What we can all learn from Hillary’s campaign launch

So she wants to be your champion, the worst kept secret in Washington is now official. Hillary Rodham Clinton will run for the democratic nomination in 2016. Like all politicians I am certain Hillary has her strengths and weaknesses but personally I hope she wins both the nomination and the presidency as I believe America is long overdue it’s first female president. However it’s not the merits of her candidacy I want to explore here but the learnings that us marketers and communicators can take from, in my opinion, a very well executed campaign launch.

Effective Use of Video

In the old days we used to create a grand event, invite tier one media and the party faithful. Then there was a set-piece platform speech that was then played out across both broadcast, traditional and more recently social channels to launch any campaign. Not for Hillary. A simple 2 minute video posted on both her own website, YouTube and other social channels marked the start of the campaign. More in importantly that video only featured Hillary for 45 seconds (at the end) whilst spending the remaining time highlighting the challenges of the people she is hoping to serve.

The cynical amongst us may ask; “How many representative demographic segments can you get into 1m 30 second of video,” and they would have a point but I would say in the age of the attention economy the Hillary campaign got it spot on.

Simple Landing Page & Data Capture

We can also take a lot of lessons from the owned media property that the campaign is using, www.hillaryclinton.com. A simple site with one simple CTA above the fold, “Join Us” and two key data capture points; an email address (identification) and a zip code (location). The rest of the site put’s the video at its centre with simple sharing options on Facebook, Twitter and by email. Next are the secondary CTA’s which ask for increased commitment in terms of either volunteering or donation and finally the site leads you to the “rented” channels that will be used to communicate the campaign, the Facebook page which already has 750,000 likes, the YouTube channel which already has over 22,000 subscribers and of course Hillary’s own Twitter account with over 3.4 million followers.

User Onboarding with 3 clear Objectives & Email at it’s Heart

So its been 10 days since I joined the campaign and I have received 6 emails from the campaign. The first one followed the AARRR (acquisition, activation, retention, revenue and referral) model. It thanked me for coming on board and just like the website asked me to either invite my friend (referral), donate (revenue) or volunteer (activation). Other emails have been from the campaign team, leader and Hillary herself talking about all sorts og things from the values of the campaign, why she is running and where and when to meet up with Hillary. One thing they have in common is that none of the subject lines are more than 10 words and most of them five words. Either they have hired themselves a Buzzfeed headline writer or they simply get the attention economy better than any other political campaign I have witnessed. One thing is for sure though email will be used throughout the campaign as the main owned communication channel.


I guess this digital approach will improve all the way to 2016 and with the hiring of a former Google executive, Stephanie Hannon the use of technology by the Clinton team will I hazard a guess outshine the efforts of their competition. Anyway like I said at the beginning as a libertarian European I hope that Hillary becomes the first female President of the United States. In the meantime I will sit by and look on with admiration at the digital communications strategies and tactics that the campaign deploys.

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