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Hey
November 29, 2012 1:14 PM   Subscribe

"The bottom line: Obama’s e-mail fundraising team tested hundreds of grabby subject lines. The most successful—“Hey”— brought in millions of dollars." Inside Obama's chatty e-mail fundraising campaign.
posted by OmieWise (44 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hey
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:17 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey dick
posted by facetious at 1:18 PM on November 29, 2012


"Hey, Listen!"
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:19 PM on November 29, 2012 [30 favorites]


The bottom line is the top line?
posted by nathancaswell at 1:22 PM on November 29, 2012


Beyonce doesn't always send emails like this.
posted by Artw at 1:22 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hey girl.
posted by Cash4Lead at 1:22 PM on November 29, 2012 [16 favorites]


Funny, those are the ones I always delete without reading because they're almost invariably spam. Nobody sends me email with a subject line simply reading "Hey".
posted by wierdo at 1:24 PM on November 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


Most people have a nearly limitless capacity for e-mail and won’t unsubscribe no matter how many they’re sent.

I was afraid that if I tried to I would get put on a List.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:25 PM on November 29, 2012


HEY, follow me on Twitter HERE.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:26 PM on November 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


Nobody sends me email with a subject line simply reading "Hey".

Explains why you haven't responded to my emails.
posted by goethean at 1:28 PM on November 29, 2012


In 2016 they're going to refine this tactic and make hundreds of millions from a lowercase "sup" with nothing in the body of the email.
posted by naju at 1:28 PM on November 29, 2012 [30 favorites]


I'm going to send a marketing email one day with the subject line CALL TO ACTION and blow everyone's mind and make a billion dollars follow me on twitter.com for more gems of this kind.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:29 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


A/B testing without a sense of taste or ethics often results in cynical and badly designed products because professionals get held hostage to the data and don't consider the social implications of their work. And yes, the 'hey' subject line is kinda unethical because it manipulates people into opening the email.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:31 PM on November 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


I was afraid that if I tried to I would get put on a List.

It's 2012. I make software that sends messages out and here's the scoop:

When you click, "unsubscribe" and unsubscribe, you ARE put on a list, and the list is called the, "Don't ever fucking email me again" list. And then it's logged as such. And then, the user can't fucking email you again - if they try, they get a message that says, "Yeah, you're not allowed, so stop".

I'm not saying I'm doing God's work, but I'm trying to get this shit straightened out.
posted by alex_skazat at 1:31 PM on November 29, 2012 [29 favorites]


I gave all the money I budgeted to give during this election early and in one payment. I wish there were some way to tell them that. Instead they thought I was a potential whale.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:31 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Re: i found this crazy vid of you (from nsa lol!)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:32 PM on November 29, 2012 [11 favorites]


Next up on Fox News - "Is President Obama trying to take your money by posing as a Nigerian prince? We'll have the shocking emails next."
posted by lpcxa0 at 1:33 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney's team had a trusty stable of email subject lines as well:

How About a Mug of Warm Milk?
Negroes / Your Daughter
Ann: So Much More Appealing Than Me
My Position(s)
A Binder of You
Let's **** That Big Bird But Good
We Can't Kill Our Way Out of This
So I Am Pretty Much Fucked
posted by brain_drain at 1:36 PM on November 29, 2012 [57 favorites]


Actual Canadian federal Liberal party email list subject lines:

"I need your help this weekend"

"Lets win like Obama!"

"Look at these pictures"

"I have some important news"

"12 hours, $YOURNAME" (this had my actual name in it).

"Do it for Maggie"

"You have to see this"


I'm serious, that's actually what they put in their subject lines... I haven't removed myself from the list because it's somewhat amusing to see the rump of the once proud Liberal party abasing itself before the public like this.
posted by thewalrus at 1:36 PM on November 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


An actual copy/paste from the latest thing to hit by inbox:

$MYNAME -

Finding the right holiday gift for that special someone can be hard.

But if that special someone happens to be a Liberal, then the Liberal Boutique is your place to go.

How about a red Liberal toque or scarf to stay warm during winter months?

Or plan ahead for the summer months and get a Liberal BBQ apron or t-shirt.

Click here to visit the Liberal Boutique.

These Liberal items are great conversation starters. And they're also useful at increasing the Liberal brand's visibility in your community.

Have a look at what we have in stock.

You might also want to forward this message to those close to you with a short list of your preferred items.

Thank you and best wishes to all.

Mike Crawley

President, Liberal Party of Canada

posted by thewalrus at 1:37 PM on November 29, 2012


have u seen what rommney is sayin abt u?
posted by brundlefly at 1:38 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Local mom finds weird cure for presidential election, open email to learn how!"
posted by ErikaB at 1:40 PM on November 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


I gave him 25 a month for the last 3 years but god, those fucking emails. I had to add him to my spam filter cos I could not unsubscribe no matter how many times I tried.
posted by jcruelty at 1:40 PM on November 29, 2012


$1800 of that was from me, and I opted out of campaign emails so there. And I have to say opting out worked for me, whatever way I did it. Campaign emails stopped and so did receipts for my donations!
posted by spitbull at 1:41 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Second best $1800 I ever spent)
posted by spitbull at 1:41 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I responded to one with "Been tryin' to meet you" - no response.
posted by phong3d at 1:41 PM on November 29, 2012 [13 favorites]


brain_drain: "So I Am Pretty Much Fucked"

You left off the one after that: Do you have a place I can crash?
posted by brundlefly at 1:47 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, who took my bananas?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:50 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been getting these emails since donating for the first time in 2008, and I setup a filter to mark them as read and label them "Obama" so that they don't actually clutter up my inbox. I was also able to catch any other email that resulted from me giving my address to the Obama campaign because I used a unique email address for it that I have never used for anything else.

Without really intending to I have a pretty good archeological record of everything they sent me over the years (around 1200 emails total). For example, the "Hey" subject line first made an appearance in December of 2011, then came back in March, July, and three times in October. About 79 of the subject lines from the emails used my name, 41 mentioned a deadline, 9 were marked "Urgent", etc. I'm almost inclined to write a script to pull out all of the "Donate $X" lines to graph how much money they were asking me to donate over time.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:53 PM on November 29, 2012 [13 favorites]


Second most successful: RICK
posted by marginaliana at 2:05 PM on November 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


The worst is those petition sites. I signed one petition once, and now I get mystery meat implorements with subject lines like "They cut goats' legs off" (yes, that is verbatim).
posted by threeants at 2:06 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, yes indeed! As I called them, "like emails from a needy, skittery suitor."

Still and all, the Obama emails are preferable to the MoveOn emails. With MoveOn, each subject line is a BIG EMERGENCY or an OUTRAGE or RIDICULOUS. It messed up my adrenaline response eventually.
posted by Miko at 2:19 PM on November 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


I was hoping the article would explain why, shortly before the election, they started including colons at the end of subject lines, something I'd never seen in any subject line before.
posted by carrienation at 2:34 PM on November 29, 2012


I would've gone for "Yo."
posted by palbo at 2:41 PM on November 29, 2012


Or "Dude."
posted by Miko at 2:59 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


They only did AB testing. If they really wanted to take a chance on me they would have done ABBA testing.
posted by srboisvert at 2:59 PM on November 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


-previously
-Obama's Creepy Emails, Ctd
-The Silicon Valley Vote
Nate Silver notes that Obama won the Bay Area by 49 points and that "among the 10 American-based information technology companies on the Forbes list of 'most admired companies,' Mr. Obama raised 83 percent of the funds between the two major party candidates." Why this matters:
If Democrats have the support of 80 percent or 90 percent of the best and brightest minds in the information technology field, then it shouldn’t be surprising that Mr. Obama’s information technology infrastructure was viewed as state-of-the-art exemplary, whereas everyone from Republican volunteers to Silicon Valley journalists have critiqued Mr. Romney’s systems.
cf. When the Nerds Go Marching In & Built to win: Deep inside Obama's campaign tech, viz. Dashboard: The Tools You Need to Help Re-Elect President Obama

also see...
-Here's How Republicans Can Win Again
-A New Republican Generation Gets Ready To Take Over
-Meet the millennial deficit hawks
-The Voters Were Bribed
-The Manzi List

and btw...
-The Liberal Landslide
-Welcome To Liberal America
-The relentless march of liberalism
-Fighting off the counterrevolution
-A remarkable, historic period of change

When Will Texas Become A Swing State? Ctd - "my impression from here in Dallas is that Texas is indeed turning purple quicker than people think, and not just because of an influx in Hispanic populations..."
posted by kliuless at 3:00 PM on November 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


Listen!
posted by angelplasma at 4:01 PM on November 29, 2012


Those emails really started getting me angry, and I am an avid Obama supporter. Everyone is pissed off because the economy is in shambles and the candidates are soliciting and spending billions on ads that everyone is sick of. It's good that things worked out for Obama and I can totally understand that he had to combat the Romney money machine, but please pass campaign finance reform now.
posted by onlyconnect at 4:12 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Police: Kidnapped MoveOn.org Staffer's "Please Help" Emails Went Completely Ignored

Over months in captivity, kidnapping victim Kat Barr sent hundreds of emails to her MoveOn mailing list only to have them immediately deleted by the recipients without being read.

posted by Rhaomi at 4:46 PM on November 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


I was hoping the article would explain why, shortly before the election, they started including colons at the end of subject lines,

I wonder if that creates the expectation that something will follow, making people curious what that something is, and so leading people to click/open more often.

Toddles off to experiment with writing an email with a colon at the end of the subject line . . .

HEY!!!!!:

Can now report from direct experience . . . doesn't work, results in nose getting punched by irate wife . . . do not attempt . . .
posted by flug at 9:40 PM on November 29, 2012


Interesting that the large volume of emails doesn't cause people to unsubscribe. I unsubscribe from *anything* that emails me more than once or twice a week, and I signed up and then unsubscribed from Obama's 2008 list for that very reason. I guess the counterintuitive results just show that most people are treat the internet differently than the metafilter crowd: less irritated by unusual syntax, less irritated by spam. That's actually not counterintuitive at all.
posted by Buckt at 12:11 PM on November 30, 2012


Foci for Analysis: A/B testing without a sense of taste or ethics often results in cynical and badly designed products because professionals get held hostage to the data and don't consider the social implications of their work. And yes, the 'hey' subject line is kinda unethical because it manipulates people into opening the email.
Please.

Following this absurd reasoning leads to: packaging your product in anything but an undecorated box with a terse description of contents is unethical. Also, smiling is unethical (it manipulates people into liking you), and so is showering.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:48 PM on November 30, 2012


Greg Nog: Most people have a nearly limitless capacity for e-mail and won’t unsubscribe no matter how many they’re sent.

I was afraid that if I tried to I would get put on a List.
The only aftereffect I've ever noted is: If you don't opt out quickly, you get on a few more lists - which you also have to opt out of.

They don't overdue this; that would obviously create a backlash. But I donated to (maybe) a half-dozen campaigns, and had to unsubscribe to about a dozen. Unsubscribing was usually one click; sometimes two. NBD.

So, don't let this worry stop you. They behave themselves.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:52 PM on November 30, 2012


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