Political SMS Marketing · SMS Marketing Platforms

Political SMS Platforms: Hustle vs. Tatango

Political SMS Platforms - Hustle vs Tatango

One of the central aspects of every political campaign is messaging. While this has been true for years, modern technology is now playing a more significant role than ever. Text messages are an effective, measurable, and direct way to cut through the broad, often immeasurable approach of TV ads and billboards.

Text messages, also known as SMS messages, create direct lines of communication with supporters, volunteers, and donors. A strategic texting campaign can have a huge effect on a political race. Because of its 99% open rate, SMS messages are a highly effective way to keep your base updated, motivated, and engaged through political contributions.

When creating your SMS messaging plan, there are many different companies to consider. Tatango and Hustle are two options for sending political texts. Even though these platforms are similar in some aspects, there are key differences between them. Keep reading for a strategic comparison of these two companies. 


What Is Tatango?

The Tatango platform sends mass SMS marketing texts. For political campaigns, it can send messages to a list of opted-in subscribers. Tatango usually sends millions of texts as part of a campaign, helping your candidate reach a massive voter base. 

Compared to political emails, SMS messages are much more effective. Only 20% of marketing emails are opened, compared to 99% of text messages. Texting can be a key component for improving support, raising donations, and organizing volunteers. Especially in recent years, campaigns and political organizations increasingly rely on SMS messages to keep their base up to date in real time. 

Over the past 14 years, Tatango has become an industry leader in A2P (application-to-person) text message marketing, with the functionality to send texts on a massive scale. Tatango can send up to 6 million messages per hour. The Common Short Code Administration, or CSCA, has also chosen Tatango as a preferred partner. On average, Tatango’s clients earn $5 in support for every $1 spent on SMS marketing. 


What Is Hustle?

In contrast to Tatango, Hustle is a P2P (peer-to-peer) messaging company. Unlike Tatango, Hustle allows campaigns to send individual texts and reply to subscribers’ messages. P2P texting focuses on manually sent texts, with messages tailored for each recipient. 

A successful political campaign will use A2P and P2P strategies, sending mass texts for broad impact and focused messages for connecting personally with supporters. Both systems are powerful tools to generate more donations, votes, and grassroots support—especially when combined.


Tatango and Hustle: A2P and P2P

As you plan your text messaging campaign, make sure you understand the difference between these two platforms and their capabilities. 

Tatango’s A2P system can handle millions of texts with massive subscriber lists (segmented into useful data groups). This large scale is the main upside of A2P texting. Integration with a fundraising platform (such as WinRed, ActBlue, NGPVan, and EveryAction) can simplify the donation process. These texts can contain clickable links, eye-catching images and videos, and up to 5,000 characters of text—making it easy for millions of supporters to donate with every text you send.

With Hustle’s P2P system, people (instead of an automated system) personalize and send each message individually. This type of messaging is great for keeping supporters and volunteers informed, sending “thank you” texts after events, and more. While Hustle could send thousands of texts per hour (if there’s a large enough staff to do it), Tatango can do the same in less than five minutes. However, both of these systems have their place within a campaign. A volunteer would appreciate a personalized P2P text, while an A2P mass message helps keep the entire supporter base informed with voting, fundraising, and news updates.


Tatango’s A2P Text Messaging Platform

Although Hustle can offer a one-to-one text messaging system for campaigns, a mass SMS messaging platform is vital to a successful campaign. When your list of supporters is thousands or millions strong, Tatango can help. Campaigns can change quickly. When voters need to be updated on policy changes or reminded of voting deadlines, Tatango helps politicians and candidates instantly connect and stay ahead. 

Also, Tatango isn’t limited to mass texting one large list of subscribers. Advanced tools in the Tatango platform can provide demographic data and can help you send messages by time zone and zip code so your messages can be more focused and efficient than ever before. Using Tatango alongside a P2P texting platform like Hustle helps create a well-rounded SMS campaign strategy.


Short Codes and Keywords

Like other P2P systems, Hustle uses 10-digit phone numbers (like personal phone numbers) called “long codes.” Long codes make P2P texts feel more personal. Tatango uses five- or six-digit phone numbers known as “short codes.” Though short codes may feel less like regular texts, they have some advantages. A short code is easier to remember, lending itself to easy and memorable promotion on political banners, advertisements, and yard signs. A campaign can use a short code strategically to unify its messaging under a single number. Especially when a campaign is growing quickly, short codes can be a helpful tool. Because they’re easier to remember, short codes can help increase sharing and fundraising.  

Keywords (like “Oregon” or “Dallas”) are also important to the overall texting plan. As subscribers respond with simple keywords, campaign organizers can gather data and build a better messaging list. Sending a single keyword to a short code number makes it easy for subscribers to communicate with campaigns. Long codes, like Hustle’s numbers, don’t typically use keywords since P2P messaging isn’t designed to gather campaign info and data this way. But on the scale of millions of texts per day, good short codes and keywords can make a big difference. 


SMS Campaign Security

Many campaigns have a strong focus on security—which is a priority for Tatango. When storing and cataloging millions of numbers and texts, protecting that information is a must. Tatango’s security is at the forefront of the industry, using automated logouts, two-factor authentication, and other safeguards for your data.

Tatango will also help you navigate the law with important resources and contacts for complying with TCPA rules. Tatango can also help you avoid fines and lost subscribers.


Ready to Set Up A2P Text Messaging?

As you move forward with your political SMS campaign, the experts at Tatango are here to help. Contact us today to learn more or dive into our political SMS marketing guides to rapidly grow your political subscriber list, avoid the top 10 text message marketing mistakes, or tap into proven political text message templates to immediately increase donations and votes.

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