Text messaging is a powerful way to reach your supporters no matter the strategic or tech approach you take. Texting is faster than making phone calls and can deliver better response rates, plus it garners higher clickthrough and conversion rates than email campaigns. Since texting emerged as a tool for campaigns nearly a decade ago, there’s been one dominant approach: treat texts to your supporters similar to bulk emails. With this approach, you create your list and shoot off a one-size-fits all message. Or maybe you cut your list geographically or based on an issue area then fire off your message. This is a perfectly fine approach to text messaging, and one we’ve often used with clients who send texts through NationBuilder’s built-in texting tool. Of course there is a lot more nuance to what people with large text lists can do using the blast approach, but I don’t want to get too deep into that today because I think you get the picture.
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A true force in texting innovation comes from Hustle, and we’ve partnered with them to bring this approach to Canada. Hustle’s innovation is that it scales 1:1 text messaging, so an organizer can maintain dozens or even hundreds of active conversations simultaneously. This innovation is accomplished through a couple different interlocking pieces.
First, the use of scripts that a campaign manager develops ahead of time for their organizers that allows messages to auto-populate to get conversations started, to continue those conversations, and to answer common questions.
These scripts speed up engagement dramatically when compared to individual texts sent through the messages app on your phone.
The second piece to Hustle’s innovation is their web and mobile UI, which is designed specifically for organizers who want to engage large supporter bases. This UI allows organizers to manage all of their conversation quickly and efficiently while also keeping track of who is committing to the ask or updating their info.
Like any digital strategy decision, you should allow your goals to drive your technology choices, and both the traditional approach to texting and the more robust Hustle method each have merit depending on the context. If you’re looking to reach everyone with a single simple message then blast away. But if you’re looking to truly engage your supporters and develop longer term relationships with the people on your list, you need to get hustling.
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