Barack ObamaInteresting article from the Washington Post has revealed that for every dollar spent on internet advertising by the Barack Obama presidential campaign, $27.16 were raised in the first two months of 2008. Not all of the $91 million raised in January and February were donated by internet followers, but the majority was.

Obama’s internet strategy all along has been “to build an online relationship” with supporters who will not only donate dollars, but also their time to perform essential tasks such as registering voters. Ads for Obama pop up everywhere from political blogs to traditional newspaper websites, and even on search engine home pages connected to certain search terms.

One potential point of interest that should be noted is the subtle way Obama is able to attract donations. While the Clinton campaign, which lags way behind in online strategy, comes straight out and asks for money in its emails, Obama’s links from ads and emails always direct the potential supporter to sign-up pages for online groups or invitations to Obama events. It seems that by building a real relationship with supporters and not making them feel useful only for their money, Obama has actually attracted record amounts of fundraising dollars. Definitely a useful lesson for those who are looking to use new media technologies to raise money for their various ventures in the future.

But there is another unmentioned point of interest to be taken from the article-the return on investment from the internet campaigns of Hillary Clinton and potentially John McCain actually dwarf the ROI stemming from Obama’s internet ad spending. While Clinton raised $37 million in the first 2 months of 2008, a small amount compared to Obama’s $91 million, she only spent a total of $369, 000 to raise that amount-an ROI of $100.27 for every dollar spent. McCain spent $262, 000 to raise $22 million, though no numbers have been released detailing how much of the $22 million came from internet fundraising. Even if McCain only raised $11 million from his internet ad spending, that would still render an ROI of $41.98 for every dollar spent.

So in the end, it seems we’ll have to wait for the election results to see which internet strategy is more effective. If Clinton’s impressive ROI for internet ad spending doesn’t translate into votes, it’s pretty well useless. Maybe ROI should encompass votes renders from internet ad spending as well. We have a while to wait to find out the truth. In the meantime, expect plenty more articles from all the popular news sources about how Obama is revolutionizing online campaigning, even though the numbers state otherwise.