Political donations are a barometer of whether or not a candidate has momentum. Momentum is the sign of a winner, and voters like to be associated with winners. In this blog post, we discuss a few ways to strategically use political text messaging to build awareness of your candidate, but more importantly, how text messaging can help you rake in those much-needed political donations.
Benefits of Political Text Messaging
More than many other marketing channel, text messaging gets the word out. Recent surveys report that 99% of text messages get read, and 90% of those messages are read within three minutes of being received.
And let’s not forget the significant impact text messaging can have on get out the vote (GOTV) efforts. Just after the 2020 election, 37% of survey respondents reported that a campaign text message they received ahead of the election influenced them to register to vote. Most recent elections have come down to just a few percentage points, so 37% would be enough to secure a landslide victory.
Want a great example of how a political campaign strategically used text messaging to shift momentum in their favor in a run-off election?
Scott Brown was vying against Martha Coakley for the Massachusetts senate seat in 2010. Coakley, a veteran politician, was a longtime attorney general of Massachusetts who ran unopposed twice. She had good name recognition, while Brown was way back in the polls.
In the final weeks before the election, Coakley was doing an interview with a local radio station, and Brown’s campaign seized the opportunity by sending a text message encouraging his subscribers to inundate the radio station with phone calls. Minutes later, the announcer said, “Every call that has come in is a Scott Brown call.”
Brown’s campaign realized that text messaging was a valuable tool in a political campaign, and on election day, Brown gave a victory speech after a decisive win.
How to Encourage Political Donations with Text Messaging
Strategically using text messaging compounds its value, and just like it can with voter turnout and campaign engagement, text messaging can have a significant impact on fundraising. Try these strategies to increase donations to your political campaign.
1. Use Political Fundraising Software Integrations
Integrations are established partnerships between technology platforms that combine their strengths. The joint power of the two platforms often yields much more than the sum of its parts. Integrating political fundraising software with text messaging software can significantly increase campaign donations.
With integrations, as soon as someone donates to your political fundraising tool, they are automatically synced to your text messaging software. The two most well-known integration software platforms for political text message fundraising are ActBlue and WinRed.
ActBlue Text Messaging Integration
Democrats started the practice of text message fundraising with ActBlue, a fundraising platform developed for left-leaning candidates. Since 2004, ActBlue has helped Democratic candidates up and down the ballot collect more than $8 billion in small-dollar donations.
Tatango integrates with ActBlue so a candidate’s supporters can easily make a donation by clicking a link in a text message. Contributing to a campaign is now much easier than going to a website or searching for an email you remember seeing in your inbox a week ago. And with Tatango and ActBlue Express, Act Blue donations are even easier now. Users can donate with a single click on a platform that securely saves their payment method.
WinRed Text Messaging Integration
Republicans debuted WinRed in time for the 2020 elections. The platform was successful for several conservative candidates. In the first quarter of 2020, the platform brought in $130 million. As with ActBlue, Tatango integrates with WinRed.
2. Add Urgency to Your Political Text Messaging
Earlier, we shared the story of Scott Brown’s decisive use of text messaging in his successful senatorial campaign. The Brown campaign isn’t the only one to understand this concept. The Biden campaign took in $3.2 million in the first hour after sending out an SMS text message near the end of the first presidential debate of the 2020 campaign.
The tactic here is to find opportunities to use events or milestones in your campaign to stress the need for donations. Be creative. For example, some campaigns strategically get wedge issues onto the ballot in regional areas to drive voter turnout. Identify wedge issues—even if your opponent was the one who introduced them—and position your messaging to encourage voters to turn out, support your candidate’s view, and make a difference.
Include Direct Calls to Action
Studies show that recipients who responded to a call to action (CTA) in a political text message were 9.6% more likely to vote. Take the next step and tell your recipient what you want them to do. Phrases such as “donate now” or “help us make this quarter’s goal” can add to the urgency of your message.
Use deadlines and expiration dates to add that sense of urgency, too.
Adding this sense of urgency is where Tatango becomes an important partner. Campaigns are time sensitive. Tatango’s political text messaging technology can help you get the word out when it matters most.
Because of Tatango’s technological edge and experience with political campaigns (for whom time is of the essence), sending speed is among the highest priorities for their platform. Tatango enables the delivery of millions of text messages in real time, sending up to six million text messages per hour.
Promote Upcoming Events
Another area where urgency comes in is when sending out a notice before a political rally, a candidate appearance, or a volunteer meeting is not enough. Use text messages to notify people and encourage them to sign up for these events. Then send them reminders a day before, and maybe even an hour before. Be sure to include a link with directions or other helpful information along with an appeal for donations.
3. Personalize Your Political Text Messaging
All selling is personal. The same is true for politics. An impressive 75% of consumers are more likely to respond to a message that recognizes them by name. Simply put, people support people.
Use Merge Tags to Customize Text Messages
Merge tags in Tatango help you add a human touch to your political text messages by greeting them by their first name. It no longer feels like a machine or a bot speaking to a potential donor. It feels like your candidate speaking directly to donors.
Start this process early. Use your political text messaging to get to know your donors. Ask them to respond with their ZIP code, email address, or the issues that matter most to them. In the future, you can segment your text messages to be most relevant to the location, interests, or donation activity of recipients.
Start Getting More Political Donations Today
Tatango has worked with large and small political campaigns to build donations and generate momentum and victories. For more than 14 years, we’ve been the industry leader for political text messaging. Contact us today to get started.