It has been almost a year since the 2020 election, and the dust is still settling. But one thing is certain: political text messaging is here to stay. During the 2016 election, only 19% of voters said that text messaging was the best way to reach them. By the time the 2020 election polls had closed, an incredible 78% of consumers said text messaging was the fastest way to reach them.
In this blog post, we take a look at some of the most compelling stats about text messaging for political candidates—from the 2016 election to the 2020 election and looking forward.
Political Text Messaging Statistics from the 2020 Election
The following are a few key political text messaging takeaways from the 2020 election.
Dramatic Increase in Election Text Messaging
Tatango has been working with the nation’s top political candidates for more than 14 years. To best support our clients, we keep a close eye on the latest trends and data. During both the 2016 and 2020 elections, we surveyed voters asking how often they received political text messages from their candidates
When we conducted this survey in 2016, only 19% of voters said a candidate had contacted them through a text message. By October 2020, text messaging had taken root—in the last full month of the 2020 presidential campaign, candidates up and down the ballot sent more than 5 billion political text messages.
Political Fundraising Tools Integrate with Text Messaging
Tatango integrates with the top political fundraising tools so text messaging becomes a revenue-generating machine. Contributing to a campaign used to involve going to a website or searching for an email, but now, campaigns that use Tatango’s software enable their supporters to donate in seconds from their mobile phone, often in a single step. Donors can give through political fundraising platforms that securely save their payment method and remember donors for easy future contributions.
During the 2020 presidential election, 49% of the $773,954,550 Donald Trump’s campaign received in donations came from small donors, whereas 38% of all donations Joe Biden’s campaign received were from small donors. Text messaging makes it easy for people to give to the causes (and candidates) they care about most—and for political organizations to raise vital funds for their campaigns.
Text Messages Swing Voter Turnout by at Least 8%
According to TechforCampaigns.org, people who received a political text message during the 2018 midterms were 1% more likely to vote. Given the number of close elections, 1% can mean the difference between winning and losing an election.
TechforCampaigns.org also noted: “While 1% may not seem like a lot, competitive races, especially state legislative races, are decided by just tens or hundreds of votes. In one state alone, the difference between the texted and untexted voters… would have been enough to win five of the seven races Democrats lost in 2018.”
Voters aged 27 to 50 who received a political text message voted at a rate almost 8% higher than those who didn’t receive political text messages. It’s also interesting to note that cell phone ownership in that age bracket is a statistical 100%—meaning these constituents always have their phones (and text messages) within reach.
Additionally, people who received messages about candidates or district-specific issues were 8.2% more likely to vote. And if they received a call to action and responded to it, they were 9.6% more likely to vote. It pays off to give your list members an opportunity to engage with your political text messaging campaign.
Segmentation Increases Voter Registration
In a survey by Mitto, 37% of respondents said their decision to register to vote for the 2020 election was influenced by campaign text messages; 47% of respondents said the campaign text messages they received were personalized.
A text message marketing software like Tatango allows you to add a human touch to your political text messaging by using merge tags to address people by their first name and segment them into groups by city, state, or zip code. With personalization, messages no longer feel like they’re coming from a machine or a bot. It feels more like someone’s favorite candidate is speaking directly to their loyal donors and supporters.
To make the most of personalization and segmentation, invite subscribers to provide additional details such as their zip code and email address so you can customize your political text messaging campaigns to their city, state, and interests.
Use segmentation in political text messaging to either personalize your message or send the right message to the right block of voters. This information also comes in handy when planning events or looking for volunteers. It also allows you to establish time zones, so you’re not sending messages in the middle of the night.
Text Messaging Avoids Algorithms and Censorship Issues
Since its onset, social media has been one of the most popular marketing channels for political campaigning, but its drawbacks are starting to manifest themselves. There’s a growing focus on the algorithms social media sites use to cater to a person’s viewing habits. When a voter clicks on a link that on any other day they might ignore, the algorithms take over and can drastically affect what the voter sees on their feed for some time to come.
As long as campaign managers make sound decisions on the information they release, they shouldn’t be affected by the censorship issues we’ve seen. But if 2020 and the pandemic have shown us anything, we can’t predict how outside forces may affect our elections.
Text messaging, however, is unencumbered by such issues. Once someone is on your political text messaging subscriber list, they can’t be blocked by algorithms or censorship. You have direct access to your subscribers when it matters most for critical fundraising or election dates.
Partner with Tatango for Political Text Messaging
Winning political campaigns ally with a trusted software provider like Tatango. In over 14 years of experience, we’ve seen many political campaigns held back by their choice to use SMS software providers that don’t give political campaigns the tools that truly make a difference. Tatango prioritizes the features and functionality that political organizations need, including messaging speeds, software built for high volumes, security, and reliability.
If you’re looking for an expert provider for SMS text messaging for your next political campaign, call Tatango to start working with our team of text messaging experts.