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I’m at the Googleplex this week participating in a summit. One of the keynotes is Dan Siroker, Former Director of Analytics for the Obama Presidential Campaign and is currently co-founder of CarrotSticks, a website aiming to improve math skills in kids.

Yes the election is over and this might sound like an out of the date post, but actually the message here is that Dan went on to found a start-up with the knowledge and expertise he gained from the Obama campaign. What he accomplished and learned in the political campaign is very applicable to the private sector and hopefully we can all learn a thing or two.

Some interesting facts about Obama is he out-performed McCain in the “new media” category significantly, in terms of Facebook friends, YouTube views, and website unique visitors, as well as the very important aspect of fund raising. The money raised for Obama was $656 million versus $201 millionfor McCain (not counting the Federal funds). Out of the $656 million, a staggering $500 million was raised online.

Analytics Lessons Learned

  1. Define success and also define quantifiable success measures.Metrics, like cost per click, email sign up rate, and revenue per email recipient. In Dan’s startup, he is now measuring: cost per click, cost per playing user (free account), revenue per paying user (paid account). So when the revenue per paying user exceeds the cost per playing user, they make money! 🙂
  2. Question assumptions.Testing is king, A/B and multivariate testing both play a key role in deciding what call to action, what creative, and other aspects work best!
  3. Divide and conquer.Segment users, for example, those that never signed up, those signed up but never donated, and those that previously donated.
  4. Don’t reinvent the wheel.Use available and free tools like Google Apps, Google Websize Optimizer, and Google Analytics.
  5. Take advanatage of circumstances.Whether it is internal to your business or something external (economy, competitiion, etc), give your visitors current and relevant content.