Political SMS Marketing

Political Donations: SMS vs. MMS

political donations sms vs mms

Political donations play a crucial part in running a successful political campaign. Donations make it possible for politicians and organizations to have important conversations with their constitutions and help enact change. Most importantly, donations make it possible for a campaign to reach more first-time voters and increase participation in the election process.

Within the 2020 election cycle, many candidates relied on text messages to communicate with their supporters and increase short code donation gathering. In fact, political candidates and organizations sent more than 5 billion election-related text messages in October 2020 alone.

Candidates can send an SMS message or MMS message to gather donations via text. Tatango is an SMS marketing platform that gives political organizations the tools to communicate with supporters via text message, including the gathering of political donations. On average, our political clients see an ROI of $5 for every $1 spent on SMS marketing and MMS marketing. But how exactly do candidates and organizations gather donations via text?

In this blog post, we discuss exactly how political donations via text work and explain the difference between SMS and MMS messaging. We also show you some examples of each. Additionally, we share how the Tatango platform supports political donations and our political clients.


How Do Donations Via Text Work?

To gather political donations from your supporters via SMS or MMS messages, you’ll need to set up a few things. First things first, you’ll need to choose an SMS software provider like Tatango.

Next, you’ll choose your short code. A short code is a five- to six-digit phone number leased monthly. With a short code, your organization can send mass SMS and MMS messages via text message software. All your requests for political donation text messages go out via your short code.

Next, you’ll need to set up SMS keywords to enable people to subscribe to your political text campaigns and send in short code donations. Keywords tell the SMS marketing software what action needs to happen next, such as which text needs to be sent back to subscribers. Some keywords are required, like STOP, END, UNSUBSCRIBE, and QUIT. These are universal keywords that make it easy for a subscriber to easily opt-out of an SMS campaign. Other keywords can be selected by your organization, such as REGISTER, VOTERED, VOTEBLUE, or ENVIRONMENT. These are keywords that subscribers can use to opt in to your specific lists in order to receive texts related to their interests.

Now that you have a short code and keywords, you can start growing your subscriber list and gathering short code donations. All your organization has to focus on is crafting text messages in order to gather political donations. The Tatango software will do the rest. Our software also integrates with various political donation software platforms, enabling the Tatango platform and our partners to work together seamlessly. For example, if your organization is using ActBlue as your fundraising platform, Tatango integrates with ActBlue to make it simple to receive short code donations directly from your subscribers’ mobile phones. The integration saves your organization time, makes donating even easier, and creates a seamless experience for your supporters.

Tatango integrates with many popular donation platforms. To see a full list, schedule a time to talk with one of our SMS marketing experts.


What Is the Difference Between an SMS and MMS Message?

SMS Messages

An SMS (short message service) message is a type of text message a political candidate or organization can send to their supporters. An SMS message can include up to 160 characters, including text, emojis, clickable phone numbers, and hyperlinks. The 160-character count includes all the characters that make up a phone number or hyperlink.

political sms message

As its name suggests, an SMS message is better for short messages. Because of it’s relatively small character limit, we recommend SMS messaging for the simpler messages your campaign sends out. If you exceed the SMS message character limit, your message will break into two or even three messages, which may look unappealing or confusing to the subscriber. Here are a few ways your campaign can use SMS messages to gather political donations via text:

Hi Sean, we’re counting on supporters like YOU to help win this election! Click to donate: bit.ly/donatetoday

Our recent efforts have resulted in over 500 new registered voters! Donate today and help spread the word. Donate here: bit.ly/donatetoday

Thank you for your donation! View your receipt here: bit.ly/donation986


MMS Messages

An MMS (multimedia messaging service) message is another option for political candidates and organizations to communicate with their supporters and gather political donations. MMS text messages allow organizations to send various media content to subscribers, including video, sound files, images, multiple contacts, and GIFs. Along with this additional media functionality, MMS messages also allow up to 5,000 characters in a single message.

For your lengthier and brighter messages, MMS is the better choice. With MMS, you can get more creative with your political text messaging. For example, take advantage of the larger character limit to elaborate on your cause and even attach a graphic or image. Here are a few ways your campaign can use MMS messages to gather political donations via text:

(Image about voting) According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Voting and Registration Supplement, 21.4 percent were not registered to vote in 2014. Our mission this election cycle to get every eligible American registered to vote. Your donation can help! Click here to donate: bit.ly/donatenow

(GIF of conversations) Donations like yours make it possible for us to have meaningful conversations and enact change in our communities. Click here to donate $25: bit.ly/donatenow

(Political video) Here’s what we were able to accomplish because of donations like yours. Thank you for joining our fight. But there’s still work to be done! Click here to donate: bit.ly/donatenow


How Tatango Supports Political Donations via Text

Tatango supports the gathering of political donations via text or short code donations by providing a text message marketing platform with the highest security, send speeds, and customer support in the industry. Tatango platform features include:

Subscriber Segmentation

With subscriber segmentation, you can tailor your messages by demographic to send the most relevant information to the right people every time. Additionally, you can segment your most eager donors and ensure they never miss an opportunity to join your cause.

Political Fundraising with ActBlue and Tatango - Subscriber Segmenting

Campaign Workflows

Use campaign workflows to plan your campaign messaging in advance for each unique audience, save time, and gather even more donations.

Political Fundraising with WinRed and Tatango - Messaging Workflows

Data and Reporting

Stay on top of your campaigns every step of the way with data and reporting features. Use data to help you adjust your messaging and ensure you get the best donation ROI for your SMS investment.

Political Fundraising with WinRed and Tatango - Subscriber Analytics

We understand the unique needs of political campaigns and fundraising. Our dedicated political campaign experts specializing in SMS messaging are ready to assist you from start to finish. To learn more about our software and how Tatango can help you gather political donations via text, we invite you to schedule a time to chat with one of our SMS experts today.

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