When considering which political SMS marketing platform to use, you may have come across two company names, Tatango and Peerly. While both platforms send political text messages, each one does so differently. Both platforms can be part of a winning political SMS marketing strategy. This article aims to help illuminate their differences and similarities and highlight when to use each one.
What Is Tatango?
Tatango is a political text message marketing platform that enables political groups and organizations to easily send mass text messages to millions of opted-in subscribers at once.
Political groups and organizations work with Tatango to quintuple donations, increase voter turnout, inform voters about important issues in real time, and raise support for their campaigns. Because an impressive 99 percent of text messages are opened (compared to just 20 percent of marketing emails), text message marketing has become one of the most effective marketing strategies for political candidates to win elections and fundraise.
Tatango has been the industry leader in application-to-person (A2P) text message marketing (also commonly referred to as SMS marketing) for more than 13 years. Tatango has achieved premium designation as a preferred partner by the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA), offers messaging speeds 33 times faster than its closest competitor, and earns many of its clients $5 in donations for every $1 they invest in text message marketing.
What Is Peerly?
Peerly is the other side of the political text message marketing coin. It’s a peer-to-peer (P2P) text messaging company that enables political organizations to send and reply to individual text messages rather than mass text messages like they would with Tatango.
Many political organizations use Peerly to individually text event volunteers, confirm constituents are registered to vote, send voter research surveys, and share campaign updates with subscribers. Because Peerly is a P2P platform, it requires more manual steps than Tatango. A human sends individual texts, one by one, through its platform instead of automatically sending mass SMS messages.
P2P text messaging can be a worthwhile addition to a mass text messaging tool like Tatango. Many political campaigns use application-to-person (A2P) platforms like Tatango to send mass text messages to millions of supporters in a single step, then use P2P platforms like Peerly to reinforce their efforts at the grassroots level. At Tatango, we’ve found that both strategies support and reinforce each other.
How Are Tatango and Peerly Different?
Below are a few differences and similarities between Tatango and Peerly.
Peer-to-Peer Texting (P2P) vs. Application-to-Peer (A2P) Texting
As mentioned, the main difference between the two platforms is that Tatango is an A2P platform (application-to-person), and Peerly is a P2P platform (peer-to-peer or person-to-person). So, Tatango makes it possible to automatically text millions of subscribers at once, whereas Peerly allows an individual to send one message at a time.
With Tatango, you can also easily integrate with political fundraising tools, such as ActBlue, WinRed, EveryAction, and NGP VAN, to include clickable links in texts, which recipients can tap to donate instantly. Simplifying this process removes barriers that may keep people from financially supporting your campaigns, which is a major advantage for political groups and organizations when every dollar (and vote) can mean the difference between winning or losing an election.
Text Messaging Reach
Another difference between Tatango and Peerly is the amount of people each platform is designed to reach. Many of Tatango’s political clients have millions of subscribers, and it’s not feasible to text them individually. That’s where a mass texting platform can help.
Candidates constantly need to share important campaign updates, policy positions, and breaking news, and it’s to their advantage to be the first ones their constituents hear the news from. For this reason, Tatango’s mass political text messaging functionality enables politicians to send texts instantly.
Tatango also offers tools that allow clients to schedule messages based on time zones so subscribers aren’t accidentally startled awake by a rogue political text message in the middle of the night. (Not exactly a great way to win votes!) Compared to its closest competitors, Tatango sends 6 million text messages per hour, enabling clients to get messages out when the timing is crucial—which, on the campaign trail, is often, especially in close races.
With Peerly, text messages go out one at a time (or up to 13,000 per hour if multiple users are sending simultaneously). While it’s possible to target recipients hyper-locally with Tatango (down to the zip code), Peerly provides an excellent addition of a personal touch from volunteers to local constituents.
SMS Short Codes and SMS Keywords
Peerly operates on long codes, which are 10-digit phone numbers such as 1-234-567-8910, just like the ones you use to text friends and family. That’s another way Peerly adds a personal element, with messages coming from individual volunteers, one voter to another.
Tatango operates on dedicated short codes, which are five- or six-digit phone numbers, such as 12345. Dedicated short codes are beneficial for political groups and organizations because they’re easy to remember. For example, if a political candidate places a sign on their podium (as many political candidates do at rallies and press conferences) that says, “Text WIN to 12345,” it’s much easier for the people watching to type that short code into their phone. It’s also more likely they’ll remember the number to use it later and share the phone number with friends and family. The short code is also visibly simple and clean. This simplicity goes a long way in helping political candidates grow their subscriber lists quickly, which results in increased donations, votes, and awareness for their campaigns.
Another benefit of using a short code in a political SMS marketing strategy is the ability to choose the best keywords to relate to specific campaigns. For example, to increase voter turnout in Iowa, a campaign could tell constituents to “Text IOWA to 12345,” which feels more personal to those in Iowa and helps the campaign determine where new subscribers are coming from (the keyword IOWA).
While there’s nothing wrong with long codes, they can look more complex on campaign materials, busses, and podiums. Peerly doesn’t require keywords, so everyone opts in to the same list with no differentiation. That’s fine when there are only a few key text message templates for the entire subscriber list. But as the list grows and communicating with specific demographic segments becomes necessary, keywords can help.
SMS Messaging Speeds
Because Tatango works specifically with political candidates (for whom time is of the essence), sending speed is among the highest priorities for the Tatango platform, which has sent speeds multiple times faster than other A2P messaging platforms. Tatango enables the delivery of millions of text messages in real time.
With Peerly, it’s possible to send up to 13,000 text messages per hour. With Tatango, it’s possible to send 6 million texts per hour (or 100,000 text messages per minute) thanks to its A2P mass text messaging capabilities. (Use this text message speed calculator to determine how long it would take to send to your entire list with Tatango.)
Consider how quickly news changes in an election cycle. Sending messages when it matters most, keeping your constituents updated, so they hear the news from you before anyone else is vital to your campaign. Many clients use Tatango to meet their political fundraising deadlines or share breaking news. With efficiency as a core tenet of Tatango, you can send several text messages per day before important deadlines and receive millions in donations to push your campaign past its fundraising goals.
SMS Campaign Scale
Peerly is a great option for grassroots campaigns beginning to grow their SMS lists and followers. With smaller lists, Peerly can lend a manageable, personal feel.
However, as soon as political organizations start to gain thousands of followers, it makes sense to also work with an A2P text messaging platform like Tatango to easily message thousands of subscribers at once through an application instead of doing it manually.
Tatango grows with your political campaign, enabling you to scale to any size. Tatango has worked with the most prominent names and campaigns in politics, so there’s no risk of outgrowing the platform and having to transition your subscribers later. No matter the current size of your political organization, you can start with Tatango, work with our text messaging experts to grow your SMS subscriber lists quickly, and scale to millions of subscribers, donors, and voters.
Security of Text Messaging Campaigns
Lastly, security is an increasingly important consideration for political campaigns. Tatango has made security one of its core tenets, prioritizing text messaging security measures such as two-factor authentication, automated logout, and secure sending via password to ensure that when you’re messaging millions of people, you’re doing so intentionally. We never want information to get into the wrong hands (on behalf of our clients, fellow citizens, and the country as a whole). Our security measures help us stand apart from our A2P text messaging platform competitors.
Tatango also takes great strides to help clients remain TCPA compliant (within the laws and regulations of the text message marketing industry) to ensure political groups and organizations aren’t at risk of a lawsuit for sending an unwanted political text message.
Partner with Tatango for Political SMS Marketing
If you’re ready to get started with mass political text messaging, Tatango is ready to support you with the fastest send speeds, highest reliability, strongest security, and most experience in the industry. Contact our team of political text messaging experts to get started today.