Political SMS messaging has become one of the top tools that political campaigns rely on to reach their audiences and get out the vote. These days, citizen participation in elections goes well beyond casting a vote. Voters are getting more involved in political campaigns, showing their support publicly, vocalizing their stances on social media, and passionately attending campaign events. According to Pew Research Center, 53% of U.S. adults who voted in the 2020 general election participated in political activities such as donating money and attending rallies. Effectively communicating with voters is the key to rallying support and winning elections.
As industry experts for the past 14 years, Tatango has been keeping an eye on these trends for more than a decade. In 2012, we found that one in four voters wanted to receive information on their mobile phones. Nearly 10 years later, we have even more data about political campaigns and text message marketing that shows the tremendous impact SMS marketing can have for political candidates and organizations. In this blog post, we look at the latest ground-breaking statistics that show why political organizations should use text message marketing.
1 in 4 Voters Want Information Sent to Mobile
In 2012, Digitas conducted a study to explore mobile and social media usage among registered voters in the United States. Their research showed that one in four registered voters said they wanted to receive information about political candidates on their mobile phones. Since then, political campaigns have used mobile phones to reach existing and potential supporters, raise donations, recruit volunteers, and increase voter turnout.
Year over year, text messaging is essential for political campaigns, and that was particularly evident in the 2020 elections. Some experts have called the 2020 elections “the texting election.” Over 64% of voters said they received text messages from political campaigns. Additionally, 67% of voters said text messages were an important source of information about elections.
Text Message Marketing Has 78% More Engagement Than Email
According to research by TechforCampaigns, political SMS messaging has higher engagement rates than political emailing. Political text messaging has shown a read rate of 98% compared to the 20% read rate of email. Political candidates can rest assured not only that recipients will read their messages, but also that voters are more likely to respond. Building strong relationships with constituents is a two-way street, and text message marketing is a great tool for achieving that goal. Unlike the poor response rate of political email marketing––only 6%—political text messaging has a response rate of 45%.
SMS messaging allows campaigns to connect with potential and existing supporters in a less invasive, more personalized way. Additionally, texting costs much less than traditional outreach and has a higher penetration rate––78% of consumers stated that SMS messaging is the fastest way to reach them. The average adult checks their mobile phones more than 160 times a day. Bottom line: if you want to grab voters’ attention, send them a text message.
Text Message Marketing Increases Voter Turnout by 8%
Data from TechforCampaigns shows that people who received text messages were more likely to vote (73.2%) than those who did not receive text messages (72.2%) from political campaigns. While 1% might seem insignificant, in a political setting, it certainly isn’t. Elections can be decided by just tens or hundreds of votes—especially local races.
In addition, the report shows registered voters aged 27 to 50 who received political SMS messages turned out at a rate almost 8% higher than those of the same age who didn’t receive texts. Text message marketing is not only a tool for supporters but also an effective way to drive unlikely voters to cast a ballot.
Issue-Related Text Messages Increase Voter Turnout by 8.2%
Political campaign-related text messages serve various purposes, such as raising donations and sharing event information and polling station hours. Candidates also use SMS messaging to share information about issues such as education, healthcare, and the environment. Data shows that issue-related messages outperform non-issue ones. Citizens who received SMS messages related to specific issues are 8.2% more likely to cast a ballot.
Additionally, personalized and localized text messages are far more effective than bulk ones. The Tatango software allows message personalization using merge tags. Campaigns can use this feature to add supporters’ first names and segment them by location. Personalization can help loyal supporters feel like they’re chatting directly with their favorite political candidate.
Partner with Tatango to Win Your Next Political Campaign
There’s no question that text message marketing is effective for political campaigns. This spam-free, direct channel can help you reach more than 95% of all U.S. citizens.
In over 14 years in the industry, we’ve helped political campaigns reach constituents and get out the vote. Political text messaging campaigns involve much more than sending bulk messages to a subscriber list. To make a difference, you need a partner who can help you strategize your campaign. Tatango prioritizes the functionality political candidates and organizations need to win. Our software helps ensure security and reliability. Schedule a call with our team of text messaging experts to learn more.