Election is a game of numbers, it is the desire of every candidate and political party to be able to conveniently reach out to as many people as they can. Therefore, they are ready to invest a lot into any platform that would enable them reach out to a large number of people within a short period of time. Political parties want the support and the attention of the public, they look for the most affordable and easiest method of passing their message across. There are various ways in which they can achieve that. They can go from door to door educating people about their ambitions, they can paste posters and distribute flyers, they can also hold rallies as well as placing adverts on television and radio stations.
However, these methods are not as effective as SMS (short message service). For political parties in recent times, mass text messaging can be an effective tool for reaching out to a lot of people at the same time. This is similar to SMS marketing but in this case it is used to get the attention and the support of people. It can be referred to as election SMS, this method involves the use of text messages to send important information by candidates or political parties to their members or the general public. Why is SMS regarded as the best method for this purpose? According to a recent study, it has shown that 98% of the text messages sent are received and opened within 3 minutes by the recipient. Also, a large number of people are using mobile devices that are capable of receiving text messages. Mobile devices are very personal to the user, they are portable, and they are carried everywhere, this means that the messages sent through SMS are easily checked. This as shown that election SMS is the best choice for any candidate or political party to reach out to people.
Political parties and candidates send various kinds of messages during election. Below are examples of how Election SMS can be constructed.
Dear citizens, please ensure to cast your vote during the election which would hold on the 18th of march, 2019. Sir Donald
We welcome volunteers to support our election campaign and help educate people to cast their vote to the right candidate. Signed: CCC Party.
“We are united” is our slogan and we stand by that. Cast your vote for Jordan and elect him as your mayor.
There are various reasons why mass text messaging is the best choice for Election SMS than any other method. Some of the benefits are
SMS has a high response rate than any other method, even more than Email marketing. This is due to the fact that SMS doesn’t need internet connection before you can send and receive text messages, so people don’t need to be connected to the internet before they can receive text messages. Also, nowadays everyone is with their mobile phones and everyone reads SMS as a first priority. Opening rates of SMS are really very high. 98% of the text messages sent are received and opened within 3 minutes by the recipient. Compared to Email, it has a very high open rate.
SMS is the cheapest form of advertising compared to other platforms such as; Billboards, TV and Radio adverts, and other outdoor advertisement programs. Therefore, it has a high return on investments (ROI). The affordability has made it an essential marketing tool for any modern political party.
The most popular methods for candidates and political parties to reach out to people is through Emails, TV and radio broadcasting. However, SMS is a unique method of getting across to a lot of people at the same time. It attracts the public to support the political campaign.
Sending SMS to the public creates trust and personal
It has been established that SMS is the best choice for candidates and political parties to reach out to people. However, how can this be achieved? How can political parties send out texts and it would be delivered to everyone at once? The answer to the questions is ExpressText. Express text is a service provider that allows people to send out mass text messages, it can also be used for election SMS. Express Text is a service provider that is used by both big and small companies.
For those who are not familiar with mass text messaging, the process is easy and direct. A candidate or political party is required to sign up with an SMS based platform like Express Text. After creating an account, the political party can either upload/import a contact list or add contacts directly. Then, all it takes is to type in a message and click on send. That single message will be sent to the whole contact list that was uploaded, but can also be sent to a small subgroup or selected contacts. Texts can also be customised to each recipient’s name and still be sent with one click.
Data collected from citizens is stored in a database and retrieved when required. All value-added features are available for easy use on SMS platforms.
An important aspect of Election SMS is that it is permission based. Without the consent of individuals, companies cannot send texts to people. To gain permission, political parties have to create an ‘SMS campaign’. An SMS campaign consists of a keyword and shortcode. The shortcode is unique to each business (also provided by ExpressText). It is a short 4-5 digit code through which the candidate or political party sends text messages. It is a replacement for the long numbers mainly because it is easy for people to remember and join in the campaign at ease. The keyword, on the other hand is usually one word long which people send as the message. Political parties send out a text inviting people to join the campaign e.g. ‘Send VOTE to 2789’ to receive messages from the candidate. Interested citizens will follow the instructions and opt into the service. Political parties also need to make it clear to people that they can opt out of the service as well. If they fail to take permission or allow people to opt out of the service, they are likely to face legal actions. Hence, candidates and political parties. need to be careful in these matters in order to avoid such consequences.