It’s a frightening fact that in the United States a large segment of the population doesn’t exercise their right to vote. And it’s even more disheartening that women and men wait for hours on end just to get the chance to cast their votes in other countries, while here in the U.S. the actual process takes no longer than two minutes. Whether the citizens of this country don’t vote simply because they are too lazy or forget, SMS text marketing can help get these people to the polls.
A recent study entitled “Don’t Forget to Vote: Text Message Reminders as a Mobilization Tool,” represents how SMS text marketing solutions can be utilized to encourage voting. Authored by Allison Dale of the University of Michigan and Aaron Strauss of Princeton University, texting was used in an experiment right before the 2006 election. Both newly registered and re-registered voters in the treatment group were sent a text message encouraging them to vote, while participants in the control group did not receive a text. After the duration of the experiment, it was determined that people who received the text reminders voted at a 3.1 percent higher rate than those who did not.
So why is text messaging a more effective means of communication when compared to say the telephone or a piece of mail? This is because most people are already using text messages on at least a daily basis and in some cases every two minutes. In fact, according to a 2010 study completed by mobileSQUARED for Singlepoint, 98 percent of all SMS messages are read and 90 percent of those messages are read within the first three minutes of being received. So not only will you get your message out, but it will be at the quickest rate possible and with open rates higher than with any other medium.
A recent blog post by CallFire revealed, “For a political message to be effective, it must break through the barrage of messages competing for the voter’s attention. In contrast to direct mail and other media, text messages are more difficult for recipients to ignore. The recipient will notice the text message because mobile phones are still relatively uncluttered by ‘spam’ messages. Similarly, the nature of the display makes it difficult to ignore an incoming text message on most phones.”
“Text messaging is particularly effective in GOTV mobilization because of one simple fact: the audience is already ‘sold.’ By registering to vote, recipients have already signaled their interest in voting. Your text will increase the likelihood of voting because it reminds a person to complete a “civic duty” that he or she already believes is important,” the post added.
An SMS text marketing message can help remind voters of upcoming elections, allowing them to view the message on their own time and most important get their butts to the polls! Hey, if you don’t vote, why do you have the right to complain?
Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin