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Agile Political Texting: Bet On A Safer Marketing Channel

Stay at the top of your political marketing game with texting tools for reaching voters, boosting success, and mobilizing change

Illustration of a text platform sending texts to various phones, each with different icons, like question marks, megaphones, hearts, ♻️, etc.
May 9, 2024
Kathleen Crampton
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Reading time about 10 min

As you embark on your political campaign journey, you’re probably aware that there are several avenues for connecting with voters, from email marketing to phone banking and more. But one channel that some campaigns underutilize is texting.

Political text channels are powerful methods for disseminating information, meeting constituents' needs, and building relationships.

Let’s dive deeper into why political texting should be your first choice for agile marketing.

 

What defines a political text channel, and why is it significant in modern campaigning?

A political text channel is a means of communication via text messages between political campaigns and voters. Just as you probably have multiple channels to connect with your political audience, like phone, email, social media, and in-person, text messaging is another important channel for getting your message out.

A political text channel is significant in modern campaigning because of its many benefits, from immediacy and scalability to voter engagement.

But most of all, texting is agile — and agility matters in political communication.

Why Agility Matters in Political Communication

In the business world, agility refers to the ability to anticipate, adjust, and respond to changing needs and thrive in the process.

This concept can be applied to politics, especially with voter communication. Your campaign is your business, and your constituents, including their needs, preferences, and concerns, are your top priority.

To win an election or effect change, you must use agile channels to communicate, persuade, and mobilize.

SMS marketing for politics is the most effective channel for being agile with your audience and internally. What role does SMS outreach play in political campaigns, and why is it important?

SMS outreach plays a critical role in getting voters’ attention immediately in political campaigns. It’s important because it reaches people quickly, drives action, and can scale with a growing audience.

Let’s review how texting compares to other communication channels that you’ll be using during your campaign.

Illustration depicting the following channels, with texting being more prominent:

 

Text vs. Email

When you use a political text channel, you’re increasing the chances of someone reading your message quickly. Compared to email messages, which only 19% of people open immediately, text messages see near-immediate interaction, with 68% opening them within 5 minutes of receipt.

Plus, texting is a great alternative to the tangle of emails that people receive every day. While the number of daily text messages sent by organizations is increasing, this outreach method is still refreshing and reaches people where they are at any moment.

 

Text vs. Phone

While phone banking might seem like a relic of the past, it is still an important element of modern political campaigning, especially with older generations. Two-way conversations are crucial when garnering feedback from constituents. Still, phone calls aren’t always the best way to reach people, especially because 8 in 10 Americans usually won’t answer calls from an unknown number.

That’s where texting wins. SMS outreach for political campaigns is the best way to take a pulse on voters’ concerns and opinions, reply quickly with texts, and adjust your political messaging strategy to ensure that voters are nurtured throughout your campaign.

 

Text vs. Mailers

Mailers are effective at certain points in an election cycle: usually during early voting and right before Election Day. Direct mail advertisements help to reinforce and remind right before someone votes — and all at a relatively low cost compared to digital or TV ads. However, they’re slow to create, slow to send (it’s called snail mail for a reason), and hard to track engagement.

Texting, on the other hand, is extremely fast, has reliable delivery rates, and is easy to track. It’s clear why campaign text messaging is more agile than mailers.

 

Text vs. Social Media

Every time someone hops onto their social media platform, their experience is refreshed. That’s the beauty of algorithms. However, algorithms can be detrimental to people viewing your content because the user experience is controlled.

Though sharing updates and encouraging engagement on your social profiles is a best practice for campaigns, you’ll only see results when people view your content.

With text marketing, there are no algorithms — it’s just you and your subscribers. Your campaign can enjoy direct, meaningful connections with voters and share updates and alerts that will be read.

Compared to social media marketing, texting is a safe bet when it comes to ensuring that your audience receives your message.

The Benefits of Using a Political Text Channel

As you can see, political texting is a safe bet when considering how to reach people quickly and effectively, spur action, and win votes. Here are tangible benefits that using a political text channel can bring to your campaign.

 

Streamlined Communication

Streamlined communication shows that your campaign is agile. In a time when tons of info is being shared across countless channels, voters want reliable, relevant, and helpful information quickly, and your campaign can provide it with a political text messaging service.

How do political text messaging services help streamline communication for political campaigns? They provide various features for group texting, one-on-one texting, message scheduling, audience segmentation, and even content creation, all of which allow you to manage the voter journey seamlessly.

Not only does your political texting platform facilitate content and scheduling adjustments to align with voter needs and behaviors, but texting allows campaigns to communicate dense topics in a digestible format — an often overlooked benefit.

Voters want information, but not so much that they become overwhelmed or apathetic. Texting puts the power in their hands by sharing bite-size details with links to learn more on their own time.

 

Voter Mobilization

One of the goals of any texting strategy for political marketing is to mobilize voters, whether to get out the vote, acquire more supporters (and therefore more votes), or start a political movement.

Texting is an efficient way to mobilize an audience because of its incredible engagement rates. Seventy-seven percent of consumers respond to text messages within 15 minutes of receiving them.

If voters are responding to texts that quickly, that likely means that they’re interacting with your calls to action (CTAs), like clicking through to your website, responding yes to a rally or a march, sharing your text with their network, registering to vote, and so on.

Urgent notifications comprise a large portion of grassroots mobilization, and SMS outreach for political campaigns facilitates that.

 

Outreach at Scale

No matter if you have a large, statewide campaign or a hyperlocal one, having a framework in place to scale your political outreach is crucial. After all, you want to get more people on board with your message quickly without being too costly or cumbersome.

Political text messaging services can increase audience sizes through SMS list growth tools. QR codes, SMS keywords, click-to-text generators, and web signup forms are powerhouse tools that help put your message in front of more people.

The larger your audience, the more agile your campaign can be in listening to and meeting the needs of diverse groups of voters. One of the best parts of these growth tools is that most are included for free in your political texting platform plan.

 

Meets Voters’ Needs

Additionally, texting is personal. By utilizing voter data and segmenting contacts accordingly, your campaign can deliver relevant messages when voters need them most. This tailored communication approach is one of the biggest benefits of the political texting channel, making voters feel like more than another check on a ballot.

Segmentation goes beyond simply delighting contacts; it creates an agile environment for your campaign to continually adjust its messaging tactics based on voters’ ever-changing opinions, needs, and concerns.

When your campaign adapts and responds to voters’ needs, your audience will likely be engaged. Engagement is one of the keys to SMS marketing for politics. When people interact with your messages, they’re showing either support or curiosity, and your campaign can leverage this interest with messages that nurture them along their political engagement journey.

 

Improved Internal Workflows

Illustration of a moving gear with different points on the gear: text sent, incoming text, text reply, engagement, speed

By now, you’re probably thinking that while all of these voter outreach benefits are great, how can a political texting channel reduce the burden on your teams? Reaching your political win number or enacting change are the goals, but you also want to ensure that your internal workflows work like a well-oiled machine. Texting platforms can help.

With a political text messaging service, you and your teams will spend less time creating messages. One, because SMS texts can only be 160 characters (or 240 for MMS), and two, because these platforms often include generative AI-powered content creation tools to give your team a boost in the writing department. For example, EZ Texting offers two incredible AI features, AI Compose and Team Inbox, both of which help to save time with composing new messages and replies. These tools are crucial for a couple of reasons:

  • They increase response times, necessary in an era when 42% of consumers expect text responses within 15 minutes.
  • They give your team more time to manage other aspects of the campaign.

These benefits lead to a more agile campaign, where you can create text blasts with a few clicks, receive and respond to messages at lightning speed, and overall create a more nimble internal workflow.

Best Practices for SMS Outreach for Political Campaigns

Now that you know why texting is the best tool in your political marketing tool belt, it’s time to learn how to use it effectively. Here is a brief overview of some best practices for voter outreach.

 

Send at the Right Time and Frequency

No one wants to be bombarded with text messages. To keep voters engaged but not annoyed, aim to send about one text per week. Of course, you might adjust this cadence depending on Election Day reminders or how people interact with your texts. For example, when someone donates to your campaign or attends a rally, you’ll want to have auto-reply messages set up to say thank you. These would be sent in addition to prescheduled texts.

Sending texts at the right times is equally important because you want to catch people who are most likely to read and interact with your messages. A good texting strategy for political marketing is to align your messaging schedule with the average workday, sending texts during the lunch hour and in the early evening.

 

Use the Right Language and Tone

Striking the right tone and using appropriate, relevant language is key for the political texting channel. Make sure that every message is persuasive yet professional and incorporates details that are relevant to that contact segment (like location-specific info, generational lingo, etc.).

 

Make Text Marketing Tools Work for You

There's no doubt that texting is the agile way to communicate with voters, but you need to leverage your political text messaging service to ensure effective outreach. Understand all the tools at your fingertips, like how to win an election with QR codes or enhance contact management.

 

Prioritize Compliance

In SMS marketing for any industry, compliance is king. Instead of thinking about compliance as a best practice, recognize it as a necessity. There are a few rules your campaign must abide by when sending texts to voters:

  • Identify yourself or your campaign 
  • Only send texts during TCPA-approved hours 
  • Get opt-in consent 
  • Don’t send messages after someone has opted out

 

Stay Agile with EZ Texting

Use your political text channel to reach constituents and run a successful campaign with EZ Texting, your one-stop shop for text marketing. Start your journey today with a 14-day free trial.

FAQs

The key features to look for in a political texting platform include tools for growing contact lists, AI tools, automation, compliance features, app integrations, and analytics and reporting tools.

SMS marketing can be effectively utilized in political campaigns by creating text schedules that reach people at the right times and frequencies, segmenting contacts to develop tailored mobile messaging, sending texts that persuade and educate, and sharing important updates and alerts. All of these text strategies can help to connect with voters and mobilize them to enact change and drive action.

Some effective texting strategies for political marketing campaigns include leveraging microtargeting tactics, engaging with voters, knowing and speaking to your audience, educating and sharing resources, motivating them to take action, and sending texts at strategic times.

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