This is a guest post by Natasha Wilson, Digital Director at cStreet Campaigns. It originally appeared on cStreet’s website. Stratcom and cStreet are offering Hustle together in Canada — read our joint announcement here.
Two weeks ago, we wrote about the difference between text messaging and Hustle – the powerful new campaign tool being used to create fast conversations with supporters. It’s exciting to see our clients rolling out new digital strategies, building-in Hustle as a tool to mobilize voters, donors and volunteers.
Our friends at the Jagmeet Singh for NDP Leader campaign have been working hard to run a campaign that’s smart, fresh and engaging. They also know that eblasts and phone calls only go so far, leaving some communities behind. To break ground outside of Ontario, the campaign has adopted a comprehensive digital strategy. They’ve run phone banks, with the success we’d expect from a well organized campaign with loyal supporters. But, we also love trying new things, especially when we have a chance to help progressive people win elections.
We invited the campaign team to our office for an afternoon texting bank, and here’s what happened.
After adding the campaign team to the control panel, uploading their contact list, and populating a quick initial script and a few response scripts, we were all texting contacts from our laptops and phones simultaneously. We were flying through our lists (it took me no time at all to send 60 messages) when something awesome happened: people started replying! A lot of people. The responses prompted great conversations around the table about how we should engage, and we were able to quickly draft new response scripts based on what we were hearing. Some of the messages we received were straightforward, like “Yes!” (I will support Jagmeet) others were great policy questions, voting questions or offers to volunteer. Working together, we were able to text new contacts and respond to prospective supporters concurrently. One thing was clear; this wasn’t an email blast, we were having real conversations.
20% of people responded to our text messages. That’s about the same as an email open rate, and 10x higher than email engagement/conversion rates.
I’ve spent lots of time making calls and knocking on doors to get out the vote, but the results were never this impressive. The technology was fast and easy to use, and the excitement in the room built every time we got an enthusiastic response. We were also able to work and make decisions together in a way that you can’t do when you’re 1:1 on the phone with a supporter. It was fun! Most importantly, that day, we proved that people are listening and ready to talk about progressive politics. Now, it’s up to campaigns to reach out to them.
About cStreet Campaigns:
cStreet Campaigns is a digital campaigns firm that has quickly become a player in progressive movements across the world. Founded in 2012, cStreet specializes in NationBuilder strategy, design, and web development for non-profits, labour unions, political candidates, and higher education institutions looking to revolutionize their digital presence.
Interested in trying out or learning more about Hustle? Get in touch: digital[at]stratcom.ca