Whether you’re running for US senate or city council, campaigns require a exorbitant amount of planning and attention to detail. While you could certainly hire another staff member to be in charge of coordinating SMS messages and responses in real time, there are other options to save you some wasted time and wasted money. One of those options is an SMS drip campaign.

A drip campaign is one of many tools in the text-message marketing tool belt. When establishing a highly coveted long-term relationship with your voters via SMS, a drip campaign is usually the way to go. Traditionally carried out through email, drip campaigns consist of pre-written messages sent out automatically based on your campaign’s personalized schedule and/or queues.

What is text message marketing?

Messages “drip” periodically into your contacts’ inboxes, ensuring that your campaign is in constant contact with voters during the commotion of a political campaign. You can also set up a drip campaign to be more interactive. You can send more personalized and relevant drip messages to users based on responses that your drip campaign incites. Below, you’ll find three crucial steps to setting up your drip campaign.

1. Identify Your Objective in Launching a Drip Campaign

Since drip campaigns can be executed in a number of ways, your campaign will benefit from starting a drip campaign with a clear goal in mind. Would you simply like to send out updates and reminders as election day draws nearer? Are you trying to connect with volunteers? Do you need to collect data? Maybe you’d like to do all of the above.

Since all responses are pre-written with automated send out, you’ll be able to quickly and easily set up multiple drip campaigns for each objective that your campaign may have. Some drip campaigns can be more involved, employing different interactions with users based on their responses. Others can simply act as a system for periodic announcements from your campaign.

2. Pick Times That You’d Like to Send Out Your Initial Drip Message

Next, you’ll want to identify the times in which you’d like to send out your drip messages. During this part of your planning, be sure to remember that your contacts have all opted in to your SMS messaging campaign; this means that voters have given you their trust! They want to hear from your campaign. That will change if you text in a quantity that will make them opt out of receiving messages.

When scheduling times to send out messages, be sure to do so purposefully. Don’t schedule messages on a sporadic timeline without any rhyme or reason. Try to pick days that are relevant to your campaign on a timeline that will benefit you and the voter. When you’re scheduling messages that respond to a user’s engagement, you’ll want to make sure your responses are immediate.

Additionally, give your campaign enough time to synthesize the data that your drip campaign is capable of collecting. For example, if your drip campaign is set up to gather volunteers, don’t launch it two weeks before the election.

3. Strategize How You’d Like to Interact with Users

If one of your objectives for a drip campaign is to interact with voters, you must then decide how you’d like for that to happen. Much like a bracket chart, you’ll have the ability to send specific messages to users based on their responses.

For example, your drip campaign can send an initial message asking if the user would like to hear more about volunteer opportunities. You can give the user two choices for two different responses. If the user responds “YES,” your drip campaign will automatically follow up with more volunteer information. If they respond “NO,” your drip campaign will automatically follow up with another question, other information about your campaign, or just cease the interaction altogether.

When setting up your drip campaign, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using the proper diction and interaction tactics. You can have an excellent platform, but if your pre-written messages seem formulaic or impersonal, you’ll find yourself constantly in square one during your drip campaign.

While drip campaigns are powered by automated text messages, the beauty of it lays in that your campaign has the opportunity to write the messages. This will ensure that your interactions are honest and close to home. You’ll be able to save money and save time all without sacrificing the connection with your voter base.