4 SMS Marketing Techniques to Steal from the Presidential Candidates

After months of reading their texts, here are a few strategies we think are worth imitating.

IMGE Studies Marketing Strategy

Should you use emojis in your SMS marketing? If you’re running for president, apparently not.

That’s one of the many patterns we observed after we signed up to receive SMS messages from every presidential campaign. By taking a peek under the hood at how some of the biggest campaigns are using text messages as a part of their digital strategy, we got an inside look at the state of text messages in politics.

Here are some of the emerging best practices that we saw.

1. Make Your Welcome Series the Perfect Length

How long is the perfect welcome series of texts? If you trust the presidential campaigns’ strategy, the answer is clear: three messages.

The average welcome text chain across all campaigns made use of three messages to warm up the user to receiving SMS messages: one that announced the sender and confirmed the opt-in, an additional data request for a zip code or content preferences, and a final thank you message promising to follow up with the user soon.

2. Use SMS around Live Events

Both Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar sent us texts inviting us to a livestream of one of their campaign events, with a one-click option for us to join at precisely the right moment.
90% of texts are read within 5 minutes of receipt. That makes SMS a natural fit for promoting a live event.

3. Create Bonus Series of Content with an Extra Opt-In

Worried if you’re sending too many messages – or too few? There’s an easy answer for that: ask your subscribers to opt in to specific content series.

Here’s Elizabeth Warren asking us if we’d like to receive an alert every time she puts out a policy plan:

Series like these can be long-term or short-term. For example, both the Booker and Harris campaigns ran additional live-text updates from the September primary debate – but checked in with us before blowing up our phones that night.

Having your users opt-in to clearly described content series guarantees that they are getting precisely the messages they want – and you aren’t devoting resources to sending unwanted content.

4. Remember to Keep It Conversational

In your personal life, text messages are rarely one and done – they are the start of a conversation. Use menus to automate a conversation between your SMS content and subscribers for interactive, custom-tailored content.

Is your brand or campaign using best practices in its SMS program? Talk to our marketing experts about your SMS program today.

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