In the old days, political candidates and organizations used ads on TV, billboards, magazines, and other communication channels to launch campaigns and promote elections. But as the ways we communicate change over the years, so should the ways politicians reach their audiences.
These days, the mobile phone is the primary communication tool and it has transformed how we connect with others. Data shows that in 2011, 35% of the United States population owned a smartphone. In 2021, that number increased to more than 85%, and over 95% of Americans own some type of mobile phone.
The widespread use of mobile phones has revolutionized political marketing. Text marketing is now the most efficient way for political groups and organizations to gain traction. SMS messaging is an effective tool to reach existing and potential supporters, raise donations, recruit volunteers, and increase voter turnout.
Keep reading to learn some of the key takeaways from a YouTube video used by candidate Ned Lamont to promote his mobile marketing campaign.
Candidate Ned Lamont’s SMS Political Campaign
The following video shows how political candidate Ned Lamont used other digital platforms, like YouTube, to promote his SMS messaging campaign. We recommended watching the video before digging into the takeaways.
3 Mobile Marketing Takeaways from Ned Lamont’s Text Messaging Political Campaign
As you can see, Ned Lamont mainly used this video to tell everyone how to subscribe to his text message marketing campaign. The video is short, to the point, and uses humor to invite supporters to join Ned Lamont’s mobile club. His campaign staff members understood that people spend hours on their cell phones every day, and sending text messages is part of what they do the most.
Research shows that young people between 18 and 24 send and receive more than 128 texts per day. It’s no wonder why SMS message marketing works so well for many political and nonprofit organizations.
Let’s analyze what Ned Lamont’s marketing team did right in this video. Here are our three top mobile marketing takeaways for you to use in your next campaign.
1. Choose a Relevant SMS Keyword
Ned Lamont’s marketing team got this texting strategy right. Once you select an SMS software provider, you’ll need to choose an SMS keyword for your texting campaign.
An SMS keyword is a word or phrase people can text to a mobile number from their cell phones to join a text messaging subscriber list. In this case, Ned Lamont’s team chose the word “NED.” Their SMS keyword choice makes total sense with the campaign and is very easy to remember. The marketing team repeats the keyword frequently and spells it out, reducing the likelihood that people will text the wrong keyword.
Each SMS keyword corresponds to a specific SMS marketing campaign and allows subscribers to interact with it. Selecting the right SMS keyword for your campaign can have a significant impact on your political organization’s reach and the number of subscribers who engage with your campaign. Similar to what Ned did, at Tatango, we recommend selecting a keyword that’s relevant to your campaign, easy to read, and memorable.
2. Choose a Short Code That’s Easy to Remember
A short code is a five- or six-digit mobile number used by organizations and businesses to communicate with subscribers via SMS messaging. Ned Lamont’s SMS short code was five digits (“83224”), and it was pretty easy to remember, too.
A text-message short code is the phone number you’ll use to communicate with existing and potential supporters. Unlike a standard 10-digit phone number, SMS short codes are much shorter, thus, easier to read and remember. Not all SMS short codes are the same. There are four types of short codes: vanity short codes, random or non-vanity short codes, shared short codes, and dedicated short codes. Each type has advantages and disadvantages; an SMS software provider like Tatango can help you choose the best one for your campaign.
Selecting a short code and SMS keyword is just the beginning of your text message marketing campaign.
3. Promote Your Keyword and Short Code Everywhere
Ned Lamont’s text messaging campaign definitely achieved this! The one-minute YouTube video constantly reminds viewers of the SMS keyword to text and the short code to send it to.
Why is promoting your keyword and short code so important? Text message marketing is strictly a subscriber-only marketing channel. Even if you’ve collected phone numbers from existing supporters, you can’t message them if they don’t take the first step. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates text message marketing and has very strict guidelines. Per the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a federal law enforced by the FCC, supporters must give their consent to receive text messages from your campaign.
Giving consent is known as opting in. There are different opt-in methods used in text message marketing. When using a double opt-in method, you send a message after someone opts in to your campaign to confirm they want to receive messages from you in the future. While single opt-in methods are authorized by the FCC, using a double opt-in is always safer.
Don’t think twice! Promote your keyword and short code everywhere you can—flyers, signs at different locations, social media, your website, and anywhere else you can reach your audience. The sky’s the limit!
Partner with Tatango for Your Next Political Campaign
Text message marketing can help set your political campaign apart from the competition, like Ned Lamont. SMS marketing is a great way to exponentially increase donations and engage your supporters in real time.
However, sending text messages without having a strategy in place can be counterproductive. Text message marketing is more than just sending massive messages. Mistakes can be costly, reduce your ROI, and leave text messages unread. Partner with Tatango, the industry leader over the past 14 years, to dial in your strategy and launch a successful text message campaign. Schedule a time to talk to one of our SMS marketing experts today.