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A Few Interesting Things About the White House's Email List

Recently the White House asked our email list to give us feedback on the email and online programs. Check out some of the results.

Over the past few months we’ve been working to improve the White House email program to provide subscribers with timely, relevant information about what’s happening at the White House and around the Administration. Now, we offer a number of email subscriptions like periodic updates from President Obama and senior Administration officials; a daily email with the photo of the day, highlights from the blog and the President’s schedule; and weekly topic-based newsletters. 

And before you go any further, ask yourself: if I'm reading a blog post about the White House email program, shouldn't I make sure that I'm part of it?  Don't miss any updates by joining the White House email list here

Last week, we sent out a short email survey to our email list to ask for their feedback on the email and online programs.  We got over 48,000 responses and we thought we’d share some of the results.  This wasn’t a scientific survey, the results reflect the opinions of the people who took the time to read our email and complete the survey, but this kind of feedback is really helpful. We’ll be using this information to help improve our emails and our online program in the coming weeks and months.

Below are a few interesting tidbits and comments.  You can also take a look at some of the data from the survey results in the slideshow below:

  1. Email list subscribers are most interested in receiving simple explanations of policies, breaking news and progress reports on Administration initiatives.  Lately, we’ve been trying to break down some of our policy initiatives in the White House White Board series.  
  2. People on the email list are most interested in the economy and jobs, health care, energy and the environment.We recently rolled out weekly newsletters on each of these topics.  Each week subscribers get the latest information on what the Administration is doing to boost our economy, implement the new health care law or build the clean energy economy. You can sign up for these newsletters here.
  3. People are generally happy with the amount of email they receive from the White House – 64% think it’s just about right, 29% think it’s not enough, and only 5% think it’s too much.  We know many people get a LOT of email each day, so we make an effort not to inundate your inbox with too much email.  But for those people who want to hear from us more, we have a daily email called the Daily Snapshot that has the latest photo of the day, highlights from the White House blog, and President’s schedule.  Sign up here.
  4. 76% of people say they always open emails from President Obama, but only 6% always share them with their friends.
  5. Most people are happy with the White House emails, but 26% think we could be doing a better job. 

    Here’s a few ways we could improve:

    “They should be a bit shorter. Let me know what you're doing for me.”

    “Many of the e-mails, like the one about this survey and the last Women’s Update, could use some more visual aide. Pictures would make the e-mails more interesting and personal.”

    “You need to do polls on all issues, all the time, on this site. Then you need to publish the results widely.”

    And here are some things people liked about our emails:

    “The recent email from Vice President Biden setting out the suggestions of government employees for saving money was fabulous and I was pleased to have this information to email to everyone in my address book. This email is the sort of thing I would like to receive more often.”

    “The personal connection this White House has made with me (the average everyday American) has been amazing and for the first time, I'm learning more, am engaged and am more interested every day in the work going on in DC and beyond.”                           
  6. Nearly half of our email list (45%) only visits less than once a month and just 3% visit the White House website every day.
  7. When email list subscribers do go to, they are most likely to watch a video, contact the White House or read a speech.
  8. In general, our email list subscribers aren’t regular users of social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter – just 27% visit those sites daily and over 43% visit them less than once a month.
  9. Very few of our email list subscribers follow the White House on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, most of them keep up with us online through and online news sites.  
  10. 75% of respondents were over the age of 50

Check out this slide show with some of the results from the survey.