Why did I not get that email from the Liberal Democrats? (2013 version)

Help mePretty much whenever I (or colleagues over on Lib Dem Voice) write about a particular email sent out via Liberal Democrat HQ, at least one person comments with a question or complaint about not having received the email themselves.

So here’s a little troubleshooting guide if you find yourself in that situation, or if you come across someone else who is.

Check your spam folder

It is an occupational hazard of running large email lists that some people will find the messages for them end up in spam/junk mail folders rather than in their inbox. If you think you have missed out on an email, checking to see if this has happened to you is the sensible first step.

Do the Liberal Democrat membership records have the right email address for you?

If you (or someone you know) has access to the party’s membership records, e.g. through the MDO (Membership Data Online) website, then they can check directly.

Or, if you have created an online party account you can login at ldmembers.libdems.org.uk and check the email address displayed for you in the right hand column. There is an ‘update these details’ link there too for sending in any updates or corrections.

If you do not have an online party account or run into problems accessing it, you can instead email membership@libdems.org.uk. Include your full address, with postcode, and – if you know it – your membership number.

Is the email being sent using a different set of data?

For a mix of reasons, not all emails sent out by a Liberal Democrat use the same records. Some of these are technical reasons, some administrative and some legal. What they all mean is that if you are not getting a particular email, it might be because it is being run off a different set of records, and those records need updating. So get in touch with the sender of the email, ask them which records they have been using and take it from there.

Was the email actually meant to go to you?

The main types of emails sent out from or via party HQ are:

  • Invitations to webinars with government ministers: these are sent only to current party members. (So check with membership@libdems.org.uk that your membership is up-to-date if you think you should be getting these and have done all the above.)
  • Emails from Nick Clegg (e.g. the weekly ‘Letter from the Leader‘) and other senior party figures: these go not only to members but also to a wider ‘party supporters’ list. That includes people who have opted in when signing a national petition online or people whose membership has just lapsed (and who haven’t said they’re leaving the party and don’t want to hear from it again).
  • The Early Bird briefings: this is sent to a dedicated list of party activists who have asked for it. Contact internalcomms@libdems.org.uk with your details, including your involvement in the party, if you are missing out on these.
  • Tim Gordon’s weekly briefing: this is also sent to a dedicated list of party activists who have asked for it. Contact internalcomms@libdems.org.uk with your details, including your involvement in the party, if you are missing out on these.

Done all that and still got a problem with emails from HQ not getting to you?

If you’ve done the above and are still not getting the emails you should, you can email internalcomms@libdems.org.uk. One of the team will then investigate.

And finally…

If you are involved in running a local party and come across someone in your area who is missing out on some emails for some reason, I find it’s a really good idea to step through these steps with them. That’s not only because it’s a good way to treat fellow members, but also because sometimes tugging on a loose end of a data problem untangles a much bigger issue, such as discovering that someone is using an out-of-date list somewhere or that a batch of people have been put down with the wrong local party information. In sorting out one person, you may well end up helping several others too.

It’s also worth remembering that many local supporters and helpers are interested in what the party is up to in government but, due to not being members, may be missing out on an awful lot of the information. Encouraging them to sign up to the Letters from the Leader emails is a good move.

Thanks to party HQ’s Austin Rathe for providing me with some of the information for this post.

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