GOTV (Get Out the Vote) SMS Messages Proven to Work
Inspire more people to sport “I Voted” stickers with these six proven SMS strategies to get out the vote.
Over the past several years, chances are you’ve encountered a text message or two (or three) from a political campaign or other organization around election time. Campaigns and text marketing have emerged as a winning pair in the world of voter mobilization, also known as get out the vote. With sky-high open rates for SMS, it makes sense that organizations are leveraging the power of text marketing.
Read on to uncover six strategies for SMS messages to get out the vote and encourage people to make their voices heard.
What Is GOTV?
"Get out the vote" (GOTV) refers to efforts and strategies to encourage eligible voters to participate in elections and cast their ballots. These campaigns aim to mobilize registered individuals to vote and ensure that they actually show up on election day or participate in early voting or absentee balloting. You might have heard of the term "voter turnout"; GOTV is all about increasing voter turnout through various channels, like social media, email, phone calls, and text messages.
So, who helps to get out the vote? Political campaigns, voter turnout organizations, individual political parties, and even college student groups initiate get-out-the-vote campaigns.
GOTV Text Strategies
Now that you know GOTV, you're probably wondering what get-out-the-vote tactics are most successful. Here are six types of SMS messages that can help with your overall GOTV strategy. And don't forget to check out our tips on SMS alerts post-election.
Your get-out-the-vote campaign should start by ensuring that constituents are registered to vote and, if they aren't, helping them register. Start this portion of your campaign at least a month before Election Day.
If you need to grow your SMS contact list before you begin your campaign, share a dedicated keyword on your social channels and website that people can text to your number. Then, they can opt into your contact list. Here’s more info on how to build a voter contact plan
Election seasons can be overwhelming. People are bombarded with political flyers, TV and radio ads, and nonstop chatter about which friend likes which candidate and why. Your organization needs to make it easy for contacts to access your voter guide or an approved one. Don’t let them swim in a sea of indecision or apathy due to too much information. GOTV voter guide messages can help people understand the issues and feel confident in their views.
Some states allow early voting, while some don't, so this strategy might not be broadly applied. Another caveat is that early voting starts on different days in different states. Confused yet? If the state where you're trying to apply get-out-the-vote efforts has early voting, it's important to capitalize on that. Proponents of early voting note that it helps more people vote (who might not be able to make it on polling day) and cuts wait times at the polls.
Election Day Information
About a week before Election Day, send out texts to your contact base with polling day info, like the date, times, polling locations, and what they need to bring (most states require some form of identification to vote). Then, schedule another GOVT Election Day text to be sent the day before polling.
Election Day Planning
In addition to Election Day info, some people might need assistance with planning for transportation, babysitters, accessibility, and so on. Some advocacy organizations and other groups offer this kind of help with their get-out-the-vote efforts. This is a great opportunity to use two-way SMS, where contacts can have one-to-one conversations with you regarding questions, planning information, and more.
Election Day Reminder
Election Day reminders should be sent the day before and the morning of polling to capture all the last-minute planners. Keep these messages short and sweet. If you’re part of a political campaign, now is another perfect time to leverage political texts to ask the contact if you can count on their vote or if they need any additional information before deciding.
Get Out The Vote With EZ Texting
Make your GOTV strategies seamless and scalable with EZ Texting. We offer bulk texting and easy contact management to ensure that your contacts receive personalized messages at the right time — which is crucial for SMS marketing for government entities and political organizations. Sign up with EZ Texting today!