SMS for politics: Cutting through the confusion

Ahead of the UK Local Elections, enhancing campaigns with mobile messaging can be politician’s secret weapon to victory this May…

With text messaging becoming a big player during elections in the US, we ask the question; how can UK politicians use mobile messaging to share their message and cut through the growing noise that surrounds the current political landscape?

As the UK has proceeded through Brexit negotiations since 2016, confusion and mixed messages have overwhelmed the public, leaving many scratching their heads on what outcome will deliver the best scenario. On the run-up to the Local Elections, we’re in a time when messages, ideologies and policies need to be communicated directly and without room for interpretation.

So, what’s the solution? Social media has proven to be a powerful platform for political parties and individual politicians to broadcast their ideas; allowing people to share, comment and start conversations to those who follow them (and the people who follow them). However, social media is still struggling to reach all demographics, as some choose more traditional methods of communication, certainly when it comes to choosing which politician gets their vote.

93% of the population own a smartphone, and every single one of those devices has the capability to send and receive SMS. That makes it the channel that’s most direct, with the most reach for local politicians to secure votes this May. Here’s how SMS can be used at every touch point of the campaign journey.

Build your support network of mobile numbers

Using a keyword and short, five-digit number, Donald Trump rapidly grew a contact list of willing supporters by using it as a call-to-action on his website. This is easily repeatable with a Textlocal Messenger account and is the most effective way to build a list of opted-in numbers.

At every opportunity, voters can be given the option to be kept updated by a political party or campaigner by texting a simple keyword like ‘VOTE’ to 60777 and in return, receive automatic and scheduled messages which, importantly, will always be welcomed.

Recruit and update volunteers

Sending a broadcast SMS to your members inviting them to help out is a simple way to recruit volunteers. Those available to help can reply ‘YES’ enabling you to get in touch with further details. Once you’ve enlisted your volunteers you can keep them updated via SMS with up-coming meetings and campaign training.

By integrating SMS into your voter contact platforms with our API, you can schedule messages to go out automatically when your supporter’s memberships are due to run out and invite them to renew by including a link to your website where they can do so.

Sharing ideas and policies

When canvassing an entire area is unrealistic, the opted-in contact list generated via the short number is vital. A message out to your list not only gives an instant reach; a wealth of information can be shared by uploading digital copies of your campaign collateral to send as an SMS attachment.

This could be any file; word documents, PDF’s of printed collateral or newsletters. When voters are receiving a wealth of information during this time, the 97% open rate of a text message is a vital asset.

Tap into the thoughts of your constituents

When getting out and speaking to members of the public, many politicians tend to use long forms to gather information, if at all. Mobile surveys are completely customisable and delivered within a text message, enabling voters to fill out the form at their leisure on their mobile device and taking away the pain of lengthy forms.

Securing the vote

SMS reminders are a great way to let contacts know when there’s a town hall meeting or any other campaign event going on. When things happen last minute, a text message can be sent with the confidence that on average, 90% of them will be read within three minutes. Even post-election, SMS updates and alerts are just as relevant to keep residents in the know.

The beauty of text messages is how quickly it takes to pull your messages together and send out. When things happen last minute, using the Messenger platform and sending an SMS to your supporters can take as little as a couple of minutes. To integrate SMS into your communications and enhance your campaigns ahead of the May elections, sign up today to our Messenger platform.

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open rate

Over 98% of the text messages sent from our SMS tool are opened and read. That’s unmatched communication power for your business. Try it for yourself.