Yesterday Liberal Democrat members received their first official email with messages from the two candidates to be party leader, Tim Farron and Norman Lamb.
I score it as a 2-2 draw.
Norman scores for:
- A better teaser in the email (reproduced below) as it has a call to action – his survey – in the teaser itself rather than requiring people first to click through to the Lib Dem website, then read the message then find a call to action right at the bottom (which is Tim’s approach). Norman’s approach is usually much more effective as many people won’t even click through to read the full messages on the website.
- The campaign message when read in full also does a good job at telling the story of Norman’s positive personal characteristics with the list of his campaign achievements – an important factor given the paucity of policy difference between the candidates (a point on which Jennie Rigg’s post is well worth a read).
However, Tim levels up the score with:
- A better full message on the party website, including videos and endorsement quotes. There’s a greater range of persuasive messages from him, catering to a wider range of possible voter motivations and with more variation in their method of delivery.
- A smart piece of messaging both to appeal to new members who joined because they liked the party being in coalition but were horrified at the electoral outcome and yet also to appeal to his ‘base’ of longer-term party members less happy with coalition. The opening line, “I’m proud of what we achieved in Government, but we paid a heavy price” manages this balancing act very well. There’s a degree of playing it safe with that. But he’s the frontrunner. Anything that isn’t him doing much worse than Norman is a win as it’s another step closer to victory without tripping up.
(And a free piece of advice for Tim’s campaign: sort out the SEO on your campaign videos. Those titles are less than impressive, missing out the sort of basic keywords people will search on, and don’t even read well to viewers, such as “TIM EDIT v.3”.)
Keep up with news on the Lib Dem leadership race
- Sign up for Liberal Democrat Newswire here, and
- Sign up for the Facebook event for the contest (where Norman Lamb and Tim Farron are regularly answering questions from members).