We’re stepping into the pulse of election season. Political candidates are starting their campaign engines and text messaging is the key to reaching more people than ever before. Political texting services, like ClickSend, are a game-changer. They make it easy for hopeful and elected politicians to connect with their constituents via text.

We’ll explain:

  • The power of a political campaign texting service
  • Political SMS marketing laws
  • Campaign texting strategies for politics
  • Political SMS marketing for key campaign moments
  • How to get started with a texting service

The power of a political campaign texting service

In 2022, more than 15 billion political texts were sent. Sending a regular campaign message has become a key part of political campaigns. So much so that Americans received approximately 39 texts for every political call in 2022.  

Bulk SMS for political campaigns is more effective than other channels too. According to a 2022 study, political texts get opened from 70-98% of the time and in 40% to 50% of cases, people actually respond. So, you can start an all important conversation and win votes.

The open rate of campaign messages is significantly higher than email open rates or answers to phone calls. 

And, by using a political campaign texting service like ClickSend, you can message thousands of constituents at once. Plus, your texts can be personalised and scheduled in advance to save your team time on the campaign trail.

Laying down the political SMS marketing laws

Before you send your campaign slogan and election promises out by text — you need to understand the laws and regulations for text messaging in the United States. 

If you’re looking for specific rules for  political campaign texting — the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are your guide for navigating the regulatory landscape. 

You must understand opt-in rules
You want to run a clean campaign and it’s crucial for political campaigns to adhere to FCC guidelines. 

One of the key things to understand is that your constituents must opt-in to receiving text messages. You must obtain their explicit consent before you add them to your SMS contact list. 

Our compliance team highly recommends establishing a strong opt-in from voters. This is because the networks and carriers audit the provenance of recipients regularly. If too many people ‘opt out’ (a threshold at around 4%) a carrier may establish that your lists lack recipient consent and you may be penalised.

Use a political campaign texting service to manage opt ins

It’s a good idea to use a trusted and compliant texting service that understands the regulations, like ClickSend. High-quality political texting services have compliance built-in so you can collect numbers using safe methods. For example:

  • Sync SMS with your Website Forms
    Candidates can integrate website forms with opt-in boxes, ensuring that when visitors sign up to your email list, they willingly agree to receive messages too. 

    This not only guarantees compliance but also builds a database for future communication efforts.
  • Text-to-opt-in
    You can encourage voters to opt-in to your campaign by sharing a campaign number and prompting supporters to text a specific keyword to that number. For example, “Text VOTE to 33556.”

    You can set up an automated response to make sure the voter is included in your database. 
  • Auto opt-outs
    If a voter decides to opt out of receiving messages, you need to respect their request and take them off your contact list. However, if you’re managing thousands of contacts this can be time consuming. 

    ClickSend has an auto opt-out feature where voters are removed from contact lists automatically so you can spend time on winning the battlegrounds.

Create a texting political campaign strategy

We know you’ve got your campaign strategy locked down. But, have you thought about your text message political campaign strategy? Don’t worry we’ve got five top tips to get your campaign message into the hearts, minds and hands of voters.

  1. Start growing your SMS subscriber list early.
    Your subscriber list is the heartbeat of your texting campaign. The more people you have on your contact list, the more voters you can reach. Set your website up to collect mobile opt-ins. And leverage email, social media, and events for list building. Make sure you’re collecting details (and SMS consent) every step of the way.
  1. Spend time crafting the campaign messages
    The impact of your SMS campaign hinges on the persuasiveness of your messages. Utilise data analytics to understand your audience better and craft messages that resonate with their values and concerns. 

    Use A/B testing to continually refine and optimise your messaging strategy.
  1. Use texting to reach the Gen Z audience
    Once you’ve grown your list, demographic analysis is equally vital. Texting is an effective channel for reaching the elusive Gen Z voters. According to Digital Consultant, Colin Delany, “texts are one of the few things that younger voters will actually see”.

    If your list is Gen Z and millennial heavy, make sure you craft messages that resonate with these demographics.
  1. Go beyond plain text with multimedia
    They say that politics is perception. Help your constituents understand who you are and what you stand for with images. You can use MMS to grow your campaign’s impact and reinforce your brand image — it’s just as simple as using SMS via a political texting service. 

    Understand the psychology behind visuals and use them strategically to convey your message effectively
  1. Compliance and legal considerations
    When it comes to campaign message campaigns, data privacy and compliance are non-negotiable. Strict adherence to regulations builds trust with your voters — which is your political currency. You should put robust processes for handling opt-outs and unsubscribe requests in place. 

    Using a trusted political campaign texting service like ClickSend can help. We understand the rules, regulations and your requirements. 
  1. Partner with the right SMS software
    Choosing the right platforms and tools to support your tool is extremely important. Choose a political texting service that has complaint number registration processes in place, automotive opt-in and opt-out capability and round the clock customer support. 

ClickSend offers all the above and more. We;d love to help you with your campaign messages and bulk sms for political campaigns. Book a free demo with our experts today. 

How to use political SMS marketing for each key campaign moment

The road to office is long and you’ll need to communicate with your voters at every turn. From your campaign announcement to the ballot box — here’s how you can use SMS for every key campaign milestone. 

Remember, there can be too much of a good thing. Always use SMS strategically so it’s inline with your campaign plan and keep the demographics, behaviours and attitudes of your contact list in mind. 

Campaign announcement
Send a bulk SMS announcing the campaign launch, introducing the candidate, and directing recipients to the campaign website for more information.

Town hall meetings and community events remind supporters of upcoming town hall meetings. You can share the event details and encourage attendance via SMS. Then follow up with thank-you messages and highlightd after the event.

For your highly engaged audiences, you could send them real-time updates and insights during debates. Use text to encourage supporters to tune in and ask them to share their thoughts on social media.

Super Tuesday
Throughout the day, send real-time updates on voter turnout, campaign process, and any significant developments. This creates a sense of community and involvement among supporters.

Post-Super Tuesday SMS blast
Send an SMS blast to update supporters on the campaign’s performance, express gratitude for their support, and outline next steps.

Policy Speeches
Share summaries of important policy speeches via SMS, linking to the full text on the campaign website. Make sure you encourage supporters to share the candidate’s stance with their online network.

Keep constituents in the loop with any high-profile endorsements through SMS, emphasising the increased momentum and credibility for the campaign.

Fundraising events
Send targeted SMS messages to potential smaller donors. You can promote fundraising events and send personalised invites. Send thank-you messages to donors afterward.

Campaign Ads
Use bulk SMS for political campaigns to share campaign ads via MMS. It’s a great way to reach supporters directly with impactful messages. Include a call-to-action, such as volunteering or donating.

Volunteer Management
Use a political texting service to manage your pool of volunteers. It’s an easy way to organise people, remind them of events and shifts, and share important updates quickly.

Your social media campaign
Send SMS alerts about live streams, Q&A sessions, and any online action you’d like supporters to take. Include links to the candidate’s social media profiles for easy engagement.

Woman holding up a mobile phone with 'I voted today' on the screen

Get-Out-the-Vote (GOT) Efforts
Use SMS for a final push, reminding supporters of rallies, sharing positive campaign developments, and encouraging them to get out the vote.

Election Day
Send SMS reminders to supporters throughout Election Day, emphasising the importance of voting. Provide information on polling hours and locations.

Victory or concession speech
Send a victory or concession message via SMS to all supporters, expressing gratitude for their support and outlining the next steps for the campaign.

If you plan on using a text message political campaign, make sure your SMS communications are compliant with regulations. And always provide recipients with the option to opt-out of receiving messages.

Personalise messages when possible and use SMS strategically to complement other campaign efforts.

Get started with ClickSend: a trusted political campaign texting service

Ready to make the most of the election cycle? Here’s how to get started with ClickSend today.

  1. Set up your free ClickSend account here. There’s a free 14-day trial. Plus, our pay-as-you-go model ensures you only pay for the messages you send, with no subscription commitments.
  1. Secure a dedicated SMS and MMS number: Easily get a dedicated number for your campaign. Numbers are available via the Dashboard for less than $2 per month.

    Dedicated numbers are a requirement for sending to mobile numbers in the US and Canada.
  1. Register your number: Follow our prompts to register your dedicated number. Once your number is registered with carriers, you can send messages to voters and supporters within days.

Power through your political campaign with texting

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