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SMS Marketing Helped Political Campaigns Like Obama’s

Posted by Justin McIntire on Apr 10, 2018

Obama Successfully Used SMS Marketing


No matter where you are in America, it always feels like election season. Whether it’s for a small office in a municipality or a nationwide campaign, organizers are turning to a surprising way to communicate with their supporters: text messages. That’s because using SMS marketing to engage supporters is the most effective way to garner support and organize your base in order to get your candidate or cause into the spotlight.


In fact, Barack Obama’s team used smart mobile marketing and grassroots organizing to drive up their candidate’s popularity and help win him the election.

Here are a few ways that texting can help your political campaign better engage with your supporters!

Use Mobile Keywords to Foster Support

By having your supporters text in just one word, a mobile keyword makes it easy for you to establish two-way communications with your supporters. Include your keyword and short code in political advertisements, on social media, or on your posters and mailers to maximize your reach.

In fact, both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ted Cruz both asked their supporters to text in a keyword during their speeches announcing their candidacy. And Bernie Sanders got over 50,000 new mobile contacts in a few hours by rallying supporters to text in during one of his campaign rallies.

One of the best things about text keywords is that if you have an advanced SMS software suite like Trumpia, you can then use the signup process to learn more about your supporters. So when a contact signs up to receive your text messages, our intelligent system can then ask them questions about what issues are important to them, where they could volunteer, or even demographic questions to better understand who your base is.

Text Message Marketing Isn't Limited to One Channel

Let’s be honest. Money doesn't necessarily win elections, but it certainly influences them. That’s why campaigns must always be on the hunt to raise more funds. But instead of relying on just one channel like email to get donations, try an omni-channel communications approach to Increase exposure by leveraging all of today’s most popular channels for communication. Obama’s team didn't limit their mobile marketing approach to just one channel, and by doing this they both engaged the young people who use their phones and older users who may be more comfortable with email and voice broadcasts.

If you choose a multi-channel platform like Trumpia, you have control over text, MMS picture messaging, email, voice broadcasts, and social media to give you multiple ways to reach your audience and mobilize your supporters. Someone doesn’t ever read emails? That’s fine; you can text them. Someone doesn’t want to divulge their personal information? Reach them through social media.

Conduct SMS Surveys of Supporters

Polling is an art, just as much as it is a science. But either way, no poll is truly accurate without a sample size large enough to be representative. With a response rate 750% higher than email, SMS surveys will get you enough feedback, so that your campaign can actually make decisions that reflect your supporters’ real values. Trumpia goes beyond simple surveys with our unique Response Based Automation which branches depending on how someone responds.

Whether it’s asking supporters their thoughts on a new proposition or just gathering more information on what’s important to them, text surveys allow your campaign to get actionable feedback from supporters and make them feel like they are being heard.

Cut Campaigning Costs with Text Marketing Automation

Volunteers are the backbone of any successful ground game. But if you’re still spread thin, an advanced SMS solution like Trumpia with text marketing automation can do some powerful things for you, freeing up your time for more pressing matters. It can do anything from sending relevant updates based on what you know about a supporter, or even having our system automatically walk new voters through the signup or volunteer process.

If a volunteer needs to know their assignment or directions to the event, our Interactive Text Response (ITR) system can automatically direct them to the information they need. Or if a prospective donor wants to know more information about your candidate before contributing, Trumpia’s system can send them to your website instantly.

Talk to Your Supporters via Text Messaging

Supporters that feel they are being listened to will be more likely to support you in the future. With Trumpia, you can text-enable your landline number, meaning your volunteers and donors will be able to call or text the same number. This means you can both receive feedback and reach out to individual donors or send a message to your entire database instantly.


Plus at things like events or rallies, set up a live text chat on a big screen so that the audience can voice their opinions and ideas and better interact with your candidates.

Save Time By Coordinating with SMS

Call centers are important for political campaigns, but they are expensive. And even though email is frequently used for mass communication, it has just an average read rate of 22%.


Keeping up with your email while you are coordinating an event is impossible, and using walkie talkies to communicate with dozens of people can be chaotic. But with SMS messaging, you can send out short messages with reminders to volunteers to make sure things run smoothly.

That’s because texting has a 98% read rate, so it ensures that your messages to staff, donors, and volunteers will actually be seen. This allows you to save time and manpower by having coordinators text volunteers information and directions so that they carry out your vision and help your campaign in the most impactful ways.

The Obama election proved that a coordinated ground game is vital to a successful bid. Text marketing is the best way to make sure your field teams get the right information and spend their time efficiently. Now you can say goodbye to the days of relying solely on cold calling and trying to organize volunteers the old-fashioned way.

Are you looking to help a candidate in an upcoming election? Click here to learn more about SMS marketing!


View Our SMS Marketing Page!

Topics: Political Campaign

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