How to Boost Your Campaign With Political Text Messages

The most significant advantage of mobile marketing or text messaging is its immediacy. Today most people carry their cell phones with them at all times. So when a text message is sent, it is guaranteed that it has reached its target audience, no matter where they are. Mobile marketing is a great way to connect to your target audience when you have a time bound message that needs to get going right away.

A campaign message sent via email can probably get lost among the many messages in your inbox and thus miss out on the intended purpose. On the other hand, text messages sent to cell phones have a high probability of hitting the target.

Elections are all about getting the attention of the voters. Conventional campaign tactics are the key when it comes to engaging older voters. However, with young voters, the traditional campaign tactic may not work. Young people are mostly seen walking down the street with their cell phones and statistics suggest that people in the age group of 18-29 use text messaging more often than voice to communicate. So mobile marketing can be used to gain the maximum response from these potential young voters.

In political campaigns, anything that encourages voter engagement is a great advantage and there is no better way to engage young adults than through text messaging or mobile advertising.

Innovation is the name of the game

Mobile marketing is the simplest and the most efficient way to promote your candidate or political party. However, novelty is the key to any political campaign. Your political campaign will be unique if you offer your potential voters something valuable.

  • Send bulk SMS giving general information about the candidate who is contesting the election.
  • Conduct some contests and ask people to send their replies using a short code. Give mobile coupons to winners of the contest.
  • Come up with a unique way of providing information about your candidate.

Features of text messaging for political campaigns

Mobile marketing has several benefits over other ways of getting the attention of the voters. The cost of sending a text message is significantly less than the cost of phoning a voter or doing a door-to-door campaign. Also, the response rates to text messages are much higher than the response rate to e-mail messages. Some of the striking features of text message marketing or mobile advertising are:

  • Conduct surveys about your voters
  • Remind people about the cut-off dates for voter registration
  • Ask voters to send their ballots to vote absentee
  • Notify supporters when the candidate is speaking in their areas
  • Send invites to voters to join your text messaging service to receive voting reminders
  • Remind constituents to come out and vote on Election Day
  • Encourage down-ballet candidates.

President Obama’s great success with mobile marketing

The first instance of bulk SMS being used in the US for political campaigns was during the 2004 US Democratic and Republican National Conventions. In the 2008 US Presidential Elections, Barack Obama relied heavily upon SMS marketing to successfully campaign his presidential election. Obama sent bulk SMS to people announcing his VP Candidate before going to the mainstream press. He also sent bulk SMS to his supporters asking them to remind their friends to vote. Mobile marketing technology gave Obama a huge advantage over his competitors and helped him win the Election. By the 2012 election, text messages will help political campaigns collect donations from the cell-phone users and the donations will be charged to the users’ phone bill.

Mobile advertising creates such an impact on the political campaign that omitting it from a political media strategy can be the difference between losing and winning the election.

Anthony Wayne is a consultant for  He is also an expert on Mobile Marketing for []political campaigns.

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