Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obama Campaign texting strategy

Last week, the Obama campaign sent supporters a message, via email and text, that they could "be one of the first to know" who he selects as VP if they would just text 62262 and get on the list. At the time, there was some discussion as to whether this was a smart (read this) or not very smart (read this) move. While it can certainly be argued, as Leonce Gaiter did over at HuffPo, that such a strategy cheapens the process, the true genius of this move won't really be seen until November.

The Obama campaign has been very smart in their use of technology. They announced on the web, made huge news for revolutionizing web based fundraising, and have employed text messaging to mobilize their volunteers. They also have a prominent presence on Twitter, FaceBook and MySpace. With the tease of getting a jump on the VP news, they surely signed up thousands more to their text messaging list. Come November, this should pay off when they text these folks to remind them to vote.

I texted 62262 to see what would happen. I received an acknowledgment text immediately. But here's more of that genius: a couple of days ago, I received a text asking for my zip code. Assuming that folks respond favorably and give the campaign their zips, the campaign has just built a new list of supporters to text not just for voting, but for volunteering, which is where one voter turns into 100.

We have yet to see what will actually happen when Obama selects his VP and sends out the news via text, but right now, the strategy looks like a good one for long term voter mobilization.