On October 21, 2010 President Obama visited Palo Alto to raise money the good ol’ fashioned way: a $30,400-per-plate fundraising dinner. This tried and true fundraising technique is a great way to raise money if you can get the President of the United States to show up to dinner. But how can you raise money if no one has heard of you and all you have is a website? Back in 2007, when Obama was running for the nomination and trailing by double digits in the polls, that’s pretty much all we had.
As Director of Analytics for the Obama 2008 campaign, my job was to use data to help the campaign make better decisions. We started with just one simple experiment back in December of 2007.