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The Ultimate Guide To Sending Election Campaign Text Messages That Work

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Published: May 19, 2022

We’ve seen political campaign texting leading to improved reach to voters and higher voter turnout. That’s probably why you’re here too. 

In the few months you have ahead of you, how do you

  • Engage in interpersonal conversations with your supporters at scale?
  • Educate and mobilize your voters?
  • Add more volunteers to your campaign?
  • Raise funds?
  • Get out the vote and increase voter turnout?

This guide can help you get there.

See how to introduce text messaging into your election campaign strategy, create political campaign messages that work, and run a text messaging campaign for your upcoming elections.

Election campaign text messages: Use cases

Political campaigns have been using text messaging to their advantage. What are the best ways to do that, though? 

Let’s see that in this section along with sample political campaign text messages.

1, Event invitation and alerts

The success of most events is defined by how many people are in the room. Invite your supporters to rallies, town hall meetings, and other campaign events via a text message.

The best part is that you can also get them to RSVP via text using autoresponders

Filter out people who replied ‘No’ or didn’t turn up, and target them for your next campaign with a survey asking why they did not attend. 

We are holding our party rally on {date} at {time} in {venue}. Join us in supporting our next {position}.
Hi, {first_name}! It’s {candidate_name}. Are you available this Sunday, {time}, to attend my fundraiser at {venue}? We will be discussing {issues} there. RSVP by replying to this with Y/N.

2. Important updates and announcements

Poll results, media appearances, and news related to your campaign need to reach all your contacts in a short time, so they don’t miss out. While a text broadcast with a longcode can send 3600 messages in one hour, a shortcode can send 100 times more.

That means you can reach between 3600 to 360,000 people within an hour! 

{candidate_name} will be discussing {issue} tonight at 8 pm on {channel}. Stay tuned!
{first_name}, tonight’s debate on {issue} is going to be interesting. Follow along to see {opponent} and I discuss {issue} and know why I support {issue}. – {candidate_name}

3. Educative messages

Engaging with supporters on issues that interest them can get them to connect with you. Having meaningful conversations about them helps them know your candidate better and increases the chance of them voting for you.

Schools have stayed closed for a year, homelessness is on the rise, taxes are skyrocketing, and businesses are going bankrupt. It’s time for a change. Support my campaign; let’s turn this around: {link}. -{candidate_name}
Hi, {first_name}. This is {candidate}. I wanted to share my 8-step plan with you. Please check this out and if you support this plan, reply with YES. Thanks for your support.

4. Offers and promotions

Give your early subscribers offers such as free fundraiser tickets, front-row rally seats, and so on. Promoting your campaign store items through political campaign texts is also a great way to raise funds. 

Want a chance to sit in the first row and watch {candidate} discuss {issue}? Text {keyword} to {phone_number} to book front row seats now.
The race is heating up, so all the more reasons to show your strong support. Check out some of our campaign t-shirts on our campaign store: {link}.

5. Supporter surveys and collecting feedback

Surveys can help you engage your contacts, and voter identification is one of the most important use cases you can use surveys for. 

Ask your supporters to share their views on an issue and know their stance on your candidate or if they’ve voted in the previous election.

You can either send a link to a survey or conduct one via political texting. 

Hi, {first_name}. Who will you vote for in 2022?
Reply with 1 if your vote is for {candidate 1} and 2 if you’re voting for {candidate 2}.

Now, tag your contacts based on their responses which will get synced with your CRM. You can now segment these contacts based on their responses and plan your follow-up campaign accordingly.

6. Endorsements

If a local paper endorses you, send your contacts a link to it. If a high-profile supporter has tweeted about you, share it with your contacts. Endorsements show your contacts that people are supporting your candidate and so can inspire them to too.

Breaking news! {name} has indicated her support for {candidate}. Read more: {link} 

7. Fundraising

Reach out to your current and prospective donors and request donations by showing the impact it’s creating in real-time. Your supporters may feel more inclined to give if there’s transparency in communication.

{candidate}’s campaign manager here! The $100 our last donor donated just went into buying yard signs for our campaign. Can you chip in $100 too? We’ll let you know how it was spent: {link}
We’re coming to you today because it’s urgent! We have till midnight to reach {amount} so we can {action}. Please donate using this link: {link}

8. Volunteer recruitment

You can send timely updates and volunteering opportunities to your most engaged supporters via political text messaging. Also, if your constituents can’t donate money, an alternative is to ask them to donate their time.

We need volunteers for this weekend’s rally. Sign up online at {link} and join us at {venue} on Saturday. 
{number} volunteers needed to go door to door this Sunday in {venue}. Please sign up if you’re available: {link}
Hi, {first_name}. This is {name}, {candidate}’s campaign manager. We need {number} of volunteers to drive our campaign. Can I count you in? If you need more info, please visit {link}

9. GOTV

Studies show that text messaging for political campaigns can increase voter turnout by around 1%. We all know how much that 1% can impact voting results. While elections aren’t until November, starting your campaign weeks in advance helps you stay on top of your contacts’ minds.

You can start by helping your contacts create a plan to vote. Sending your contacts information related to their polling location, date and time, etc., can help them get to the booths and vote.

Here are a few tips and templates for your GOTV text.

Pro tip: When the election day is nearing, share deadlines around early and absentee voting as well.
Good morning, {first_name}. This is your {position}, reaching out to you to remind that it’s election day! Polls are open between {time}. Remember to get out and vote to make your voice heard. Find the nearest polling center here: {link}
Hi, {first_name}. This is your candidate, {candidate_name}. We’re {number_of_days} away from the election day. I hope you’re registered to vote. If you’re not sure, check out your registration status here: {link}. 
Are you an absentee voter? Make sure you mail your absentee ballot by {date}.

10. Election day reminder

Send your registered voters a friendly message to remind them to cast their vote along with a link to help them find their polling booth. 

Peer-to-peer texting is ideal for voter turnout campaigns due to its nature of having a personal touch while carrying out multiple conversations.

Agent: Don’t forget to get out there and vote today. Find your local voting booth here: {link}

Voter: Thanks, what time is it?

Agent: You can get there any time between 7 am and 8 pm. 
Agent: {first_name}, the booths are open till {time}. Go out there and vote and have your voice heard. Find your polling place here: {link}.

Voter: Thanks

Agent: Of course! Please let me know if you need help finding your booth.

Read Next: SMS Campaigns Analytics and Reporting: How to Measure the Performance of Campaigns on CallHub

How to start a text messaging campaign for your upcoming elections

What are the steps that form the base of a successful campaign? 

Let’s understand.

Get voters to opt in

Building a high-quality subscriber list is the backbone of all your campaigns. By turning your audience into contacts, you can engage with them personally and ultimately mobilize them to vote

SMS Opt-in campaigns are one way to collect consent for auto-texting and more information about your audience. This information you collect helps you segment your contacts into multiple lists for more accurate targeting.

send election campaign text messages automated prompt

Here’s how you can set this up:

Step 1: Rent a phone number and add your opt-in keyword. You can either rent a random number within the specified country, a 10DLC number, or a shortcode. 

send election campaign text messages rent phone number

Step 2: Select an existing phonebook or create a new one in which all your new opt-ins get stored.

send election campaign text messages phonebook

Step 3: Add a prompt and choose a response field. The response field needs to be aligned with the answer you’re expecting against your first prompt. 

send election campaign text messages setting up automated prompt

Step 4: Add more follow-up prompts as needed.

send election campaign text messages followup prompt

Step 5: Add a thank you message.

send election campaign text messages final message

Step 6: Say your contact didn’t respond to one of your prompts. In that case, you can resend that prompt after a specific number of hours or days.

send election campaign text messages retry prompt

Step 7: Hit ‘finish’.

Have your supporters text a keyword to your phone number. This will add them to your contact list and opted in for your campaign messages. Remember to use a short, catchy, and relevant keyword that people can remember easily. 

Ex: Text BIDEN to (555) 555-1234 to get all updates.

Integrate this messaging into your campaign materials and get the word out. Here are a few places you can display your message:

  • Signages
  • Flyers
  • Your campaign website
  • Posters
  • Publications
  • Social media
  • Newsletters
  • Podiums at events.

Add follow-up questions or requests to collect basic personal information right when they opt in. For example, you can collect their name, email address, zip code, and so on as soon as they send in the opt-in keyword. 

However, make sure you explicitly mention that they are expressing their consent to receive text messages from you by opting in. 

Pro tip: You can have different keywords for each of the marketing platforms, so you know how many subscribers you acquired from each platform. CallHub lets you rent multiple keywords supporting multiple languages under a single number. 

This will help you segment your list and better target your contacts in campaigns.

Learn how to set up an SMS Opt-in campaign.

Start messaging

CallHub helps you achieve a highly targeted reach and robust engagement. The tools and features of our political texting service are designed to run campaigns involving all the use cases we discussed earlier.  

1. Sign up with CallHub

We provide a 14-day free trial along with crediting your account with $3, without asking for your credit card details. Explore all you want before you decide on a pricing plan. You can also choose to go with a pay-as-you-go model. 

2. Rent a phone number

There are different numbers you can choose from. 

You can use a shortcode to send text messages, but being expensive to rent, they make the most sense when you need to send many text messages. Because while with long codes, you can send 1 message per second, shortcodes allow you to send 100 messages in the same timeframe. 

However, a 10DLC number doesn’t fall in this category of long codes that let you send only one message per second. 

On CallHub, you can rent a 10DLC, which will allow you to send high-volume texts while staying compliant with the latest US carrier regulations. 

See how you can rent a 10DLC number.

3. Upload your contact list or import it from your CRM

You can add contacts into CallHub in 2 ways:

Any changes made to your contacts’ information, such as updating the email IDs, sync with your CRM too.

Check if you already use one of our existing integrations. If not, you can integrate any database with CallHub using Zapier

4. Add your message

Add the text message script to be used in your campaign. Keep in mind that the character limit for a single text message is 160 characters. Messages longer than 160 characters get split into multiple segments

70% of marketers using advanced personalization are seeing a 200% ROI, shows a study. So, personalize your message.

CallHub lets you personalize your text message by using merge tags like {first_name} and custom fields such as {voting_booth}. These get replaced by values associated with each contact before your text goes out. 

5. Set up automated or manual responses for text broadcasts

If your call to action is asking your voters to reply with their answers, set up keyword responses in your campaign to manage them. For example, when someone texts “RSVP” to an invite text, send them a “Thank you” message. 

This will let them know that you have received their response and appropriate action is being taken. This feature comes in handy when you’ve asked your contact to reply with a keyword, that is, the expected reply is a keyword you’ve set.

But, what if your contact replies to your message with an unexpected question?

In that case, you can manually respond to each reply. CallHub lets you add your email address on which you want to receive the responses to your text message. You can reply to them using your manager dashboard in real-time.

6. Schedule your campaign in your contacts’ timezone

Reach your contacts at a time they are available by scheduling the text messages in your contacts’ timezone on CallHub. You can decide on what day of the week these texts should be sent and between which hours of the day, and just enable contacts’ timezone to use this feature.

Read Next: 11 Top Features of a Political Texting Tool (+ Election Campaign SMS Message Templates)

How to create an election campaign text message that works

One of the important steps in the whole campaign process is to get the messaging right so your contacts are compelled to take the desired action. 

Let’s see how you can do that.

1. Be clear and compelling

Engaging your potential voters needs to include clear information at every stage of your campaign. For instance, your initial communication should inform your contacts about you, your party, your campaign, and your plan to improve the citizens’ lives.

2. Humanize your message

While your text message should position you as a leader, humanizing it can attract more voters. The more human you sound, the more likely your supporters connect with your candidate. 

So, keep your message natural, and use text abbreviations, emojis, etc. to sound human. 

3. Incorporate MMS to improve responses

MMS is a text message format that accommodates an image, video, audio, and GIF, with up to 1600 characters of text.

Adding an eye-popping graphic to your text message can grab your contacts’ attention and encourage them to read your message. A study also showed that MMS had a 20% higher response rate than SMS. 

The graphic can be a picture of your campaign store item or adding a personal touch using a voice or video recording of your candidate, a screenshot of a news headline or tweet. 

4. Add a relevant link to your messages

Whenever you need your contacts to visit another platform from your text, include a link for the same. CallHub’s Link Shortener and Tracker shortens your links, so they take up less space and look clean.

Here are a few more amazing things to know about our Link Shortener and Tracker. I say ‘amazing’ because it’s designed in such a way that in addition to saving cost by saving space, you can minimize filtrations, increase engagement, and increase conversions.  

Make sure the platform you’re leading them to is mobile-optimized, so your contacts’ experience is not hampered. Of course, there isn’t much you can do with an external platform, but if it’s your campaign website, your donation page, etc., look out for responsiveness. 

5. Include a strong call to action

A powerful call to action is necessary to get your contacts to act. Strong verbs and time quantifiers like ‘vote today’, ‘donate now’, etc. help you do that. 

Be it asking your supporters to share their opinion on a specific issue, visit your website, or contact your representatives, end your text with that call to action.

Here’s a guide to help you create the best election campaign messaging, testing it within and outside your voter base, and distributing it across channels. 

Important reminder: As with any political campaign, your election campaign text messages need to comply with the TCPA regulations. These rules evolve regularly, and you need to stay on top of it to avoid a violation. 

Here are a few details you must include in your text message to stay compliant:
– Clear opt-out instructions in your text message.
– How often you will send text messages.
– What will your text messages be based around.

Also, most importantly, get their consent before sending any text message.

CallHub’s texting software helps you follow all these laws and stay compliant. We have built-in opt-out instructions which you can enable by clicking a checkbox. Your contacts who reply with STOP, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, END, or QUIT, get automatically opted out of your list and they are automatically excluded from future text or calling campaigns on CallHub. 

Check out our article on staying compliant with your text messages for a full list of guidelines.  

Run a text message campaign for free

Create an account for free and access CallHub’s texting software to run campaigns around all possible use cases while staying compliant with the laws and regulations. With the $3 credited to your account when you sign up, you can send up to 58 text messages.

You also get an extra $3 into your account, which you can use across all campaigns by completing KYC, if you’re in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, or France. 

If you need more information, talk to our product experts.  

Featured image: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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