Peer-to-peer texting campaigns are a staple in the digital organizing world. Given how easy and efficient it is to send peer-to-peer texts, it’s no wonder that advocacy organizations, nonprofits, unions, and campaigns use peer-to-peer texting as a large part of their outreach strategy. In fact, Democratic campaigns and progressive organizations sent over 150 million messages to voters nationwide in 2020 with Impactive, urging people to vote, donate, or interact with a campaign somehow. However, the number of texts sent isn’t the only indicator of a great peer-to-peer texting campaign.

So how do organizers create the best peer-to-peer texting campaigns? Organizers need to be strategic about how they implement campaigns to make sure they’re reaching potential supporters with the best content. Here are four key steps for organizers who are looking to create the most impact with peer-to-peer texting: 

1. Gather a robust group of volunteers

The first step to unlocking the best peer-to-peer texting campaign strategy is to gather a group of dedicated volunteers, as they are acting as extensions of the organization in this situation. It’s standard for a campaign to provide messaging points and scripts for volunteers to use, but peer-to-peer texts have the potential to evolve into more substantial conversations. In these situations, it’s helpful to have volunteers with a deeper history of supporting the organization that can share a few points on why they support a specific issue or candidate. 

To go one step further, campaigns using Impactive can assign lists of contacts to specific volunteers to make sure that they create conversations with contacts they’re familiar with. This is especially useful if organizers want to assign lists of contacts to volunteers based on regions. In that case, a single designated volunteer can be the main person messaging contacts in that region. 

2. Segment your contact lists for more effective targeting

The best peer-to-peer texting campaigns are strategic about which contacts they’re reaching out to. Segmenting contacts can allow organizers to plan more deliberate outreach and tailor messaging specifically to that group of contacts. For example, organizations with data on which contacts have donated at least once can create messaging scripts to persuade them to become recurring monthly donors. On the other hand, organizers can cultivate different fundraising messages for contacts who haven’t yet donated. 

It can be challenging to stand out amid various text messages that contacts receive, so organizers should strive to send the most personalized and relevant peer-to-peer texts to target contact lists.

3. Utilize message testing to create the best peer-to-peer texting campaigns

If the core message of a text is the cake, the way it’s written is the icing that determines whether someone will take a bite or not. Peer-to-peer texting is all about connection, and testing various ways to message contacts is an essential part of quality outreach. 

For instance, do contacts respond more often to a message with fewer words in an urgent tone, or do they prefer more details in an initial message, explaining why this particular call-to-action is necessary? Will adding a few emojis for a target list of younger contacts help with response rates? Maybe it’s as simple as adding a call-to-action at the beginning versus the end of a message. There are so many ways organizers can put together a messaging script — see which works best! 

4. Gather data from volunteers

Every interaction with a contact provides valuable insights that help administrators create the best peer-to-peer texting campaigns and optimize their outreach strategy. When volunteers fill out reports on the contacts they texted, they provide important information to the organization. For example, a volunteer’s conversation with someone may reveal that they are a person of faith and interested in the issue of climate change. 

These qualities can allow organizers to make informed decisions about ways to refine their overall outreach strategy and further segment their contact lists when needed. Organizers should remind volunteers to fill out reports for their contacts after each texting session through an email, text, or push notification. 

These core tips will help organizers create their own set of best practices for text campaigns in no time. Ultimately, the best peer-to-peer texting campaigns happen when organizers are willing to adjust and refine their campaign strategies based on the newest insights. The quality of interactions with contacts will increase, and organizers can expand and strengthen their organization’s supporter base!

Sep 1, 2021
Tools & Tech