before the debate tonight?
We know Jeb wants to see your name on his list of supporters, but you need to chip in just $1 right now to get on that list..."
[Jeb Bush] 



[Hillary Clinton]



"...We are right on the verge of a huge milestone -- one million individual grassroots donations. So today, we've launched a massive fundraising drive to help us get there.
If your donation happens to be our one millionth donation, I will put your town on my calendar and campaign there for a day...."
[Ben Carson]

6. The NUMBERS-approach

"... Remember: our goal today is participation and activation -- we need to recruit 10,000 supporters -- so even if you can only spare $1, click here to donate now and let me know you're with me..."

followed up with
"... I just talked with my Campaign Manager and we are 59 donors short of our Mid-Month goal for November.
Will you chip in right now to help us meet that goal?..."
[Marco Rubio]

And, lastly, here is

7. The "STEVE JOBS' CHOICE OF WORD"-approach

Sadly, Larry Lessig has quit the race. I thought he brought a lot to the debate. He also used words no other candidate has used so far: 

"... PS: You can read more in my piece published in The Atlantic Friday night. And if you could give $2 to signal your support for Lessig2016 v2, I would be endlessly grateful. Thank you again for all you’ve done...."
[Larry Lessig]

It is probably fitting to close this blog with a quote from the late marketing genius:

"Making an insanely great product has a lot to do with the process of making the product, how you learn things and adopt new ideas and throw out old ideas." - Steve Jobs

Which approach is your favorite and why? Please comment.


E-mail evangelist Gisela Hausmann is author of Naked Words 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email and "Naked Text: Email Writing Skills for Teenagers,"

Gisela Hausmann graduated with a masters degree in Film & Mass Media from the University of Vienna, Austria. Her work has been featured in hundreds of print and online publications. She is also a frequent guest on WYFF4-TV.


© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann

Friday, November 20, 2015

Marketing people know that “I…I…I… ”- emails don't work

Find a list of all my blogs about the presidential candidates' e-mails here.


These six presidential candidates sent out less than ten campaign emails since August 21.

Jim Gilmore   0
Rick Perry      0
Lincoln Chafee    1
George Pataki  1
Mike Huckabee   2
Jim Webb   5
Scott Walker  7 (+ 2 after his campaign ended)

Supposedly, Jim Gilmore, George Pataki, and Mike Huckabee are still running, though I haven’t seen or heard much of what they are doing. 

Rick Perry, Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb, Scott Walker, Larry Lessig and now Bobby Jindal have dropped out. 

Probably, the concept that if you can’t or won’t hire an excellent email writer your campaign can’t really take off has merit. Larry Lessig dropped out because he was not getting invited to the TV-debates. 

However, Bobby Jindal, who dropped out of the race on November 17, appeared in four debates. Plus, he and his team sent 52 emails to his supporters. 

So, what went wrong?

Bobby Jindal holds the distinction of being the only candidate who never greeted his subscribers with even the briefest of all greetings – “hi.” 

This led to 17 of Mr. Jindal’s emails, a whopping 35%, beginning with sentences like:

(no greeting)
  • I just landed in California...
  • I just left the stage at the Reagan Foundation...
  • I wanted you to be among the first to know some exciting news: I just qualified...
  • I just released my new tax reform plan for America...
  • I know that we have been emailing you a lot lately...

“I...I...I...” Clearly these emails radiated that Bobby Jindal’s campaign was about him and not about the voters. 

Bobby Jindal’s latest, maybe final campaign email, began with the words: 

  • I cannot tell you what an honor it has been...


Another “I”...

  • How about thanking your supporters for showing up at campaign rallies and for donating money to your campaign? 
  • How about thanking your staff, who probably put in long hours... [American voters can relate to that and would value such a gesture...]
  • One brief, unspecific “thank you” in the subject line was all you could muster, Mr. Jindal?

Personally, I also find it interesting that these self-focused lines come from a man who called Donald Trump a narcissist and egomaniac at the National Press Club, September 10, 2015. 

Donald Trump’s campaign emails read:

  • Welcome to Team Trump! Thank you for signing up...
  • Please join us...
  • Dear Gisela Hausmann, Thank you for watching!...

Obviously, Donald Trump, who must have dictated thousands of business letters in his life, is aware that that positive words which acknowledge the recipients, help to spread the message. 

So far this presidential campaign has been full of surprises. It remains to be seen if we'll see more of that and Donald Trump will adapt his speaking style to the style of his emails. 


E-mail evangelist Gisela Hausmann is author of Naked Words 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email and "Naked Text: Email Writing Skills for Teenagers,"

Gisela Hausmann graduated with a masters degree in Film & Mass Media from the University of Vienna, Austria. Her work has been featured in hundreds of print and online publications. She is also a frequent guest on WYFF4.


© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Why HR Needs to Test Job Applicants for their Email Writing Skills


As the author of the blog, “Know your next president’s email writing skills (not only Hillary’s) – a blog series” I have visited a few presidential campaign events in my area. 

At one of these occasions I exchanged thoughts with one of the candidates’ regional campaign director. I told him that his and the overall campaign director’s emails were not effective – they listed their own names instead of their candidate’s name as the senders. 

“Your campaign should be about creating your candidate’s brand,” I said. “Even though you might not like to hear that – voters do not need to know your name because they can’t vote for you. The way you have set up your campaign emails probably half of your emails get deleted, because people delete emails from people they don’t know.” 

“Well, I am a bit old-fashioned,” he said. “I prefer talking on the phone.”

“That’s nice,” I replied, “but history proves that you need to pay attention to these things. In 2007/08, then-candidate Barack Obama raised half-a-billion dollars with his email campaign. If done effectively, email campaigns yield great results.” 

“Oh – Wow – I better tell my campaign director.”

To this day, not much has changed.  The campaign manager added the name of his candidate at the end of his address. Subscribers can only see the candidate’s name if they hover with their mouse over the sender’s handle.  (How many people do that?)

Also, the candidate isn’t doing too well in the polls. 

“Well,” you might think, “Students... enthusiastic fans... they are still kind of young...  They don’t know how this is done right.”

Sadly, the problem is far more widespread.

Even though a 2014 study by McKinsey & Company proved that email marketing is nearly 40 times as effective as Facebook and Twitter combined and marketers themselves continue to rate email the most effective marketing strategy, human resources departments continue to administer personality tests instead of email writing tests.

Writing best emails is also not taught in US high schools and at most US colleges. The effect is mind boggling.

Here are a few of the hundreds of inadvertently funny or embarrassing emails I have received. 


Re: [Event Replay] 
Hi Gisela,
That was AMAZING! We’re you there? If so, I hope ...

[Even though the correct usage of “were”, “we’re”, “we are” is taught in elementary school these three words are still among the most common incorrectly used words.]


Would you be interested in reviewing the …xyz-Kit?
If so please send me you address and i will get it rite over to you
(Marketing Dept./ a US company)



(No greeting)
I just realized I mistyped your email address on the instructions I just sent.
Hope you have a great week.
(no signature, but a religious quote in lieu of a signature)

[Sent by a paralegal.]


I am the marketing manager of ...(company)...
I have noticed that you are pretty good at writing reviews on amazon.
And it seems you have plenty of fans love your reviews.
I am glad to offer you our fantastic ...(product)... for your wonderful review on Amazon.
Please reply with your shipping address if you are willing to receive and review it.
By the way, recommend our ...(different product)... to you,
It suits to ...
Thanks and Best Regards.
(name)/Marketing Manager.

[... a US company...]


Yourr scanned documents cannot be printed.  Fax them to me at xxx-xxx-xxxx
[ sent by the secretary of a lawyer.]


These kinds of emails can destroy a budding business before it could even take off. They also do damage to an established business and even to a business which doesn’t sell goods but offers services (e.g. a lawyer’s office) because inevitably the recipient must wonder about the quality of services he/she will receive.

Writing best emails is a skill that needs to be taught, and human resources departments should test job applicants for their skills. 


E-mail evangelist Gisela Hausmann is author of Naked Words 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email and "Naked Text: Email Writing Skills for Teenagers,"

Gisela Hausmann graduated with a masters degree in Film & Mass Media from the University of Vienna, Austria. Her work has been featured in hundreds of print and online publications. She is also a frequent guest on WYFF4.


© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann
© baranq via Shutterstock - Photo of candidates waiting for a job interview
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

What entrepreneurs can learn from jigsaw puzzlers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, self-employment is on the rise. Nearly 15 million workers in the US or 10% of the workforce overall work for themselves. Still, it isn’t easy and sometimes entrepreneurs lose track of the “big picture,” especially when faced with unforeseen problems. 

A simple strategy to deal with such issues is to go about them like building a jigsaw puzzle.  


Though there are fancy exceptions, typically, jigsaw puzzles come with a plan, a printout of what the finished creation will look like. When jigsaw puzzlers don’t know how to continue, they consult “the plan.” 

=> Before you get started, work on a business plan to never lose track of the big picture. 


Statistically, it takes four times as long to put together a 1,000 piece jigsaw as it will to do a 500 piece jigsaw. Though the number of pieces is only doubled, the difficulty is quadrupled. 

=> Be sure about your project’s scope, especially if you haven’t done a one of a particular kind before. 


To complete a jigsaw puzzle you need all pieces. Some jigsaw manufacturers offer replacement pieces but it takes a lot of time and some money to get them. 

=> Even the best plan won’t help if you don’t protect valuable assets, whether that is people or equipment. 


Though somewhat uncreative, the fastest way to do a jigsaw is to sort all the pieces the right way up with the ‘straight edge’ pieces separated out and all the different colors sorted into groups. 

=> Similarly, determine best practices for your business and follow them. 


Sometimes, jigsaw puzzlers don’t find the piece they are looking for. In such a situation, they don’t get frustrated but keep working till eventually the “missing piece” turns up. 

=> If you can’t make the deal with a highly desired client, accrue others till you get where you need to be.  


Of course you could complete a jigsaw by adding only one piece per day, but is that really a successful strategy

=> As you work harder you’ll get better and faster at recognizing what you need. Every time you connect “pieces” more opportunities will come up.    


Though there different strategies – building with a team or alone, starting with the edge of the jigsaw or with the visually most dominant section, if you do not give up, eventually you’ll create the complete “big picture”! 


Thought leader Gisela Hausmann writes "naked (meaning no-fluff) books." 

NAKED WORDS 2.0: The Effective 157-Word Email

Naked Eye-Opener: To Reach the Dream You Must Forget About It

NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews

Naked News for Indie Authors: How to Get on TV

Naked News for Indie Authors How NOT to Invest Your Marketing $$$


Gisela's work and thoughts have been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, on Brian Burn's podcast "The Brutal Truth About Sales & Selling", "Publishers Weekly", and other media outlets.


© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann
© puzzle piece coming down into it's place by Mikael Damkie/via Shutterstock

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