Secrets from the Obama email fundraising machine

Some interesting and useful observations on the Obama ’12 email fundraising machine, from M+R Research Labs: Surprises from Obama’s New Media Staff.


  • Segmentation based on donor behavior is the only segmentation worth doing.
  • Novelty worked … until it didn’t!
  • Shorter vs. longer? It mostly didn’t matter.
  • Micro-goals worked for advocacy but not for fundraising.
  • Facebook app made a huge difference for their mobilization efforts.
  • Best performing appeals often had the highest unsubscribe rates.
  • They hardly integrated with snail mail. The online program was mostly a separate entity from the direct mail stream.
  • Clickers and visitors to donation pages were strong prospects for resends.

Not all these apply completely to fundraising email, but some do, and they’re all good hypotheses we can learn from.


Comments

2 responses to “Secrets from the Obama email fundraising machine”

  1. Thanks for posting this quick synopsis jeff! I appreciate it!
    Mazarine

  2. Thanks for posting this quick synopsis jeff! I appreciate it!
    Mazarine

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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