While sending a regular SMS text is an effective way to reach out and talk to voters, our data shows that on average, sending a text with a multimedia attachment embedded into the messagedoubles the response rate compared to sending just a regular SMS text.
MMS Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Texting: Personalized text messages sent one at a time by a volunteer to constituents/voters that includes a multimedia attachment such as a picture, infographic, video, audio file or GIF embedded in the actual text message itself.
These are different than regular SMS Peer-to-Peer texts that only include text:
Of Course You Can’t Send Just Any Random Picture
To really resonate with people, we aimed to create engaging content that was relevant and personalized to the recipient. We even developed a way to personalize a graphic with the recipients name on it so the photo was custom tailored for them.
Reaching out to voters and holding peoples attention can be hard, which is exactly what makes P2P texting so powerful. Instead of competing over crowded channels, put your message right in the palm of voters’ hands by texting it to them.
Campaign Highlight: Brian Mast for Congress (FL-18)
One of the many unique uses of our MMS texting technology was what the Brian Mast campaign did down in the 18th congressional district of Florida. Their team ran a fantastic texting program that included sending both SMS and MMS messages to targeted audiences throughout both the primary and the general.
We worked closely with them on a particularly effective use of MMS texting where the campaign sent out messages to mid-low propensity voters in the district that included a graphic of the live updated turnout numbers and a message urging them to get out and cast their ballot.
They sent this to 11,381 people and received a 13.9% response rate, ultimately winning the seat.
Then The System Crashed…
One of the biggest challenges that every campaign/organization/cause faced when trying to send MMS peer-to-peer texts during the midterms was deliverability.
In the final 72 hours leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, there was a sudden service outage caused by a dramatic spike in the amount of P2P texts being sent by parties on both sides of the aisle persuading or reminding people to vote. This massive spike in traffic overwhelmed a key service provider and caused a near total collapse of their Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) network.
This meant that anyone trying to send texts with media attachments such as pictures, videos and gifs were unable to get their messages out during the most critical time to be engaging with constituents.
…But RumbleUp Emerged Unscathed!
The most notable benefit our MMS campaigns had over others was that RumbleUp clients were able to deliver all of their messages without a problem, even when a key downstream provider crash dramatically impacted everyone else.
All P2P companies who relied on the crashed provider reduced any client that had to send 10,000 MMS messages or more down to 72 messages per hour and the provider asked P2P companies to have their campaigns reduce their SMS messages down to 160 characters (from 320 characters).
Meanwhile, the average volunteer on our system could continue to send 2,500 messages per hour and most of our campaigns had dozens of volunteers sending. They could also keep their messages up to 320 characters and include an MMS multimedia attachment up to 500KB.
To our knowledge, we were one of the few (if not the only) P2P company that was able to continue delivering messages without a hitch, throughout the entire election cycle.
Even without this outage, those sending MMS text messages to voters faced the challenge of creating optimized content that was both personalized and engaging.
We are proud to have been able to deliver all of our messages, even throughout a provider crash in the 72 hours before election day, and to be recognized with a Gold Pollie (the highest recognition in the political campaign industry — less than 1/10th of 1% of entries earn the top honor of a Gold Pollie) by the American Association of Political Consultants this year for best use of this new tactic.
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