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Texting Strategy

Access our full Texting Strategy Playbook at https://robocent.com/playbook

Why Use Political Text Messaging?

The text messaging app is the most used app on smartphones. With 97 percent of Americans using text messaging at least once a day, political candidates and campaign consultants are starting to utilize this service to reach voters.
There are many benefits associated with this type of tool to facilitate communication with the public. For instance, text messages have an impressive 98 percent open rate and what is more, 90 percent of targets read the text within three minutes. Thus messaging is a highly effective way to engage with voters.
In addition, almost half of all messaging recipients respond to a text within the first 90 seconds of opening a message. So in the case of political messaging, the sender gets prompt feedback and can use the information to increase voter turnout percentages.
Research carried out by Tech for Campaigns (TFC) found that when people receive a political message, the voter turnout rate increases by one percent. At a glance, this may not sound that impressive; however, when you analyze the statistical data, one percent makes all the difference. TFC data shows that in the districts where messaging is used to communicate with voters, a one percent increase would have been enough to win five out of seven races that the Democrats lost in 2018.
Furthermore, for registered voters aged between 27 and 50, the turnout rate was almost eight percent higher for those who received a text message compared to those in the same age group that didn't. This data shows you can improve voter attendance rates by a significant margin when you strategically target registered voters through messaging.
Engagements rates soar with text marketing because voters like the simplicity of it. Pictures, videos, links and event information with dates and times appeal to the electorate because the relevant information is just a click away. No other medium comes close.

How It Works

Contrary to popular belief, text messaging is not automated. The legal requirements surrounding it are stringent. So for someone to receive a message without opting in beforehand, it must be sent by a human. As you might expect, this is quite challenging for most organizations. Although, for us, this isn't an issue because we have over 30 dedicated agents who manually send your outbound messages.
Our in-house agents send on average anywhere from 7,500 to 10,000 text messages an hour. Whereas, service users average 4,000 to 6,000 texts an hour. However, we appreciate that some of our customers would prefer to use their staff to communicate to constituents via text messaging, which is why we have an Agent Portal set up and ready for you to use.
If you opt for a managed SMS Connect account, you can rest assured that it will be in safe hands. At RoboCent, we understand the importance of hiring reliable, relatable people who care about American politics, which is why all our texting agents and support staff are US-based and registered to vote. In addition, we take great care to ensure that all our agents are vetted and under a nondisclosure agreement with us, so we have a trustworthy team handling your private content.

Connect With Your Constituents

A thoughtful text message goes a long way and in the world of politics, it's no different. Creating a personal relationship between the client and the contact is achieved through carefully-crafted conversations that matter to the voters. And whilst engaging in these messaging conversations, you have the perfect opportunity to mention your name to the voters.
RoboCent sends millions of messages to voters across the US and most of the targeted contacts are satisfied with this form of communication. They are happy to receive dozens of text messages updating them about your campaign. Moreover, they feel included, thus establishing a personal connection with your candidate of choice. By enabling the electorate to actively participate in this way, you are producing loyal voters who feel heard and represented. Strategic, repeated messaging is a highly effective form of communication between a candidate and their constituents.

Contact Suggestions

  1. 1.
    Simply start with an introductory message that gets you acquainted with the contact target. It could be something like wishing them a happy holiday, birthday, or event invite.
  2. 2.
    Within a week or two of sending the first message, send a second message about the same topic.
  3. 3.
    Now, the goal is to get them involved by using a call-to-action tactic and the easiest way to do that is by asking them to like you on Facebook or asking them to visit your website. These types of requests encourage active participation.
  4. 4.
    Finally, once you have established a connection with the voter, you are now in a more favorable position to ask them if they would like to contribute by donating.
After sending the first few messages, you can always keep the voter updated on the latest political news. It's about finding any valid reason to contact them so you can nurture the relationship while keeping your campaign at the forefront of their mind.

Keep It Personal

We have found the most effective way to message voters is to keep it personal by talking to them like you would a friend. The best script tactics to use are high-energy language, casual tones and direct questions. People respond well to this. Here are some examples:
  • High-energy language like 'It would be awesome to see you there!'
  • Casual tones like 'A bunch of us are gonna swing by...'
  • Direct questions like 'Can you make it?'
  • In addition to using engaging messages, also note that it is important to:
  • Retain some information like the exact location of the event so you can send more messages.
  • Use custom tracking links to maximize the click-through rate.
  • Use a volunteer persona when messaging instead of acting as the candidate or campaign official.
  • Aim to engage the contact fully before mentioning anything about donations.
Once you are in a position to ask for a contribution, avoid directly asking for a set amount. Instead, ask the voter if you can send some information on how to support the campaign by donating.
There are many opportunities for texting voters; it's just a matter of choosing an appropriate reason. For instance, if it is their birthday, you could send a message wishing the voter a happy birthday. From our experience, many people appreciate this, especially as nothing is being asked of them.
We have developed a new program that facilitates communications with the electorate. So when it is their birthday month or actual birthday, they'll receive a nice message. Something as simple as this can help to restore trust in politicians because it shows that they care.
Other reasons for messaging voters include holiday greetings, legislative updates, surveys, polls, election days, representative outreach, reporting issues, event invites and fundraising inquiries. Whatever the purpose, we can assist you and help you to achieve your goals. SMS Connect is a great tool and when utilized, you should see a maximized return on your donations.

Merge Tags Mobilize Voters

SMS Connect allows us to add a personal touch to a text, which reiterates the message that every vote counts and every vote is counted. To achieve the personalized touch, we use unique 'merge tags' to naturally fill in the gaps of a message so that an accurate, personal conversation is achieved and maintained. By using a voter's name, age and polling location we can deliver a powerful text message that gets the recipient's attention. Also, to make SMS Connect even more powerful we can add custom links and pictures to increase the open rate.
In addition, to merge tags, we have a wide range of sample scripts designed in a way that attracts the readers' attention. Here are two examples of the scripts we use:
'Dear (contact's name), Happy birthday! Here's to a bright, healthy and exciting future! - Congressman ................. (picture attached with birthday greeting)'
'Hi! This is (agent's name) with the ................ campaign. Don't forget tomorrow is Election Day and ............... is the right choice for Richmond! Please vote for ........... to continue to serve us - he would be honored to have your support.'
We have sample scripts to support all relevant occasions and when this is combined with a merge tag for a personal effect, it is a powerful strategy that mobilizes voters.