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DBT x Amy McGrath

An early investment in digital fundraising allowed Amy McGrath’s 2020 U.S. Senate campaign to gain ground and embrace Kentucky voters across the state.

When Amy McGrath decided to take on Mitch McConnell, few expected it to be easy. And no one expected McGrath to statistically tie McConnell in polls leading up to the election.

DBT was honored to partner in developing and executing McGrath’s digital advertising program. But what’s most noteworthy about the digital program is how the campaign did it.

McGrath made the decision early on to invest in persuasion ads that launched an unheard-of  16 months before Election Day. Unlike the majority of candidates, McGrath thought more long-term and made significant strategic investments to define the race early and persuade voters all across the state on the issues that matter.

DBT worked with the campaign to build the digital advertising program atop three strategic pillars:

  • Optimize the paid fundraising budget through message and creative testing that kept the immediate ROI profitable.
  • Treat the growing network of supporters with respect and run a digital program designed to inspire them, not beat them into forking over their credit cards.
  • Use ads and email platforms to reinforce the narrative about the two candidates at every turn.
Amy McGrath graphics


Raised in off-year


Ads & email sourced fundraising


race in poll leading up to election

In under three months, McGrath raised over $10.7 million from nearly 300,000 donations—an average gift of $36.

This evened out Mitch McConnell’s huge financial head start, and gave McGrath a vast grassroots donor base. With DBT as partners, the McGrath campaign’s smart approach to digital advertising helped yield the strongest Senate campaign launch in history and an eventual record-setting $17 million raised in 2019, with digital responsible for bringing in two-thirds of the total campaign haul.

Amy McGrath site on a phone

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