Hello, my name is Chris Bowers. I am the Executive Campaign Director here at Daily Kos. With your help, I did an amazing thing at my job, and I would like to briefly tell you about it.
Six years ago this week, the Daily Kos email list made its public launch. During that time, we have:
- Signed up about 3.75 million to our list;
- Through paid lead generation, completed another 3.75 million email opt-ins for progressive organizations and Democratic candidates;
- Through joint actions, generated at least that many opt-ins for progressive organizations and Democratic candidates. Probably a lot more, but I don't have access to all the numbers.
All-time, that's about 11-12 million opt-ins to email lists for Democratic candidates and progressive orgs.
We've made about $4.00 for every signup to our list so far (the number keeps going up as the lifespan of the emails on the list increases). It’s just a guess, but I figure that's probably about the average for the opt-ins we've generated for other orgs and campaigns, too. While some campaigns probably didn't do anything with the emails we generated for them, some others--most notably Bernie Sanders--made way more than $4 per name we sent their way.
So we're talking like $44 to $48 million for progressive orgs and Democratic campaigns as a result of this email list. Tack on the several million we have directly raised for our endorsed candidates and allied orgs, and we are over $50 million.
There is the activism, too. Millions and millions of petition signatures, emails and phone calls to Congress, both directly from our subscribers and the opt-ins we generated for others. A lot of these actions came on big, important campaigns that actually changed public policy and required grassroots support in order to do so: filibuster reform and Net Neutrality in particular.
There is also my personal favorite--the 450,000,000 pageviews generated to Daily Kos blog posts via the Recommended email. I love that email. It appears to be so simple, but it is extremely complicated and powerful. Really, quite an elegant production, the Daily Kos Recommended email.
Tens of millions of dollars for progressive orgs and Democratic campaigns, tens of millions of actions to match and hundreds of millions of pageviews. Those sorts of crazy, gaudy numbers—it’s why petitions aren't as pointless as they often look.
To be clear, I know full well that I was not the only person involved in this effort. There are eight other members of the amazing campaigns team, and dozens of other staff, at Daily Kos. Then there are the scores of partners, allies, clients, consultants, and staff that were involved in generating these opt-ins and in the small donations and activism that came from them. What's more, even before I came on, Daily Kos was looking into starting an email list, but hadn't pulled it off yet.
Finally—and most importantly—the people actually generating the money and the activism and the pageviews are the millions of email list subscribers themselves. They are the ones who literally make all of this possible—we staffers just figured out a way to bring them all together.
In addition to all the people I have worked with on this project, there was all the luck. First, I was very lucky to have the right idea--how to use traffic to a blog to build an email list--at the right time. Then there is the luck involved in getting the blogging gig at MyDD (if you don’t remember, I’m not gonna explain), and thus getting to know Markos in the first place. Lots and lots of luck was involved in all this for me, personally.
So anyway, I did a big thing, this is a six-year anniversary of the public launch of that big thing, and I wanted you all to know about it.