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June 30, 2023


How to use texting campaigns for Get Out The Vote (GOTV)

Jono Kupferberg

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Due to its direct and immediate nature, SMS texting is a crucial tool during Get Out The Vote (GOTV). It allows campaigns to reach many potential voters quickly and efficiently. 

Since text messages have a high open rate, the chances of the information being seen and read are significantly higher than other communication channels. Additionally, SMS texting enables personalized communication, increasing engagement and motivating voters to participate in the election. It’s a cost-effective, efficient, and powerful method to drive voter turnout and victories come election night!

So in this article, we want to show you how you can use texting to improve the efficiency of your GOTV campaigns. 

Let’s dig in.

What is GOTV?

GOTV, or “Get Out The Vote,” is a strategic phase during election campaigns to maximize voter participation. It involves various tactics, such as door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, and digital outreach, to motivate and mobilize eligible voters to cast their ballots. 

GOTV is crucial because it directly impacts the election outcome. Higher voter turnout generally leads to more representative and democratic results. Therefore, GOTV efforts are critical in ensuring the people’s voice is adequately reflected in the election results. 

Texting communication during GOTV for voting

Connections between GOTV and elections are complex – from shaping public opinion to influencing the final vote count, GOTV plays a pivotal role in determining the direction of election outcomes.

Why GOTV and texting go together hand-in-hand

GOTV campaigns and SMS texting form an ideal pairing ever since it exploded in popularity during the 2020 election cycle. SMS texting is a great channel known for accessibility, speed, and effectiveness – all of which are must-haves for any successful political campaign.

HubDialer is launching a new peer-to-peer and broadcast text messaging feature later this year. Note this down, and you’ll receive 1000 free text credits when you first sign up for the service.

Here are a couple of reasons why texting is a must for GOTV.

Direct engagement and accessibility

First, the intersection between GOTV and texting lies in their shared emphasis on direct engagement. 

Thanks to its nature, texting reaches voters in their most personal space – their phones. This direct line of communication ensures that campaign messages aren’t just broadcasted, received, read, and potentially acted upon.

Speed and real-time communication

Secondly, texting is almost instantaneous, providing a real-time channel for communication. Texting speed is crucial in the fast-paced world of politics, where timely information and updates are paramount. 

GOTV campaigns can benefit significantly from this, sending out reminders for voter registration deadlines, polling station locations, or campaign events to potential voters on time.

Cost-effectiveness and efficiency

Thirdly, from a campaign management perspective, texting is the most cost-effective means of communicating GOTV efforts. Texting campaigns require less financial investment than traditional TV or radio ads. Moreover, automated systems can help manage and send texts, reducing the human resources needed for the campaign.

Enhanced persuasiveness

Finally, the personal nature of texting can also enhance the persuasiveness of GOTV campaigns. Personalized messages make voters feel valued and more likely to engage with the campaign. Those messages, in turn, can boost voter turnout, amplifying the impact of GOTV operations.

Utilizing peer-to-peer and broadcast texting for GOTV

Two popular sms techniques used for GOTV are Peer-to-Peer (P2P) texting and Broadcast texting. Each is used for different scenarios and can significantly impact GOTV results.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) texting

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) texting involves volunteers manually sending individual text messages to voters. This personal approach helps create a connection and can effectively encourage voter turnout. Here are five ways P2P texting can be used in GOTV efforts:

  1. Voter registration reminders: A message can be sent out to remind individuals to register to vote before the deadline.
  2. Voting deadlines: Send texts to inform potential voters about the voting deadlines in their specific area.
  3. Polling location information: Provide details about where individuals can go to cast their votes.
  4. Election Day reminders: Remind individuals about the actual day of the election and the importance of their vote.
  5. Follow-ups: After the initial contact, follow up with individuals to ensure they have all the necessary information and answer any questions.

Broadcast or mass texting

Broadcast texting (also known as mass texting), on the other hand, involves simultaneously sending a mass message to a large group of individuals. 

Although less personal, it is an efficient way of reaching a large audience quickly. Here are five ways Broadcast texting can be used for GOTV:

  1. Voter registration drives: Announce voter registration drives and provide details about the process and deadlines.
  2. Event invitations: Invite potential voters to election events, town halls, or candidate meet-and-greets.
  3. Policy highlights: Share key policy points or campaign promises of the candidate to keep voters informed.
  4. Election Day countdown: Send daily or weekly countdown messages to keep the election top-of-mind.
  5. Voting instructions: Send a message on Election Day detailing the steps to cast a vote and reminding people of their polling locations.

By effectively using these two texting methods, political campaigns can reach a wider audience and encourage higher voter turnout.

Choosing the right texting method for your GOTV campaign

Broadcast or mass texting initiatives require that people voluntarily “opt in.” If you aim to use this technique to boost voter turnout during GOTV, it’s advisable to establish the program well in advance. 

On the other hand, P2P texting doesn’t require such permission, making it an ideal alternative if you intend to implement a texting campaign only during GOTV.

Initiating a mass texting campaign just before Election Day is not the best use of resources, but a P2P program can be started whenever necessary. P2P texting during GOTV can effectively stimulate voter turnout. It’s an inexpensive and swift method to remind supporters during early voting stages through election day. 

However, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations related to texting before investing time or financial resources into such an operation.

Launching a texting campaign for GOTV involves several essential steps.

First, campaigns must register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to comply with rules and regulations surrounding political campaigning to ensure legality and transparency.

Once registered, campaigns can start developing their SMS marketing strategy. The strategy includes:

  • Defining the target demographic.
  • Crafting persuasive and informative content.
  • Determining the appropriate timing and frequency of messages.

Campaigns should focus on delivering concise messages with a clear call to action, such as directing supporters to a donation page.

Finally, your campaign should also consider the types of messages you will send. These messages should be designed to engage and educate supporters, manage volunteers, raise funds, and ultimately increase voter turnout.

GOTV Peer-to-peer texting script examples

Now let’s look at what some peer-to-peer texting scripts could look like.

Voter registration reminders

  • “Hello, this is [Your Name] from [Campaign/Organization]. Just a friendly reminder that the deadline to register to vote is coming up on [Date]. Have you registered yet?”
  • “Hi [Recipient’s Name], don’t forget to register to vote before [Date]. Your voice matters! Let me know if you need help with the registration process.”
  • “Greetings, this is [Your Name]. Remember, every vote counts. Have you registered to vote yet? The deadline is [Date].”

Voting deadlines

  • “Hi [Recipient’s Name], this is [Your Name] from [Campaign/Organization]. Remember, the last day to vote is [Date]. Plan your day accordingly!”
  • “Hello [Recipient’s Name], don’t forget the voting deadline is [Date]. Every vote matters. Have you planned when you’ll be voting?”
  • “Greetings [Recipient’s Name], this is a reminder that the voting deadline is on [Date]. Don’t miss out on making your voice heard.”

Polling location information

  • “Hi [Recipient’s Name], your polling location is at [Address]. The polls will be open from [Start Time] to [End Time] on [Date]. Plan your day to make sure your vote counts!”
  • “Hello [Recipient’s Name]. Just a reminder that your polling station is located at [Address]. Make sure you visit between [Start Time] and [End Time] on [Date] to vote.”
  • “Greetings, [Recipient’s Name]; your polling station is at [Address]. It’s open from [Start Time] to [End Time] on [Date]. Your vote is important.”

Election day reminders

  • “Hello, [Recipient’s Name], don’t forget tomorrow is Election Day! Make sure your voice is heard. Every vote counts.”
  • “Hi [Recipient’s Name], this is [Your Name] reminding you that tomorrow is the big day – Election Day. Have you planned your day to vote?”
  • “Greetings, [Recipient’s Name]; Election Day is tomorrow! Your vote can make a difference. Don’t forget.”


  • “Hi, [Recipient’s Name], this is [Your Name] from [Campaign/Organization]. Thank you for voting. Stay involved, and let’s make a difference together!”
  • “Hello [Recipient’s Name], thank you for participating in the election. Your vote made a difference. Stay tuned for more updates!”
  • “Greetings [Recipient’s Name], thank you for your vote. Your participation matters. Let’s keep the momentum going!”

And, of course, you can use different P2P texting scripts, but the scripts above should give you a great start!

GOTV broadcast texting script examples

Now let’s look at what broadcast texting scripts might look like.

Voter registration drives

  • “Hello there! It’s time to make your voice count. Register to vote today and shape the future of our community. Visit the nearest voter registration center or register online at www.example.gov . Let’s make a difference together!”
  • “Greetings! Have you registered to vote yet? Every vote matters, including yours. Join us in shaping our nation’s future by registering today. Visit www.example.gov. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the change!”
  • “Hey there! Our community needs your voice. Register to vote and make your opinion count. Head over to www.example.gov   today. Together, we can make a difference!”

Event invitations

  • “Hello! You’re invited to our town hall meeting this Friday. Meet your local representatives and discuss the issues that matter to you. Location: City Hall, 7:00 PM. We hope to see you there!”
  • “Greetings! Join us at our campaign rally this Saturday. Let’s show our support and stand together for a better tomorrow. Location: Central Park, 3:00 PM. See you there!”
  • “Hey there! We’re hosting a community BBQ this Sunday. It’s a great chance to meet your neighbors and discuss local politics. Location: Riverside Park, 12:00 PM. Join us for good food and great conversations!”

Policy highlights

  • “Hello! Stay informed about the latest policy changes. This week’s highlight: The new healthcare reform aims to provide affordable health coverage for all citizens. Learn more at [Example URL].”
  • “Greetings! Here’s your weekly policy update: The city council has approved a new plan to improve local infrastructure. Find out more at [Example URL].”
  • “Hey there! Check out this week’s policy highlight: New environmental regulations aim to reduce pollution and protect our natural resources. Get the details at [Example URL].”

Election day countdown

  • “Hello! Just a week left until election day. Make sure you’re ready to cast your vote and make a difference. Every vote counts!”
  • “Greetings! Only 3 days left until election day. Check your polling location and be ready to vote. Your voice matters!”
  • “Hey there! Tomorrow is election day. Remember, your vote can shape the future of our community. Don’t miss out!”

Voting instructions

  • “Hello! Ready to vote? Here’s a quick guide: 1. Check your polling location. 2. Bring a valid ID. 3. Follow the instructions on your ballot. Make your voice heard!”
  • “Greetings! Voting day is here. Remember to check your polling location, carry a valid ID, and follow all instructions on your ballot. Every vote counts!”
  • “Hey there! It’s time to vote. Don’t forget: 1. Check your polling location. 2. Bring your ID. 3. Follow the instructions on your ballot. Your vote matters!”

Best practices for sending text messages during GOTV

With everything we have mentioned, you must also stick to some best practices when planning any texting campaign.

  • Targeting: GOTV text messages should be well-targeted, reaching the right demographic of supporters. Correct targeting means understanding your audience’s age, preferences, and communication methods.
  • Timing and Frequency: The timing of GOTV texts is crucial. They should be sent out when people are most likely to read them. Also, the frequency of the messages should not be too high to avoid annoying the recipients.
  • Content: The content of GOTV texts should be informative and persuasive. It should include issue-specific and candidate-specific messages rather than generic ones. Engage in conversations with supporters to increase their likelihood of voting.
  • Establishing Relationships: Warm texts, sent to individuals with an established relationship, are more successful than cold texts. However, cold texting can still help scale and acquire new supporters.
  • Providing a Plan: Providing a plan for Election Day in text messages can also increase the likelihood of supporters turning up to vote.
  • Inspiration: Take inspiration from proven GOTV text messages to craft your own.

Executing a successful GOTV texting campaign

To execute a successful GOTV texting campaign, several components are crucial. 

First, you need a comprehensive mobile strategy. The strategy includes a well-maintained list of mobile subscribers to send your messages. For growing your mobile list, you can promote opt-in keywords through various channels such as emails, websites, events, and social media.

Secondly, compliance with legal regulations, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), is necessary. The compliance involves creating opt-in calls-to-action (CTA) that identifies your organization, provides clear instructions for opting out, and discloses recurring automated messages. 10DLC is also a must for all extensive texting efforts, and HubDialer will be offering a complete service 10DLC registration process, completely free of charge!

In terms of content, your messages should be persuasive and relevant to your target demographic. You can take inspiration from successful GOTV text message examples, which demonstrate the use of powerful videos, personal conversations, and targeted fundraising.

Your campaign will need a reliable texting platform or tool to send these messages. Such a tool should allow you to schedule texts, track responses, and handle mass texting. Additionally, volunteers are necessary to manage campaigns and respond to any queries from voters. They can also use pre-written responses to engage with voters and make a positive impact.

Finally, it would be best to have a clear plan for the timing and frequency of your messages, considering the most effective times to reach out to your supporters. The success of your campaign depends on all these factors working together seamlessly.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, GOTV and texting go hand-in-hand, forming a powerful alliance vital for political campaigns. With a well-structured strategy, proper compliance with regulations, and a focus on crafting persuasive, relevant content, texting can significantly bolster the effectiveness of GOTV campaigns. 

As campaign strategies evolve, this relationship will likely grow stronger, making the fusion of politics and technology even more crucial to the democratic process.

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