OK, this isn’t one of my regular Muth’s Truths on how to run a winning campaign, but I’m just gonna throw it out there…
Don’t p*ss off potential supporters!
Sounds like no-brainer advice, but…
During the course of lunch yesterday, I received not one, not two, not three, but FOUR unsolicited text messages from campaigns. And yes, despite being in politics, I was more than a little annoyed.
From experience when I tried peer-to-peer text messaging in 2022, I can tell you that the response from others is more like outrage. They didn’t sign up for such texts and I’ve seen the expletive-filled responses some have typed in.
I remember one who wrote something like, “I was going to vote for you, but now that you’ve texted my cell phone without my permission, I’m voting for your opponent. You can go to…”
Well, you know.
For my part, I just typed in “Stop.” But my fear is that even doing that lets the text-spammers know it’s a good number – and now it’s being shared with a bunch of other campaigns.
Many consultants love text-spamming. Higher open rates than email and comparatively dirt cheap. But it’s p*ssing people off – even otherwise supporters.
There are laws against email spam. I foresee laws against text spam coming down the pike.
For your part, you’re gonna have to make a decision between communicating via text to a large number of voters, who didn’t sign up for your text messages, for a cheap price…or avoid all the negative blowback your campaign would otherwise receive by not spamming them.
My lunch was with a former legislative candidate who didn’t win a couple cycles ago. His campaign consultant pushed him to do text-spamming. He believes it was a significant factor in his very close loss.
My opinion – after seeing both sides – is to spend your time building your OPT-IN text list the same way you build your email list. Get permission. Yes, it takes more work. But whoever said this was going to be easy?
You win elections by addition, not subtraction. Text-spamming subtracts voters who otherwise might be open to your candidacy. I just don’t think it’s worth the risk.
And it won’t be long now before the government clamps down on text-spamming the way it cracked down on email spamming.