Peer-to-Peer texting is quickly becoming a “must have” in the campaign and advocacy toolbox. With a near-100% open rate and the ability to communicate with individuals in a highly personal manner, text messaging in our industry is undoubtedly on the rise in the run-up to 2020. Attendees heard from leaders in peer-to-peer text messaging as well as campaign pros who have effectively leveraged this exciting technology during the June 4th webinar, Let’s Talk About Texts, Baby!
This webinar has been archived for playback. AAPC Members, click here to view all webinar archives.
Buzz Jacobs (PoliTek) Lessons:
- It will be challenging on a mass scale to spoof phone numbers since carriers are monitoring these mass messages more closely. There is going to be some vulnerability here, but there are controls in place in terms of security. Investigate your system’s security and if your vendor is susceptible to being hacked. This is something to be mindful of when deciding on a texting vendor.
- Don’t treat texting as a TV ad. It’s a direct voter contact tool to talk to voters on the issues that they care about. Poll your audience and figure out the issues they want to hear about first.
- You don’t want to start texting the last 3 days of the campaigns. Start this early and integrate it into your digital budget at the beginning.
Steve Sisneros (American Petroleum Institute) Lessons:
- Texting is widely adopted at this point. I receive at least 3-4 a week from campaigns, but industry best practices are still in development. There will be some growing pains here during the next cycles.
- You must communicate that texting is another mode of communication that needs to be utilized. Texting needs to be one of the tactics used to get your messages across.
- Chasing ballots with texting allows us to be responsive day-to-day. A good opportunity here is to add some social pressure for folks that have already voted. You can ask them to get the word out to their friends and contacts about a specific voting practice. Getting supporters involved in this way is important for any campaign.
Dana Cichon (RumbleUp) Lessons:
- You must make sure the text messages are personal, so folks do not feel like their privacy is being invaded. You must identify yourself and include a call to action or a direct question. It is important to engage this person in a conversation instead of a 1-sided communication.
- Right now, we’re seeing about a 10-20% response rate depending on the type of text message sent. Reminders are super effective. Telling people when and where to vote or about a new event for your candidate is a great way to utilize this mode of communication.
- Texting must be more than just a one-time touch point. Your text message strategy should include multiple touch points throughout the campaign.
Lloyd Cotler (Hustle) Lessons:
- Texting, as a mode of communication in campaigns has proven to be effective, but you need to think about saturation. Are folks receiving too many? We need to continue thinking about this as we move into 2020.
- There should be an existing relationship with folks you are texting. Always include an opt-out option, so people have the choice to receive or not.
- Verified phone numbers through your phone company is going to be an important change for the texting industry. Until then, we, as a vendor, can help track down “bad actors,” but it is still difficult to field this.