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Conversion Optimization: How A/B testing email content generated $500 million

Amelia Showalter, Obama for America, and Toby Fallsgraff, Obama for America

At Optimization Summit 2013, two marketers took the stage to tell the story of how digital marketing efforts led to $500 million in donations. Toby Fallsgraff, Email Director, and Amelia Showalter, Director of Digital Analytics, came to the audience at Summit to give a behind-the-scenes look at how Obama for America implemented A/B testing in President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, and reveal the dramatic results and customer insights gained from their efforts.

While this case study is based in politics, the lessons learned are transferable to any email marketing and testing effort.

"A lot of it was on team digital to come up with a plan to be smarter and be more tenacious with our online fundraising … And so the real game changer is something that everyone here [at Summit] does every day, and that’s the A/B testing," Fallsgraff said.

Not only did team find that A/B efforts drove a significant number of donations, testing also was responsible for recruiting 2 million volunteers.

In this keynote presentation replay, learn the top six lessons learned during Obama for America’s campaign work:
  • Content matters, especially subject lines

  • Test — do not trust your instincts

  • Stylized, elaborate emails don’t always win

  • Incentives, even small ones, work

  • Invest in your team, find the right people

  • Foster a culture of testing

Download the slides to this presentation

Related Resources

Web Optimization Summit 2014 — May 21-23, New York City

Email Optimization: A discussion about how A/B testing generated $500 million in donations — MarketingSherpa webinar replay

Email Testing: How the Obama campaign generated approximately $500 million in donations from email marketing

Optimization Summit 2013 Wrap-up: Top 5 takeaways for testing websites, pay-per-click ads and email

Email Marketing: What I’ve learned from writing almost 1,000 emails for MarketingSherpa