Obama Campaign Email Efforts Faced Super PAC Hurdles

What's been the most-talked-about email campaign of 2012? Arguably, the one run by President Obama's campaign. In his keynote address Tuesday at the MediaPost Email Insider Summit, the campaign's email director Toby Fallsgraff says the team knew it would be a different campaign than 2008 when President Obama had a record to run on and also "a day job."

One of the hurdles also was getting a message through with the huge amount of money spent by super PACs. But the campaign never stopped organizing between 2008 and 2012, including by using its email list.

The Obama for America campaign had about 20 members on its email team.

In 2012, the Obama campaign "started from the assumption that the people on our list were supporters of the president," so it tried to persuade them to lobby their friends to vote for Obama.

"We were always trying to create a very equal playing field not a top-down approach," Fallsgraff said.

The campaign let states drive their own email programs, with 14 of the about 22 people working on the Obama national campaign spending time working with state operations.

Email goals included getting people ot volunteer and give money. The campaign did a lot of email testing. There was a concern that sending an email in the afternoon would "cannibalize" an email sent in the morning. But the data indicated that was not the case -- and overall a "second ask" for fundraising was effective.



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