Peer-to-peer texting is convenient and effective. In fact, peer-to-peer texting helped drive voters to the polls during the pivotal 2020 elections, especially for down-ballot candidates. And outside of election efforts, texting is a great way to encourage supporters to take other actions, like contributing donations.
So, how do you run a successful texting campaign? One way organizations can set themselves up for successful text banks is to provide a smooth volunteer experience. To help your volunteers stay focused and fulfilled, follow these top five tips:
The primary goal of every outreach effort should be to strengthen relationships between organizations and supporters: text banking should not be purely transactional! However, organizations do need to set a clear goal to achieve during the text banks. If the goal is voter mobilization, organizations should prepare a direct link to a voter registration page. Or, if the goal is to raise donations, a central donation page should be ready to share. Keeping the ask simple and easily accessible will make it easier for volunteers and contacts alike to align on the purpose of the organization’s outreach.
Standardize messaging across volunteers by preparing an initial outbound text script. Text scripts allow organizations to guide conversations between volunteers and supporters and streamline the texting process for volunteers. Organizers can further prepare volunteers by outlining anticipated responses and providing response scripts for volunteers. While volunteers should be authentic in their conversations with supporters, preparing them with scripts will save time and decrease unnecessary confusion during text banks. Impactive’s Peer-to-Peer Texting tool makes this easy — organization administrators can easily create initial and response scripts for volunteers to use automatically. Plus, it allows administrators to include dynamic variables in the script, which means each message is personalized with contacts’ first names and more.
Technology can be tricky at times, and even the most seasoned digital users can have trouble navigating a new tool. Organizations using a texting platform should invest time in hosting frequent training sessions to lower the barrier to entry for any new or returning volunteers. Organizations can also use this time to answer any questions or soothe any concerns that volunteers may have about texting on the organization’s behalf. It’s natural for questions to come up during a text bank, but providing volunteers with an open space to learn and ask questions before text banks will allow them to run more seamlessly.
Distributed peer-to-peer texting provides flexibility for volunteers to engage wherever they are, but gathering volunteers in one space for text banks allows volunteers to talk, encourage each other, and most importantly, have fun! Texting parties don’t have to even be in a physical location — set up a Zoom room, play some music, and facilitate icebreakers in the chat to help volunteers get to know each other better.
Text banks are sustained by collective efforts, especially from volunteers. Make sure to remind volunteers of the organization’s appreciation and provide a clear direction for the next event they can join. Better yet, inform volunteers of the number of texts sent, responses received, and other important information (like donations raised or individual registrations) to remind them of their impact and boost their chances of volunteering again. Impactive’s convenient Broadcast Messaging functionality allows administrators to send messages to lists of volunteers in just a few clicks, perfect for sending out information during events or sharing the next volunteer opportunity.
Peer-to-peer texting is a simple solution for large-scale outreach efforts. However, text banks can’t spring up overnight; organizers need to be prepared to facilitate a smooth volunteer experience to maximize impact. Follow these tips and watch the text banks run seamlessly!