That is the disturbing finding of a CCHQ memo – leaked to The Observer. The Observer’s Gaby Hinsliff gives no indication of the size of the sample but she reports that a "’cold-calling’ survey’, in which party workers emailed local constituencies pretending to be members of the public interested in joining, found that only a third even got a response after the first attempt." (The findings fit with the PS you’ll find at the bottom of this post about Abigail Kay’s repeated difficulties with joining the Tory Party).
The leaked report – overseen by party board member Simon Mort – was written to explore the alleged slowness of the party grassroots to buy into the leader’s style and policy agenda. The memo contains this explanation of the difference between direct marketing and branding:
"’You’re at a party and see an attractive person across the room. You go over and say, "Hi, I’m fantastic in bed" – that’s known as direct marketing… You’re at a party and see an attractive person across the room, they walk over to you and say "Hi, I hear you’re fantastic in bed" – that’s known as branding.’"