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Sending Election Reminders - Best Practices Via Text

Share updates, resources, and other election-related info with election text reminders

Illustration of a calendar with a day circled, and next to it is a text reminder displayed on a phone (using red/white/blue colors)
March 28, 2024
Kathleen Crampton
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Reading time about 8 min

Mobile phone users everywhere are used to receiving — and have even come to expect — text messages for reminders. From doctor’s appointments to dinner reservations or concert ticket alerts, text reminders are one of the easiest ways to reach people and reduce no-shows. It also turns out that election text reminders are a political campaign’s best asset for prompting voters to participate in an election, especially with your campaign.

If you want to know how to use text messaging for voter outreach, keep reading. Here are the benefits of sending text reminders to voters and the best practices for SMS reminder campaigns.

 

Why Send Election Reminders via Text?

Political campaigns are constantly searching for the best methods for reaching voters. What is the channel that continually proves its worth in the political campaigning landscape? Text marketing. Here’s why.

 

Texting Increases Voter Engagement

Voter text reminders boost engagement because of their personal nature. When someone receives a text from your campaign that uses their first name and includes details specific to where they are in their voting journey, they are more likely to engage. And yes, you can incorporate these personalization features with your SMS political outreach tactics.

But it’s not just personalization that motivates voters to engage — text reminders are softer nudges than phone banking or door-to-door canvassing, where voters might feel bombarded or caught off guard. Texts provide crucial information in a way that voters appreciate.

 

Texting Mobilizes Voters Quickly

Text marketing has a sky-high open rate of 98%, compared to 18% for emails. That’s a huge difference in whether someone will read your message and take action. Email marketing has a time in place in your election communication, but it’s not the best way to urge voters to mobilize quickly. Texting’s high open rate means people will see your reminders faster, leading to quicker engagement and increased voter turnout.

Types of Election Text Reminders

Throughout your campaign, there are several types of election text reminders that you’ll send:

  • Voter registration
  • Early voting options
  • Voter education (resources with information about what will be on the ballot)
  • Election Day information (polling places, times, and other important details)

All of these reminders coincide with different stages in your voter contact plan and are part of getting out the vote (GOTV). Learn more about how to use SMS in GOTV efforts.

Voter Text Reminders: Best Practices

Image of a person looking at a text reminder on their phone

While understanding the benefits and types of election reminders via text is important, you need to know how to use this political text message marketing channel effectively to reach voters. So, how can text messaging be utilized effectively for voter outreach? Text messaging can be utilized effectively for voter outreach by implementing the following tips: use your text marketing platform to your advantage, be compliant, include key information, track and measure, follow SMS text writing best practices, time messages strategically, and incorporate two-way communication.

Let’s dive deeper into each best practice for sending vote reminders via text.

 

Use Your Text Marketing Platform’s Features to Your Advantage

Sending election text reminders starts with your text marketing platform. But before you manually send messages to voters, take some time to understand your SMS platform’s features and how they can facilitate your text reminder campaign.

First, your text marketing solution should have contact segmentation tools that help you group SMS subscribers based on certain attributes. While many of your reminders will be text blasts to your entire audience, some will need to be tailored to particular subsets of voters, like those in certain locations or those who have interacted with your campaign in specific ways.

You’ll also want to take full advantage of your SMS platform’s text automation features. With text automation, you can schedule future text campaigns to deploy at a specific date and time, set up recurring texts, craft personalized text replies for inbound messages, and more. With text automation, you can set it and (sort of) forget it, freeing you and your team to focus on other parts of your campaign.

Dive deeper into how to unleash the potential of political text message service features.

 

Be Compliant

Election text message compliance isn’t just a best practice for political texting — it’s necessary. Abiding by state and federal laws and regulations regarding sending texts to voters is super important. What are the main compliance considerations when sending election-related text messages? When sending election-related text messages, the main compliance considerations are getting consent, respecting opt-outs, identifying yourself, and only texting during approved hours.

Also, if you send texts with a 10DLC number, you’ll need to register A2P, a requirement set by phone carriers in the United States to ensure security and SMS deliverability. Don’t worry—we’ve got your guide to A2P registration right here.

 

Include Key Information

Voter text reminders must have (or link to) all the necessary information, whether it’s early voting requirements, where to sign up for an event, or ballot drop-off details. No matter what type of reminder you’re sending, ensure that the voter doesn’t have to sift through unnecessary content to get to the meat of the message.

But what if you have too much information in one text? No problem. Link to the appropriate web page, sign-up form, or wherever the voter needs to access the information. In your SMS text, clearly state what they’ll find and why it’s important.

 

Follow SMS Text Writing Best Practices

What are the key elements of writing effective election reminder texts? The key elements of writing effective election reminder texts are being clear and concise, personalizing, and including a strong CTA.

Writing clearly and concisely means eliminating fluff. Ask yourself if it will be easy for the person reading your text to quickly understand the purpose. If not, rewrite it to ensure the reminder is succinct and straightforward.

Now, this doesn’t mean your text should be boring! The more engaging your election text reminders, the more voters will interact with your overall campaign. One way to boost engagement is by personalizing election text messages by including the contact’s first name or incorporating details relevant to their location or journey with your campaign. (This is where contact segmentation comes into play.)

Finally, don’t forget the call to action (CTA). Your CTA should instill a sense of urgency for whatever action you’d like the voter to take, like donating to your campaign, registering to vote, or mailing in their ballot.

Learn more about optimizing your texts for success.

Time Messages Strategically

A voter text reminder campaign is all about timing. After all, many steps in the political campaigning and election process have deadlines, like voter registration, early voting, and Election Day. Create a timeline before you start sending reminder texts, and update your text schedule to ensure that reminders are sent with enough time for people to consider and then take action. Make sure to account for advance notice and last-minute nudges.

Another thing to remember is the frequency of your texts and the time of day. When you want to know how to text voters in a way that will keep them interested and engaged, follow this rule of thumb: try not to send more than one text per week and align your messages with the average work schedule, sending texts either before work, during the lunch hour, or in the evening.

 

Incorporate Two-Way Texting

Sample Text Message

Incorporate two-way texting with some of your reminders for enhanced engagement with your election text reminder campaign. This texting feature lets your campaign connect personally with your audience by responding to inquiries or asking for feedback. Two-way texting adds a much-needed personal touch during an election year and helps set your campaign above the rest.

 

Track and Measure

As with any text marketing campaign, tracking performance is crucial. Think of tracking as taking a pulse on your text reminder campaign to assess its success and ensure your efforts are paying off.

What tools and methods can be used to track and measure the effectiveness of SMS campaigns? Your text marketing platform should have the tools and methods you need to track and measure the effectiveness of SMS campaigns. For example, EZ Texting includes analytics and reporting tools with all subscriptions, providing valuable data (like delivery rates, opt-out rates, click-through rates, and more). To measure the effectiveness of your SMS political outreach efforts, you should also track donation rates (for donation reminder campaigns).

It’s important to track and measure SMS campaigns so that you can adjust accordingly if something isn’t working.

To recap, what common pitfalls to avoid when sending campaign text messages?

Common pitfalls to avoid when sending campaign text messages include the following:

  • Not leveraging your text platform’s features to your advantage 
  • Not maintaining compliance 
  • Not including key information 
  • Not following SMS text writing best practices
  • Sending messages at the wrong times 
  • Not tracking and measuring your text reminder campaign

 

Send Text Reminders with EZ Texting

Give your campaign its best shot at success by signing up with EZ Texting. From contact management tools to built-in compliance and texting features, we’re your one-stop shop for political texting. Start sending election text reminders today by signing up for a free trial!

FAQs

The key strategies for successful campaign text marketing are leveraging microtargeting tactics, personalizing and encouraging interaction, knowing (and speaking to) your audience, educating and sharing resources, motivating voters to take action, maintaining compliance, and sending texts at the right time and frequency. Learn more about each mobile campaigning strategy in this article: How to Text Voters: Strategies That Work.

Some examples of successful SMS political outreach campaigns include messages for GOTV, fundraising, event registration, volunteer recruitment, sharing voting information and resources, and requesting feedback via polls and surveys. Text marketing is the best way to reach a wide audience quickly and motivate them to take action.

Vote reminders can be effectively conveyed via text message by sharing key information, being clear and concise, including elements of persuasion, and encouraging recipients to take action with a strong CTA.

Campaigns can ensure that their text messaging efforts align with broader voter outreach strategies by integrating communication across all channels and ensuring that the messaging is consistent so that voters have a seamless experience with your campaign.

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