Here are 12 best practices — along with mistakes to avoid — when conducting a Peer-to-Peer texting campaign, either for a political candidate, fundraising, non profit announcements, or any other messaging application that requires personalized and customized communications.
Peer-to-Peer texting, commonly referred to as P2P texting, is one of our core services here at Monarch Broadcast Messaging, and you can go directly to our P2P page to learn more about what we offer.
Meanwhile, there’s a lot to consider, like how many volunteers you’ll need, where to source contacts and lists, if you’ll need to target locally, and how to track and measure results.
The Most Important First
Besides the best practices listed below, it is of paramount importance to understand what you CAN’T DO during a Peer-to-Peer campaign. There are laws and private cell phone carrier policies that you must comply with in order to conduct a successful Peer-to-Peer campaign. We have listed these restrictions on a separate page here.
When you launch a peer to peer texting campaign with a strategy, you get to enjoy incredible benefits, including increased reach, higher contact engagement, and improved relationships with your target audience. We’ve rounded up the best practices for peer to peer texting, including how to prepare and set your Peer-to-Peer campaign up for success.
Best Practice #1. Don’t go in blindly
Before you begin, be sure to have a plan. What’s your primary goal? While Peer-to-Peer texting can accomplish many things, don’t try to do them all at once. That’s why it’s very important to understand the uses and limitations of Peer-to-Peer texting. The worst thing you can do is just start to fire away texts without a real plan.
For example: If your primary goal is to get survey responses, a best practice is to optimize your campaign based on this goal. Once you choose a goal, you can determine the best message, your ideal contact, and the metrics that will determine your campaign’s success. Once you choose the important metrics you want to report on, set out the results you would like to achieve within a certain timeframe.
Best Practice #2. Streamline the Process
Even though you’ll be contacting all of your connections individually, don’t put a huge amount of time and effort in individual exchanges or conversations. One of the biggest features to look for when choosing a peer to peer texting service is the capability to create templates and streamline the process as much as possible. The more efficient you are, the more contacts you can reach, and the more cost-effective you make your campaign.
That’s where templates come in. Predefined templates help your team meet a number of common replies from contacts. Best practice #2: By being proactive about having responses crafted, your team does less “on the fly” replying, and won’t veer from the tone and content you want.
Best Practice #3. Consider your message
Your message is the most vital part of your campaign. Don’t rush it. Most importantly, don’t treat it like an advertisement. Your message should read as if it’s coming from a human, which it is! What makes peer to peer texting so successful is that it gives the contact individual attention. Most consumers are put-off by super-salesy attempts.
Instead, try to provide value in your message to your contacts and be useful. Your text will be much better received. For example, when peer to peer texting is used for a political election, help your contacts learn how to register to vote, or where to vote to increase voter turnout. As you craft your message, remember to keep focused on your goal. For example, if your campaign has a goal of a high response rate, ask open-ended questions. It’s a conversation, after all.
Best Practice #4. Don’t write a novel
Research shows that most people will only pay attention for an average of eight seconds. When starting a peer to peer texting campaign, it’s a best practice to keep the message simple, and get straight to the point. You’ll want it to be easily understood and digested. Imagine your contacts will only give your text a quick look. Make it short, and keep the important information early in the message. Mobile carriers consider 160 characters the maximum in one billable text. You can go beyond that and incur additional billing increments, but you are more apt to lose the attention of your recipient as well.
A good place to start is with a sentence that addresses recipient’s pain points, followed by a sentence on your candidate or organization’s position on it, and finally, wrap it up with a call to action or a question to the end user. When asking questions, try to ask something genuine to start a relationship with the user.
Best Practice #5. Learn from your responses
Don’t disregard those who have different opinions or values. All responses, even the ones from the naysayers matter and will provide your with important information. Have a plan and protocol for when your texts are met with opposition. That’s the perfect opportunity to find out what your contacts are passionate about and gain incredible insight.
Additionally, it’s important to follow up with undecided and unsure contacts. Peer to peer texting provides an incredible opportunity to speak with someone undecided and win them over, or at least leave a great impression.
Best Practice #6. Be Casual
Leave the formalities to professional emails. Texting is not the place to be too formal. The reason why peer to peer texting is so powerful is because it gives you a platform to start a genuine conversation with your contacts. Make them feel like they can reply to a real person on the other end of the screen. If you take out the human element from your campaign, you’ll likely see a lot less replies, action, and enthusiasm from your contacts.
As a best practice, try to refer to your contacts by name, and also use your own in your message, so that your recipients know they’re speaking with a real person. And remember, your contacts will not think any less of you if you use casual language, an abbreviation, or an emoji in your campaign.
Best Practice #7. Minimize the number of texts
Be respectful and keep it to a minimum. Everyone has a threshold for how much they would like to be contacted. Best rule of thumb is: If you would be annoyed or irate at too many texts coming to your personal device, your contacts will also probably start to get annoyed, too.
Best Practice #8. Make it engaging
Think of peer to peer texting as your one shot to grab the end-user’s interest. Don’t waste it with a message that falls short. Make sure your message appeals to readers’ values.
Best Practice #9. Consider A/B testing
If you have a decent sized contact list and want to hone in on a strong message that resonates with your contacts, it is a best practice to use a sample group to test the efficacy of two different messages using A/B testing, or split testing. A/B testing is the practice of testing two messages to see which one is the strongest. You choose a goal, and one variable to test.
Because of its ability to let you rely on hard data (instead of just intuition), A/B testing is one of the best ways to hone in on and perfect your message.
Once you find out which Peer-to-Peer message gets the best outcome based on your goals (such as replies, survey responses, or link clicks), you can choose to test another variable in another round of split testing, or proceed with the winner of your test results.
Best Practice #10. Remember to Follow Up
Peer to peer texting is not a “once and done” type campaign. Follow up with your contacts. Especially if your contacts completed an action, like donating or attending an event, remember to thank them, or ask them about their experience. With Peer to Peer texting, you’re building relationships. When you follow up, you’re reminding your users that you value them.
Best Practice #11. Learn from Your Results
After measuring the results from your Peer-to-Peer campaign, use the findings to dictate how to proceed next. What did your campaign succeed with? What could have been done better? If you gained insight on your contacts’ values, apply what you’ve learned in your next campaign. As more organizations move to this powerful new way to reach contacts, you can stay a step ahead of your competition as you perfect your campaign strategy.
Best Practice #12. Get Expert Help
While these best practices in peer to peer texting cover the basics, there’s no “one size fits all” approach. It can be overwhelming to start a peer to peer texting campaign, especially if your organization hasn’t launched one before. If you’re not sure where or how to start, consider reaching out for some expert help.
When you pair your message with an advanced peer to peer texting service, you get better results. When you work with Monarch Broadcasting, you have expert guidance at hand. Contact us at 888-387-8636 and find out how to get started and launch a successful peer to peer texting campaign.