Presidential candidates appeal to young female voters through theSkimm

As presidential candidates start their campaigning for next year?s elections, it has become clear that young voters are vital for success, with many candidates leveraging daily mobile newsletter theSkimm as one strategy for reaching this audience.

TheSkimm is a publication that focuses on serving news in a short format that readers can quickly digest on the go and skews towards young, female mobile users. A number of the current crop of presidential candidates are participating in a question-and-answer special for the publication to better reach and inform millennials, an important demographic for winning the election. 

"TheSkimm focuses on women 22 to 34, in big cities throughout the country who have money to spend," said Danielle Weisberg co-founder of theSkimm. "They are professional and on the go. 

"In other words, they are a valuable voting demographic," she said. 

Skimming for supporters
As consumer behavior has drastically shifted in the last decade, presidential candidates need to evolve with the change and determine new tactics in appealing to voters. The young voter is a key factor in elections, more so now than ever before and reaching them through channels that are garnering most of their attention is crucial. 

Founded by millennial women itself, theSkimm is an ideal platform to share campaign content in an attempt to attract young female voters. With about 70 percent of users accessing the newsletter through mobile, the publication is built on sharing snackable content with a millennial voice. 

"Mobile is very important for theSkimm," said Carly Zakin, co-founder of theSkimm. "The vast majority of our users read us first thing in the morning on their phones. 

"We started with email because it was the easiest way to get in the routines of this audience as they start their day and bolt out the door," she said. "We believe that part of getting your messaging out is to reach people in their routines and mobile is a huge part of that for anyone looking to reach younger demographics."

The newsletter has open its doors to these candidates to better inform readers for the upcoming election, and give them a chance to make their case for the presidency. Candidates answer questions that boasts particularly well with the millennial crowd, with the format of language that appeals to them. 

For instance, for the July 22 edition of the newsletter content from democratic candidate senator Bernie Sanders was shared with readers. Sen. Sanders gave a short description about himself and answered several questions ranging from serious to comical, giving readers a better sense of who is running. 

The publication asked the senator various questions such as ?why should American hire you,? ?who should we call for a reference,? and ?how do you take your coffee.? He shared information on his plans for the country and government?s future, as well as his stances on important issues such as education, gun control, the Affordable Care act, the Iran Nuclear Deal and climate change. 


Other candidates have previously been featured on the newsletter such as Carly Fiorina, Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Sen. Rand Paul and former Gov. George Pataki. Many other candidates will be joining millennials during their morning commute in the upcoming months. 

Young voters are becoming vital for elections but are less informed. According to Fusion?s Massive Millennial Poll in February of 2015, more than nine out of 10 of those polled aged 18 to 34 were planning on voting in this year?s election. 

However, these voters are highly uninformed. When asked to name one current U.S. senator from their home state, 77 percent of participants could not list a single name. 

Uninformed voters means sources such as theSkimm are vital to the 2016 campaign. Candidates have an audience of more than 1.5 million subscribers with the newsletter, but are also presenting their candidate information in a manner that these younger readers will digest. 

Mobile minister
The newsletter startup recently developed a feature for fans to save and upload quotes of the day to Instagram to raise greater awareness in the millennial demographic, and increase reach for their advertisers (see more). 

TheSkimm is not the only mobile marketing effort that candidates are taking advantage of. Leveraged by former Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul and other potential presidential candidates, Meerkat stands to become a defining tool of the 2016 election campaign, taking over where Twitter left off in 2012 (see more). 

"By reading theSkimm, a younger audience can get to know presidential candidates in just a few minutes," said Sean Gera, strategic analyst of marketing at CallFire. "Similar to the reasons why mobile interactions are successful with this demographic, a younger audience expects instant gratification and to get information in shorter snippets. 

"TheSkimm perfectly aligns with this demo," he said. "Additionally, this audience has a high percentage of undecided voters, a group that tends to be the determining factor in electoral outcomes.

"Mobile is extremely important in helping candidates reach millennials, as their phone usage is much higher than that of any other age demographic. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 68 percent of 18 to 29 year olds say that they texted a lot the previous day, versus 47 percent of 30 to 49 year olds, and 26 percent of 50 to 64 year olds, this trend will likely increase with future generations."

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer