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How Are Political Candidates Using SMS Marketing?



When you consider 99% open rates for SMS marketing, 90% of which are opened within three minutes, it’s no wonder that political candidates want to use text message marketing to reach voters. So how are these candidates leveraging SMS marketing? We’ve narrowed it down to three specific tactics.

But before we get into those, first keep in mind that each tactic requires a political candidate to build an SMS subscriber database before doing anything. This means a political candidate has to have people opt-in to receive their text messages in some way. This could be by entering their phone number into a website, or by texting a keyword to a five to six-digit phone number, also known as a short code. For example, a consumer could text “Vote” to 12345. Once consumers have opted in to messaging, the candidate can then leverage SMS marketing in one of three ways.


Strategy One: Voter Encouragement

With the subscriber base established, candidates can now begin to act. The most common action that we see political candidates take is encouraging their subscribers to get out and vote. So the day before, the week before, or the day of voting, these candidates remind their subscribers about the importance of voting, and generally pair that message with a resource to help voters find the nearest polling station near them.

biden text message marketing


Strategy Two: Donations

Political campaigns are not cheap, and it would be wasteful not to take advantage of a newly-acquired subscriber base. The second most common step we see political candidates take is to ask for mobile donations. If a political candidate can easily ask thousands of people for monetary support, then that’s a potential influx of campaign funding that could open the door for other, more ambitious marketing campaigns.


Strategy Three: Spur To Action

Outside of asking their base to vote and donate, one of the most effective uses of SMS marketing by a political candidate is directly calling for action. This can take many forms: it could be an announcement about a local rally, where the location and time are given freely; it could be an event of some kind held by the campaign; it could be a call to action in the form of protests or petition signatures; the list goes on and on. When SMS marketing results in 99% open rates, these kinds of calls to action can be incredibly impactful and influential.


Political SMS Marketing

Those are the three most common and most effective ways we’ve seen political candidates utilize SMS marketing. Once they’ve established an interested subscriber base, they can encourage voting, donations, and real-world action on a massive scale. From a monetary and political perspective, SMS marketing provides a lot of value.

We hope this was helpful to you, and answered some of your questions. If you’re interested in other aspects of SMS marketing, or if you have yet-unanswered questions, we encourage you to check out our resource library. We’ve created and curated a wealth of resources to support anyone interested in SMS, RCS, or MMS marketing. If you’d like to create your own campaign, feel free to give us a call.

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