Deemed “The First Digital Election,” 2012 showed America what an electoral process that operated under the watch of real-time digital media was capable of. Our world has undoubtedly changed greatly since the last election four years ago, arguably the most dramatic change being the face of technology. The past four years have brought an abundance of new communication channels and an unprecedented degree of social connectedness. Throughout the course of the 2016 election process, we’ve seen our candidates utilize social media and big data to reach voters with great precision and on a massive scale. However, if there is one thing this election has in common with its predecessor: the fact that amidst all of this new technology, email marketing still reigns supreme.

Email marketing is critical to any campaign, and the 2016 presidential election is a testament to just how powerful it truly is. Candidates have implemented email marketing as a pillar of their campaigns time and time again because it’s fast, cost-effective and non-invasive. As people must opt in to a candidate’s emails in order to receive them, utilizing this channel reaches a more targeted audience eager to interact than do other ads directed to the general public.

Though there will be no clear-cut winner until November 8, after conducting a month-long analysis of Donald Trump’s, Hillary Clinton’s and Gary Johnson’s email campaigns, it’s clear that each of these three candidates succeeded in delivering well-branded content and messaging in their own unique ways. This analysis identified overall frequency of emails, average length of body and subject line, calls to action, and use of visuals to determine the email marketing campaign style of each candidate.

In terms of overall frequency of emails, Clinton averaged 0.8 emails daily and six weekly. This cadence is nearly double that of Trump’s, who sent 0.43 daily and 3.25 weekly. Gary Johnson fell in between the two, with an average frequency of 5.5 emails per week.

When it comes to email length, less is more. Both Johnson and Trump’s emails were typically longer than five paragraphs. However, it is interesting to note that while Hillary’s emails averaged around three paragraphs, 86 percent included a very clear call to action, whether that be to donate, attend a rally or simply register to vote. While the majority of Trump’s emails included a clear call to action as well, only 36 percent of Johnson’s emails included one, which begs the question of whether or not the preciseness of the CTA was lost in the length of the message.

Typically images are very successful in email marketing campaigns as they create a pleasant aesthetic and foster brand recognition. Regarding visuals, Johnson included at least one visual in every message, while Clinton only included them in 13 percent of her emails and Trump did not include a single image throughout the course of this analysis.

Finally, an interesting finding to note is that not one of these three candidates used a single emoji in the subject line or body of their emails. As emojis have clearly made their way into mainstream email marketing, with hundreds of companies using them to cultivate a brand experience daily, it’s fascinating to see that our candidates chose not to include these popular pictograms. Perhaps they could be associated with a lack of professionalism or be seen as a distraction to the main message. However, given their established digital status, the American people may have liked to see them incorporated in some way.

Despite the outcome of the election, subscribers can all agree that we have seen an awesome display of digital fluency and distinct email marketing campaigns put forth by each of these three candidates.