Why did I not get that email from the Liberal Democrats?

A few years back, my post “Why did I not get that email from the Liberal Democrats?” proved rather popular, helping untangle various issues with party members missing out on information about what is going on in the party. So here’s the latest version…

Whether it’s you wondering why you’ve not received that email others are talking about, or whether it’s someone you’re in conversation with, I hope this guide is useful – and as ever suggestions and additions welcome.

Check your spam and other folders

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 is the sensible first step.

If you are using Gmail with its automatically sorted inbox feature turned on, check the other tabs in addition to your Primary one. Party emails will often end up in one of those. You might want to drag emails you receive from the party into your Primary tab so that they appear there in future.

The email addresses most frequently used by the party to send out messages to members and supporters are internalcomms@liberal.democrat and internal.comms@libdems.org.uk. It is therefore worth adding these email addresses to your list of contacts (or to your email program’s whitelist, if it has one). You may find it useful also to add email addresses used by other parts of the party you want to hear from.

These steps are particularly important if you have an email address with a system that is quite aggressive at blocking suspect spam. BT Internet, Virgin, TalkTalk BT Openworld and CIX can all be so aggressive that even with everything done right, they do sometimes block emails anyway. (Anyone with a CIX email has long since stopped receiving my own Lib Dem news emails too for this reason.)

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

There are three main sets of relevant records:

  • the party’s membership records (the Salesforce system, accessed normally via the Lighthouse frontend),
  • the party’s database of electors (the Connect system), and
  • local Lib Dem website/email systems (almost all use NationBuilder or PraterRaines, some also use MailChimp).

In theory, and to a large extent in practice, email updates flow between the different systems. It isn’t a flawless system, however, especially if you have more than one email address.

It’s worth checking that all the records are correct, especially as the Connect data is also often used for updates about local issues and events.

You can check what email address the party has in Salesforce, along with associated information regarding opt-in / opt-outs to various types of emails at www.libdems.org.uk/email-settings. The page also has a link to get your email address updated or corrected.

Alternatively, or if you are still encountering difficulties, email help@libdems.org.uk and ask them to check both the email address and the tags on your record.

For the Connect records, ask one of the Connect team in the local or regional party, or again email help@libdems.org.uk.

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?

Lib Dem HQ, in particular, is increasingly segmenting the emails it sends out. So it’s always a good idea to be as specific as possible about which email(s) have not been received and then ask help@libdems.org.uk.

One thing to note in particular is that emails about internal party elections and selections usually go onto to those qualified to vote in those contests. That can mean that, for example, if you joined very recently (after the cut-off date for qualifying to vote in a contest) then you may be deliberately omitted. Likewise if the party’s records, rightly or wrongly, show you as being a member in a different part of the country from where the selection is taking place, such as because you have recently moved.

In addition, as a general guide there are three main groups of emails which come out from Lib Dem HQ:

  • Campaigns messages: sent to current party members, supporters, and people HQ think might be interested in a particular campaign. Signing up on the campaign’s page is the best way to stay informed.
  • Announcements: these too are sent to current party members, supporters, and people HQ think might be interested.
  • Super Activists: these emails are sent to a dedicated list of party activists who would like more information about government announcements, party policies and campaigning methods. To get on this list, email help@libdems.org.uk with your name, membership number, and why you think you should be on the list. Approval is on a case by case basis given the internal nature of some of the material sent out.

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 but, due to not being members or registered supporters, may be missing out on an awful lot of the information. One answer is to encourage them to join the Liberal Democrats or sign up as a registered supporter. Another is to put them in touch with their local party to get added to any relevant local email lists.

Plus, there’s always my Liberal Democrat Newswire email newsletter.

Thank you to Greg Foster at Liberal Democrat HQ and to Peter Martin and Austin Rathe for their help with the earlier versions and updates. Any mistakes or omissions are my responsibility.

2 responses to “Why did I not get that email from the Liberal Democrats?”

  1. I certainly had 6 stuck of mine on the ISP server which I did not see until I looked online, which I don’t normally do.
    There is no doubt that using Nationbuilder email blast template results in lots of rejections, mainly by @btinternet,com & @aol.com because them seem more fussy. I stripped out all embedded links, Facebook seemed to have the biggest effect, which reduced the problem significantly. In one run 10% were rejected as spam. Seldom do we have an incorrect email address.

  2. My problem is rather wondering why I HAVE received something and who else in my local party has. In the absence of a statement such as “to all local party officers and listed super activists” I sometimes waste a bit of other people’s time copying it to people in the local party who definitely should know about it, usually finding they got it anyway.

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