Over the years different election campaigns have been making use of sending political messages via SMS Messaging for Political Campaign as part of their campaign strategy. This is an excellent move as sending political text messages is one of the best ways to connect with your potential voters. This is because it offers a number of benefits that aren’t readily available via other outreach methods. However, as with most things people are bound to make a few mistakes. The trouble is these mistakes could mean the difference between winning and losing one’s political bid.
Before we explore the 3 deadly mistakes that aspiring politicians are making with their political text messages, let’s take a look at why sending political SMS messages has become a staple for political campaigns.
Cuts Through The Noise
Using SMS messaging to reach potential voters gives you the ability to cut through the noise. These days voters have become immune to political television ads. If an ad comes on, they can simply change the channel or go to the kitchen and grab a snack.
Although calling your voters is an excellent way to reach them,text messaging is also a great way to reach potential voters.
Your older voters might not be as tech-savvy as your younger voters. Having a RoboCall campaign geared towards them will yield great results. On the other hand, your younger voters will respond better to text messages.
Killer Open Rates
Another popular strategy is to send political emails. This strategy worked well back in the early days of emails. However, as people got more bombarded with junk mail and ISPs got more sophisticated with filtering out unwanted emails, having your email reach its intended target is near impossible.
Emails suffer from dismal open rates. The average email campaign gets a high of 20% open rates and an even lower click-through rate of less than 5%. Compare this to running a text message campaign that sees a high of over 90% open rates and over 40% click-through rates. That’s what cutting through the noise looks like.
Reach Voters Where They Are
Political aspirants are also turning to digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, and other social media platforms to spread their message and to seek donations. This is a great strategy because they can reach the younger voters and engage with them on the platforms that they use. They can create groups to intimately interact with their potential voters.
There’s only one catch. Like tuning out television ads, people have also learned to tune out political ads online. Most people have some type of ad blocker installed on their PC. This means that you’re spending money on ads that are not reaching your intended voters.
If you’re not using SMS Tech to engage voters, you’re behind therefore sending your political messages via SMS will make it to your potential voters quicker than any other method. And in case you didn’t know, not everyone has a smartphone, so sending them an SMS message is the best way to reach them.
Get’s The Word Out Quickly
One of the wonderful things about sending political text messages is that you get the word out to a large group of voters quickly. This is perfect for things such as last-minute changes to polling station opening hours or any changes to the voting process.
Now that we understand what benefits of sending political SMS messages are we can now dive into the 3 deadly mistakes that political candidates make when they are trying to promote their message.
Not Testing Your Messages
One of the most commonly made mistakes by political aspirants is sending out SMS messages before properly testing them. Sadly they do not properly test their message to see how it looks on each individual device. A link might behave differently on an Android operating system as opposed to an iPhone operating system; and you need to be aware of the differences and make adjustments accordingly. The last thing that you want to do is to send a message that looks good on one platform but misbehaves on another.
If your message isn’t properly tested, it could negatively affect your conversations. It’s hard enough getting through to potential voters let alone securing the conversations. The last thing you need is a poorly designed text message. There have been well-established organizations that have sent out text messages that appeared to have not been properly tested. Organizations such as Planned Parenthood, League of Conservatives, United We Dream and Sierra Club have suffered from a poorly designed text message which in the end hurt their constituent conversation. So it is extremely important to test your messages before you send out your campaigns.
Sending Too Many SMS Messages
Political Phone Marketing has it's pro's and con's thats why when it comes to sending political SMS messages, much like emailing, less is more. This relates to both frequency and message length. You can get away with emailing a few times each week, however, SMS is more personal and nobody wants to be bombarded by daily messages from your campaign.
It is acceptable to send between 2 to 4 text messages each month. Don’t be like some organizations out there that run mobile programs the same way they do email programs. This will only ruin this amazing platform for yourself and everyone else.
90% of Americans read their SMS messages within the first 90 seconds. If campaigns continue to send too many messages, then overall open rates and conversions WILL fall. For example, some campaigns have been known to send as many as 8 campaign messages per month with more than 50% of those messages asking for donations. They might have learned from their mistakes because overtime they stopped sending so many messages.
Additionally, mobile phone carriers are cracking down on messages that they consider to be spam messages. Because peer-to-peer texting doesn’t require someone to opt-in to receive your messages people have been abusing this privilege. This has certainly made some of their customers mad and caused the mobile phone carriers to take notice.
The mobile carriers will target shared shortcodes as well as long numbers such as a 10-digit number. If they think that you are sending out spam messages to your potential voters they reserve the right to blacklist you. Something that they have no problem doing. Getting blacklisted is no joke. Once you’re blacklisted that’s it; your texts will never reach their intended target. Any gains that you’ve made with your supporters will be lost forever.
Avoid getting blacklisted by ensuring that you’re not sending a message just to say that you’re sending a message. Each and every message should have a specific purpose. Make sure that your messages have a specific goal that you want to achieve and that the message is beneficial to your recipients. Additionally, try to keep your political text message campaigns more about engagement and less about fundraising.
Remember that you should be using texting primarily to engage your subscribers and not to get money from them. Great messages to send are as follows:
Information about an upcoming event in their local area
About an important bill that they should be calling their Senator about
To see who wants to volunteer to work for your campaign
To inform them of important election day changes
Fail To Engage
The wonderful thing about using SMS messages to connect with your potential voters is the ability to have a conversation with them. Sending your political SMS messages isn’t about blasting out a broadcast to tens of thousands of people. It’s about genuinely connecting with and engaging those supporters by requesting information from them or asking them questions.
Here’s a great way to engage with your supporters:
“Hey there. Mr. ABC is having a rally this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at 8PM at Madison Square Gardens. Reply with the words YES if you can attend.”
“Hey there. Mr. ABC is having a rally this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at 8PM at Madison Square Gardens. Click the link for more details.”
The first message is asking a question and will most likely generate more engagement than the second message.
Just remember to respond to everyone who says YES. The last thing you want is a disappointed supporter. The good thing about using the first approach is that you can send those who responded YES reminder text messages about the event. Don’t worry, this process can be automated. The experts at Robocent can seamlessly automate this process. Just remember to not automate to the point of not genuinely responding to your supporters.
It’s easy to get over excited and send out text messages. However, not properly vetting your messages, not setting proper goals, not engaging with your list and sending too many messages could kill the gains that you’ve made. Enjoy the benefits of using SMS messaging campaigns as a part of your campaign strategy, just be careful to avoid making these deadly mistakes. Using a company such as Robocent will give you access to the expertise and the tools that you need to send your best campaigns.