Get Started with Textbanking

Introduction

Textbanking is a fun, efficient, and effective way to connect with large numbers of voters and potential voters. It is being deployed by many Democratic campaigns as part of their voter outreach strategies for the November midterms. Here at the DVC, we’re supporting the textbanking efforts of a number of local and national campaigns.

Textbanking is extremely easy to do once you get set up and plugged into a specific “workflow” (that is, a specific textbanking assignment in which you get access to a list of voters for a specific communication purpose, a set of canned scripts for reaching out and replying, and a timeframe within which you need to send and reply to texts).

But getting to that easy point can be a little daunting because

  • there are many providers of textbanking services
  • these providers use different tools and procedures
  • campaigns might use different providers for different purposes and events, and
  • it’s hard to know when and for whom textbanking opportunities appear.

To help get you over these hurdles and up and running as quickly and painlessly as possible, we’ve put together this quick guide. It is designed to help you quickly navigate a four-step process to become a textbanking star. Here are the four steps to textbanking awesomeness:

  • Get set up, signed up, and trained to work with one of the textbanking providers.
  • Know where to look to find that provider’s current and upcoming textbanks.
  • Sign up for your first textbank and jump in!
  • As your experience and confidence grow, sign up with other textbanking providers to expand your texting options and reach.

Some textbanking best practices (useful for any platform)

  • Stay organized! Especially if you are using multiple texting platforms, or even if you’re using only one:
    • Bookmark all your Slack and texting app pages.
    • Keep track of all your passwords. Consider using a password manager like 1Password.
    • For keeping track of Slack notifications and pages, consider downloading the Slack app for Mac or Windows.
  • Consider using the web-based version of your texting app. The bigger screen and keyboard will make your texting easier and faster. Have the mobile version (if there is one) on your phone so you can check on replays and notifications when you’re out and about.
  • Keep texting guides and training docs open in a separate window on your computer so you can consult them as needed while you’re texting.
  • Stick to the timeframes designated by your provider. Never text before 9am or after 9pm. Know what time zones the people you are texting are in!
  • Always use the exact greeting (opening) script for a new workflow.
  • Use the reply scripts, but don’t be afraid to deviate to use your own voice. But do not change information in a script without approval.
  • Keep it short and conversational – emoji are OK!
  • Stay positive and polite, even with people who are rude. Remember that you are representing another organization! A nasty or snarky exchange could be screenshot and show up on social media to hurt your candidate.
  • Never screenshot and share your conversations on social media.
  • Different texting providers may have different guidelines for when to opt-out. Be familiar with the guidelines. Opt-out is a last resort, but always do so for anyone who explicitly requests it. Always let them know you have done so.