9 Best Practices for Campaign Texting

Campaign texting has become an increasingly popular and effective tool for engaging with supporters, mobilizing volunteers, and reaching potential voters. It’s direct, personal, and less invasive or disruptive than a phone call. Additionally, text messages have an open rate of 98%, making them a better option than email.

However, effective campaign texting involves much more than building out a list of phone numbers and spamming your audience with content. You need a strategic approach to stay in compliance, make an impact, and mobilize recipients to action. With that in mind, here are nine best practices for campaign texting:

Obtain Consent

Before you send a single text message, it’s essential to obtain consent from recipients. This is not only a legal requirement but also a great strategy for maintaining trust and respecting the privacy of your audience. After all, no one wants to be bombarded with messages that they never signed up for.

Therefore, implement a consent system such as opt-in forms or event sign-ups. Use clear language so that the users know they are agreeing to receive campaign text messages.

Get Personal, but Not Too Personal

Personalized messages make your communications more engaging and effective. People are more likely to respond positively to texts that feel tailored to them rather than generic broadcasts. 

With that in mind, you should open messages by using the recipient’s first name. Also, segment your audience so you can bring up topics and issues relevant to them. However, don’t go overboard with the personalization — mentioning too many specifics, like sites they’ve visited or posts they’ve integrated with, can come off as intrusive.

Keep It Short and to the Point

Remember, it’s a text message, not a newsletter. Keep your content short and to the point. Long messages can be overwhelming, and recipients probably won’t read through the entire thing anyway, so why waste your time? 

Get to the point quickly. Open with a greeting, let them know who’s texting, deliver your message, and close with a specific call to action. The entire message should be about 160 characters or so.

Choose Your Timing Wisely

Sending messages at the right time can significantly impact your engagement rates. Recipients will likely ignore poorly timed texts and may even view them as intrusive. Generally, late mornings and early evenings are good times to send your messages. Avoid meal times, late nights, and early mornings. 

Also, consider what time zone your audience is located in. If your campaign covers multiple zones, stagger your messaging schedule accordingly. You may want to ramp up your messaging frequency to remind people of upcoming events or deadlines, such as voting day.

Be Transparent

Transparency builds trust. Clearly communicating who you are and why you are reaching out ensures that recipients understand the purpose of your message. 

After you’ve greeted the recipient, immediately transition into the name of your campaign or organization. For instance, your message may look like this: “Hi, John, this is [campaign] reminding you to vote tomorrow!” The message is transparent, direct, and concise.

Lead With Value

While your ultimate goal is to mobilize recipients to action, you can’t lead with a CTA, donation request, or other ask. Instead, lead with value and focus on providing useful information to recipients. 

This may involve thanking them for supporting the campaign, encouraging them to read your latest newsletter, or providing an update on your progress regarding an issue relevant to them. 

You can also provide value by sharing behind-the-scenes updates of your campaign. This approach makes them feel exclusive and encourages recipients to further engage with your team. After all, most people like being “in the know.”

Test and Optimize

Despite your best efforts, you are probably going to experience some growing pains during your text message campaign. What matters is how you respond to these hurdles.

Regularly test and optimize your content to improve its efficacy and reach. Test different messages, times, and CTAs to see what resonates with your constituents. Build on what works and ditch the attributes that people dislike. Most importantly, regularly track open rates, response rates, and other metrics to gauge the success of your campaigns.

Ensure Compliance

Non-compliance with legal requirements regarding text communication can result in penalties and damage to your campaign’s reputation. Ensuring compliance protects both your campaign and your supporters. 

Keep up to date with the latest regulations governing text messages. In the United States, the biggest piece of legislation regarding text communication is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Make sure you know its key provisions and integrate compliance strategies into your communication campaigns.

Follow Up Strategically

Strategic follow-ups can reinforce your message without overwhelming your audience. The key is to find the right balance. 

Send timely reminders about previous messages or upcoming events. While you don’t need to bombard your audience with daily texts, you should reach out often enough to ensure they remember what event is next on the calendar. 

Avoid sending too many texts in a short period. Respect your recipients’ time and attention. Generally, one message per week will suffice. However, there are exceptions. For instance, if a supporter donates, volunteers, or takes some other type of direct action, follow up with a thank you message. 

Build Your Text Campaign List With Aristotle

As a leader in political and consumer data, Aristotle can connect you with actionable insights to fuel your text campaign. We also provide several technological resources designed to promote your political goals and empower you to use our library of data. And with PAC and Advocacy consulting services, Aristotle has all of the resources you need for a successful campaign. Schedule a demo to learn more.

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