Why Obama Is Unstoppable
This technique—now called viral marketing—has reached its apotheosis in the Obama e-mails.
Until 2008, the Republican Party had a lock on political direct mail fundraising techniques—testing, sophisticated list work and powerful copy. For half a century the Democrats sucked hind tit—always 10 years behind the Republicans in political direct mail know-how.
The Obama E-juggernaut
Here are the first five efforts from the Obama campaign:
- Barack Obama: What happened today (Wed. 3/5/08, 7KB)
- David Plouffe, Barack Obama: The Math (Wed. 3/5/08, 18KB)
- Barack Obama: Make history in Pennsylvania (Wed. 3/5/08, 6KB)
- Nicole Price, PA, Barack Obama: Take the Next Step in PA (Thu. 3/6/08, 6KB)
- Obama for America: What’s next (Fri. 3/7/08, 8KB)
What’s going on? Readers started receiving a dizzying array of seemingly personal messages from the candidate himself as well as many of his operatives—nationally, on the campaign trail and in their home states.
They arrived in a variety of formats and typefaces—as emotionally charged memos, letters, position papers, fundraising efforts, invitations, thank-yous, and personal responses to those who wrote in with ideas and questions.
Suddenly readers were plunged into the excitement of a campaign’s internal workings and came to feel they were a part of history in the making. It was helter-skelter, immediate and damned exciting.
Two e-mails of note in my Obama archive:
Saturday, May 3, 2008, 2:44 PM
From: Caroline Kennedy
Subject: Answer the call
My father called on Americans to ask what they could do for their country.
Those who answered his call built a movement that transformed our country and brought out the best in our national character.
Barack Obama has followed in that tradition — dedicating himself to public service as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago and then as a state and U.S. Senator.