Patrick Ruffini, a Republican pollster who previously worked in digital fundraising, said the Trump campaign’s digital marketing tactics reflected Mr. Trump’s personality.
“The president doesn’t have a filter, and there aren’t a lot of restrictions on what he’ll say or do from a fundraising standpoint either,” Ruffini said. He called the campaign an “optimization machine” designed to maximize revenue above all else.
“The corresponding inflation is a common joke,” Mr Ruffini said of the promised ghost matches which went from 500% in May to 600% in June, 700% in July and, sometimes, 900% – and now 1000. % in October. .
Julia Rosen, a Democratic digital fundraiser, likened the tactic to “giving kids candy instead of their Wheaties”: a temporary sugar spike followed by a crash. “If you start off by offering matches to donors, they like that, and it becomes a situation where then they’ll only give if you give them a match,” she says.
“They have optimized themselves in absurdity and parody,” she added of the Trump campaign.
Privately, some Republicans are questioning whether Mr. Trump’s campaign deployed such tactics far too early, depleting a list of supporters that had been seen as one of its most powerful assets. At this point, however, most see little problem with the more aggressive marketing tactics, arguing that the risk of deterring supporters was no worse than losing the election.
Mr. Trump’s campaign used a tool created by WinRed, the donation processing site, which automatically chooses supporters to donate additional for months, and it generated millions of dollars, according to people familiar with the topic. As early as June, the campaign had asked supporters to make a second donation on Mr. Trump’s birthday. The campaign announced a record-breaking $ 14 million online transport that day, but did not mention that it had racked up the pledged contributions in advance.
ActBlue, the Democratic donation processing site, began removing a feature that automatically allowed donors to make recurring donations from its platform earlier this year. A representative said no candidate is currently using the tool but declined to comment further. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, however, still uses the opt-in tool for automatic monthly donations. The Biden campaign directed some Facebook ads to existing donors specifically looking to convert them into weekly and monthly contributors, and landing pages after people clicked on those ads have the recurring donation option pre-verified.