Inside a $690 Million Email Campaign...

by WillR
19 replies
I read this interesting article this morning about the Obama election email campaign.

Here are some really interesting takeaways from the article. A lot of this stuff is already talked about in our industry but this just goes to prove how important split testing and optimizing things is. You will never know what works best until your audience votes with their clicks. Often it will be the complete opposite of what you assume would work best.

Most of the $690 million Obama raised online came from fundraising e-mails.
We did extensive A-B testing not just on the subject lines and the amount of money we would ask people for.
“The subject lines that worked best were things you might see in your in-box from other people,” Fallsgraff says. “ ‘Hey’ was probably the best one we had over the duration.”
(Yep, looks like even Obama used the good 'ole Frank Kern subject line).

“Every time something really ugly won, it would shock me: giant-size fonts for links, plain-text links vs. pretty ‘Donate’ buttons. Eventually we got to thinking, ‘How could we make things even less attractive?’
Source: The Science Behind Those Obama Campaign E-Mails - Businessweek
#$690 #campaign #email #inside #million
  • Profile picture of the author Devin X
    Banned
    Nice find, and a great share. I remember geeking out when I noticed that Obama was using squeeze pages and email marketing to raise support and funds for his campaigning. Internet marketing FTW!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ephrils
    Definitely proof of the importance of testing. The ugly things surprise me too, but then I remember sites like Craigslist. You never know exactly what will work best until you try it out.
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    Two Signature lines for rent.

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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
    I missed Obama's thread in the "Hire Warriors" section. Can someone link me?
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  • Profile picture of the author CPAMasterX
    Interesting, thanks for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hlatky
    One of the more interesting points of the article:

    Fortunately for Obama and all political campaigns that will follow, the tests did yield one major counterintuitive insight: Most people have a nearly limitless capacity for e-mail and won’t unsubscribe no matter how many they’re sent.
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    • Profile picture of the author onSubie
      Originally Posted by Mike Hlatky View Post

      One of the more interesting points of the article:

      Yes, and something a lot of marketers don't take advantage of.

      You can double your income simply by doubling the number of times you email your list.

      Conventional thinking is this will piss off your list and people will unsubscribe.

      Unconventional thinkers are making bank.
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by yakim1 View Post

        Hi Will,

        Since you said the uglier the better, did it say anything about text emails performing better that HTML emails?

        Best regards,
        Steve Yakim
        Steve,

        The article is linked to in the first post so you can read it.

        Originally Posted by onSubie View Post

        Yes, and something a lot of marketers don't take advantage of.

        You can double your income simply by doubling the number of times you email your list.

        Conventional thinking is this will piss off your list and people will unsubscribe.

        Unconventional thinkers are making bank.
        Not entirely true. Just emailing people more often will not automatically double your income. You'll find most people these days generally have a budget or a cap of money they allow themselves to spend on products.

        I have had a lot of these marketers who mail their lists daily do affiliate promotions for me and I can confidently tell you the difference between the results they are able to get and the results other affiliates are able to get are like night and day.

        Most marketers who mail their lists very frequently only ever manage to do a few hundred dollars worth of sales, if that. Then there are those marketers who maybe email their list once or twice a week, if that, and those are the guys who have done $3,000 - $5,000+ per promotion. This same pattern has played out over many of my launches.

        So which one would you rather be?
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        • Profile picture of the author onSubie
          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          Not entirely true. Just emailing people more often will not automatically double your income. You'll find most people these days generally have a budget or a cap of money they allow themselves to spend on products.
          That is true and I was probably being deliberately provocative.

          It also depends a lot on your niche. In niches like IM, Politics, Investing/Finance most people are on many lists and get tons of lists mail.

          If you are in a niche with a high email list tolerance you can grow response and income simply by emailing more frequently.


          So which one would you rather be?
          Again, it depends on the niche and how you want to use your list.

          If you rely on affiliate marketing then naturally you want to treat your list with more care and build a relationship to increase conversions.

          But if you're in some "get rich" Forex niche then your list can likely tolerate more hard offers and will have more churn no matter what you do. (As opposed to an investment advice newsletter)

          But mostly I was commenting on what the article said about the high tolerance of their list (Politics) for multiple emails and a variety of subject types.

          These are things I think all list builders should consider.

          Mahlon
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          Steve,

          The article is linked to in the first post so you can read it.



          Not entirely true. Just emailing people more often will not automatically double your income. You'll find most people these days generally have a budget or a cap of money they allow themselves to spend on products.

          I have had a lot of these marketers who mail their lists daily do affiliate promotions for me and I can confidently tell you the difference between the results they are able to get and the results other affiliates are able to get are like night and day.

          Most marketers who mail their lists very frequently only ever manage to do a few hundred dollars worth of sales, if that. Then there are those marketers who maybe email their list once or twice a week, if that, and those are the guys who have done $3,000 - $5,000+ per promotion. This same pattern has played out over many of my launches.

          So which one would you rather be?
          Agreed. My original email campaigns were every three days and the open rate was high, but sales staggered in between 8 and 72 hours . Long story short, I changed it to one email per week which caused a similar open rate, but increased the majority of sales within 24 hours. A quick test later, one email every 12 days returned a higher open rate and the majority of sales within 16 hours. I have not changed it in years because I can work at a more comfortable schedule (no rush) and near the same amount the sales come in almost four times faster.

          Thanks for the article Will.

          Jeffery 100% :-)
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          Entrepreneurs starting out and small businesses without giant staffs and budgets.

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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I wouldn't be surprised if a White House Official is secretly reading the Warrior Forum everyday... trying to come up with new ideas on how to make more money for the trillion dollar debt LOL.
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  • Profile picture of the author yakim1
    Hi Will,

    Since you said the uglier the better, did it say anything about text emails performing better that HTML emails?

    Best regards,
    Steve Yakim
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  • Profile picture of the author austria
    Banned
    are there more archives with the content of each email ?
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Fascinating stuff. I really need to dive into e-mail campaigning and marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author MartinPlatt
    Thanks Will! Interesting article. Strange how hey was the most popular subject line but not in their list of most popular subject lines...


    Maybe this is a new niche... begging? If the pres can do it, maybe we can too?
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    Martin Platt

    martin-platt.com

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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Interesting article. Have to say that I was on the list and got sick of the emails and unsubscribed even though I am an Obama supporter. It pained me to have to unsubscribe, but I'm one of those that do not have an unlimited tolerance for email marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Interesting article. Have to say that I was on the list and got sick of the emails and unsubscribed even though I am an Obama supporter. It pained me to have to unsubscribe, but I'm one of those that do not have an unlimited tolerance for email marketing.
      Yeah. Luckily the average person is not subscribed to a ton of email lists like the majority of us are so they would have a lot more tolerance for email marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author zeroaffiliate
    That's awesome!

    If a president can do IM, can any marketers here want to run for office?
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