Did any of you receive Obama's 2012 campaign emails? If you were, you're probably still in psychic recovery from the overwhelming blitz of messages.
Pundits wondered if the campaign had a screw loose, such was the volume of highly-personal emails. "For planning purposes, I'd like to know roughly how many more emails Michelle Obama will be sending me on the subject of George Clooney," tweeted a bemused Jeffrey Goldberg.
But it turns out that there was serious method to the email madness. The messages raised most of Obama's $690 million. And his team pursued the perfect email with the experimental dedication of lab scientists.
"The campaign would test multiple drafts and subject lines - often as many as 18 variations - before picking a winner to blast out to tens of millions of subscribers," explains Joshua Green at Bloomberg.
"Hey" turned out to be the most lucrative subject-line throughout the campaign. "I will be outspent" was the biggest one-off hit, raising over $2.6 million. Profanity was also a win, as in "Hell yeah, I like Obamacare."
Campaign aides routinely failed to predict which emails would succeed. "Every time something really ugly won, it would shock me," says director of digital strategy Amy Showalter. "Eventually we got to thinking, 'How could we make things even less attractive?' That's how we arrived at the ugly yellow highlighting on the sections we wanted to draw people's eye to."