The man behind Obama’s online campaign is coming to town. Yip, Harper Reed will be sharing his story with audiences at The Nedbank Digital Edge Live 2013. For anyone heading out to TDEL, and particularly to see Harper Reed, here’s a quick recap about what he’s done for the ‘Obama for America’ online campaign.

As CTO, Reed had 3 goals for this campaign. Get donations, volunteers and votes. He worked with an innovative team who built Narwhal, the platform that tracked potential voters, volunteers and supporters from literally anywhere to create complete voter profiles that better targeted Obama supporters.

Online marketing efforts made use of social-media platforms and email to communicate with supporters and raise record amounts from donors. Email campaigns used A/B testing extensively. A single OFA fundraising email had no less than 11 different varieties and up to 18 at one point.

The best performing emails with the right subject line, perfect balance of images and call to actions were blasted to tens of millions of subscribers. The emails sent appeared to come from Barack Obama himself. Most of the subject lines were casual and conversational, like “Join me for dinner?”, “It’s officially over,” “It doesn’t have to be this way,” ‘’Wow’’ and ‘’I will be outspent.’’

Would you believe the most successful subject line to come out of the A/B tests and be used for one of Obama’s email campaigns was ‘’Hey’’?

In the end, Harper and his team helped smash support and voter turnout records set in 2008. The campaign’s online donations drummed up $700 million with over 4.5 million people having donated. Most of the money raised online came from fundraising e-mails. Of course, the major win was Barack Obama securing a 2nd term in the White House. The biggest take away here is that testing and segmentation played a really big part of Obama’s online success. If it worked for Harper and Obama, surely it’ll work for you.

Congratulations, Peter Jarvis on winning tickets to The Nedbank Digital Edge Live!