The Most Devastating Look At How Barack Obama's Digital Team Crushed Mitt Romney's And Won Him The Election

barack obama tweet

Photo: @BarackObama

The Obama campaign’s digital operations proved to be a crucial point of success that led to the re-election of President Barack Obama in November. Based on a sophisticated effort and larger emphasis on digital and new media, the Obama campaign engaged supporters and raised an unprecedented amount of money through its digital efforts.

How did the Obama campaign become so effective in the digital realm? Engage, an interactive digital political agency in Washington, D.C., recently published a report entitled “Inside the Cave.” It features a 93-page, step-by-step in-depth look at the secrets to the Obama digital team’s success.

We’ve collected 15 of the report’s key topics and published them here.

(Note: A special thanks to Engage president Patrick Ruffini for permission to republish parts of the report.)

Right off the bat, it's clear that the Obama organisation lapped Romney when it came to employee presence online, the number of donors, and the size of the email list of supporters.

While Romney's campaign beefed up staff, it was still far from enough to compete with the Obama digital and analytics staff.

The team Obama built came from a wide array of startups, tech firms and even particle physics labs.

Here's where the Obama analytics team delivered: They were able to accurately discover the real effect of early voting and predict with startling accuracy how people would vote.

The beefed-up digital squad had a large effect on fundraising, accounting for the vast majority of campaign revenue.

The email pleas went through a significant amount of testing among focus groups to see what subject lines and body text were the most effective at eliciting a response.

Quick Donate was an important feature that made giving easy — it allowed mobile users to give and streamlined the whole process.

From the internal site system alone, the Obama campaign received $250 million from supporters.

Their website was built to last and designed to serve as a useful resource. Traffic to BarackObama.com dwarfed traffic to Romney's site.

The Obama campaign also invested an unprecedented amount in online ads.

The Obama digital model will endure and serve as the model for any serious campaign to come, outliving phone calls, landline polling and earlier campaign structures.

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