When COVID-19 halted traditional campaigning, one congressional candidate increased voter engagement using peer-to-peer (P2P) texting, achieving victory against the incumbent on election day.
Increasing Voter Engagement With P2P Texting
The odds were stacked against this congressional candidate at the beginning of her political campaign. Not only was she running against an incumbent for a hotly contested Congressional seat, her team suddenly needed to adapt to a contactless campaign.
To give her the edge to win, their team turned to us to help. We helped them increase voter engagement in a way that stood out and made a lasting impact by using every tool our platform provides. As a result, they were able to use virtual outreach throughout the initial phases of COVID to keep up their voter engagement.
In the beginning, the team started their texting program by focusing on distributing public health information regarding COVID relief. This was a perfect way to introduce the candidate to the community. – It demonstrated not only that her first priority was protecting voters’ health, but also that she was forward-thinking in how to communicate by choosing to text them this information. Her team was sending out texts asking people if they had everything they needed to be safe and included links to resources that might be of use to them.
After establishing the candidate’s name, ID, and positioning her as a reliable resource for COVID relief to the community, the team began texting out persuasion messages. The district this candidate was in had unique demographics where a significant portion of the population spoke Vietnamese as their first language. To accommodate this, the campaign split up their audiences based on language preference and fully utilized our platform’s ability to send text messages with Unicode characters to send texts in Vietnamese to those who spoke it. Going to these lengths for genuine voter contact showed that she desired to listen to everyone she would be representing.
How Voter Engagement Was Improved
A key element of their multilingual texting program that made them stand out was the team’s commitment to responding. While this is typically overlooked, we have seen firsthand that it can mean the difference between winning and losing. Our client’s ability to easily manage responses was made possible by two unique platform enhancements we provided to them.
The first one, Tap-Then-Send, allowed the team to load custom pre-written responses to cut down on the time volunteers spent writing each response to replies. The second enhancement, Rapid Respond mode, reformatted volunteers’ screens to sequentially show unreplied messages in a flow that let them manage responses up to 50% faster.
These unique features allowed the campaign to scale up their team’s ability to respond to voters, which resulted in higher quality conversations and increased engagement. One of the best examples of this was their volunteer recruitment messages. Rapid Respond mode allowed the campaign to respond back to people right away, which is vital in order to keep the conversation going. Campaigns often lose the recipient’s attention by taking too long to respond, but our client had the tools to prevent this. This is why they were able to schedule interviews and successfully recruit volunteers through texting. Without this feature, they would have lost potential volunteers, making a big difference in their campaign.
Another way we helped them was by including multimedia attachments to their texts to increase their response rates even further. With our system, we had them texting up to the final hour with targeted GOTV texts.
Voter Engagement with P2P Texting Produced Results
In the end, our client won by a margin of 2.2% — only 8,376 votes made the difference! We are proud to have enabled our client to get the absolute most out of what can be accomplished through P2P text messaging by having meaningful voter engagement that moved the needle.
Interested in getting started with P2P texting? Sign up at rumbleup.com, text us at 833-530-4400, or reach out to our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about how texting can best work for you!