...and building a decent list while you're at it.
The Barack Obama campaign has, rightly, been praised for its use of email, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. The most recent example, the "Be first to know" ploy of having people submit either their email or cell phone number in order to be informed (before the official announcement) of the Vice Presidential candidate was classical in the sense that it created value in the direct (and interactive) communication channels. What the campaign further did was to initiate an ongoing conversation in the best way possible - saying something relevant and interesting to the other party. Perhaps the final lesson from this particular execution is the increasing connection between email and mobile marketing - both will have a place for some time to come but the roles they each play will change radically over the next two years.