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Mitt Romney’s Website

Mitt is getting good publicity for his fundraising efforts today. Raising $2.5 million on your first day is a pretty good boost for a campaign. Although I’m not sure that the $300,000 cost of the event is a good idea. The article in the Boston Globe references the Bush campaigns hot dog fundraisers but fails to point out the reason for that was to keep costs under control.

The chatter about his fundraising made me curious to kick the tires on his web site, and so far I am unimpressed.

His photo album takes you to a list of three articles you can read (but no pictures, oddly). His issue information seems to be nothing more than a series of past quotes with no context. His header graphic doesn’t take you back to the home page (which is really sort of a rookie mistake).

Worst of all though, is his volunteer component. There is an old saying in sales, “When you have closed the deal, quit selling.” In short, once the guy has agreed to your terms, stop asking or you run the risk of queering the deal.

Mitt does exactly that. I clicked a link that says “Join the Team” (as I do with almost every political list there is). Instead of taking me to a form, though, the site dropped me on a video telling me why I should support Mitt. Far below that is a button that invites me (again) to join the team. Only after I click that can I actually join. Once I complete the form (which asks only for my zip code and e-mail) I get an annoying series of pop-ups.

If someone wants to join your effort, don’t make them regret that and don’t make them work for it.

Given the fact that they’re not asking for address information (especially since they are clearly not concerned with turning away potential supporters) and asking only for e-mail and zip, my record is now useless for poll location targeting.

On the campaign in 2004, we asked for full name and address and caught a lot of flack for it. It didn’t however, dramatically lower our take rate. That simple request, which may have turned off one or two people, allowed us to match our file against voter records. It gave us the ability to deliver maps and driving directions to the polls to everyone in our database.

Zip codes, in many western states, can span hundreds of square miles. If you want to match me to other volunteers, or to my poll location, you’ll need more. I realize the site is in it’s v1.0 stage, but that’s a fundamental mistake that will cost them later.

Written by Michael Turk