The science behind Obama's fundraising emails

An email sent from the Obama campaign on Oct. 22. Subject line: "Hey."

If you somehow got through this past election cycle without being spammed by either of the presidential campaigns looking for money, you're in the overwhelming minority.

Democrats found themselves innundated by emails from Barack Obama and other famous supporters, urging them to give, and providing them a simple, one-click way to part with their money. Here's an example:

Subject: Hey


This is in your hands now.

Chip in $375 or more, and let's go win:



Seems pretty simple, huh? The Obama campaign actually spend thousands of man-hours perfecting their pitch, writes Josh Green in his article "The Science Behind Those Obama Campaign Emails" in Bloomberg Businessweek today. Green details the methods used to craft, test, and continuously reinvent the emails.

The secret ingredient in the recipe for fundraising success for Obama was frequency and the willingness to change when one technique became less effective.

"They basically stopped just short of those Internet ads where you click on the flashing monkey," Green laughs.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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