How to Gain an Edge on Voter Data to Maximize Political Campaign Success

Post from March 2016. Updated on April 14, 2020


Political campaigns have spent increasingly higher amounts on digital ad campaigns over the last several elections. According to Tech for Campaigns, “U.S. Senate campaigns spent only 4%-7% of their massive media budgets on digital media, while Trump spent 44%. Beto O’Rourke spent nearly 10 million in digital ads”.

Despite an increasing number of social media users and platforms, email still reigns supreme when it comes to political fundraising online. Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign reported that as much as 70 percent of donations came via email. For the Obama campaign, that figure was as high as 90 percent. While email is the primary source of online fundraising dollars, integrating all digital marketing channels with smart data can rally the most support for candidates.

Connecting the dots between email addresses, online behaviors, and social media data offers political marketers an unprecedented way to precisely target voters. 

The most useful data is 1st and 3rd party data, that is 100 percent deterministic and authoritative. In other words, not modeled or guessed like probabilistic datasets. Political data cross-referenced with demographic attributes can build a more robust list to help you lead the campaign trail. Details on a voter's political party, religion, education, household demographics, income range, donation history, and more can increase the relevancy of your messaging and the success of your campaign. 

A complete set of data not only empowers candidates to win elections; it helps them make informed political decisions for ballots, bills, propositions, and special interest groups down the road.

A few ways you might use data to enhance your online campaigning success: 

  • To increase messaging relevancy to micro-target audiences, take advantage of display and mobile ads. According to Tech for Campaigns, "In 2018 Campaign Learnings, over 90% of ad spend was delivered to mobile devices. In Q4 of 2018, Facebook disclosed that over 93% of its ad revenue was coming from mobile devices".  
  • Most local candidates don't have a huge budget. It's best to run a retargeting campaign to reach out to those who have already visited your website and are historical donors or those most interested in your policies and agenda. The more defined your target audience is, the less money you'll waste. According to Wesleyan Media Project, "they have identified $617 million in spending on television ads in the presidential race, while digital spending in the presidential race has soared to about $260 million. 
    • Television advertising was led by Michael Bloomberg, whose spending has surpassed $377 million for over 444,00 ads. 
    • Tom Steyer has spent $144 million, while Bernie Sanders has spent $20 million. 
    • Donald Trump has spent $17 million since January 2019. 
  • Attribute demographics and donations to TV ads help with delivering targeted messaging through actionable TV.
  • Segmenting your lists can increase message relevancy in your email campaigns, and also help improve SEO by displaying content that really matters to your search audience.


Better data yields better results for political campaign fundraising, awareness, and overall support. Keep in mind, however, that not all data is clean and safe. Choose a data provider that offers comprehensive hygiene services and prioritizes quality to mitigate fraud and improve your results, like Webbula!


  1. Before you send out your email campaigns be sure to clean your data with Webbula Email Hygiene  

Email hygiene goes beyond simple verification and validation. It is the process of identifying "problem" accounts such as spam traps, disposable domains, malicious moles, screamers, and bots in your email lists. Some providers will remove these emails from your lists, but at Webbula, we identify them and tell you what the actual risks are in using them. This allows you the opportunity to judge your tolerance, and it doesn't destroy any data. Threats are categorized and rated to make the final decision as easy as possible. 


  1. Are there missing information in your donor data? 

Data Appends is the best solution for your campaign managers who need to fill in the missing or outdated information in their donor lists.

Appending your data will help freshen up your list with updated and accurate information like name, phone number, email address, mailing address, as well as information such as political, interests, hobbies, financials, mortgage, and other specific data. Data Appends can help you communicate with your audience more smoothly. 


  1. Mix and Match Data Points to improve campaign targeting

Webbula's Audience Data gives you access to 87% of the U.S. population by integrating our dataVault™ into your environment. 

 Using our data gives your campaign the edge to target audiences you care about based on their self-identified cross-channel behaviors - not modeled assumptions.  

Webbula has access to 53 million registered party-affiliated voters and 86 million historical political donors. To learn more about improving your campaign with data enhancement and ad targeting, contact us to learn more. 


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