Finding new, effective forms of communication which pull us in versus push us away should be at the forefront of every politicians mind, much less those running for the most powerful office in the world.
Enter the device most American's turn to on a daily basis to reach each other: our beloved mobile phones.
Every day more Americans are embracing a life in which being tethered to a mobile phone is considered normal rather than a luxury. We can conduct business, reach friends, write and receive text (SMS) messages, browse the web, and more than ever, be accessible through our phones throughout each day - and as always, be on the receiving end of some form of marketing.
Whether it be some commercial interest, advocacy group, or political interest, the mobile phone represents an additional frontier to capture our attention, tickle our fancy, and tease us into buying into something.
In terms of voter contact of their base, candidates should consider mobile technology as a complement to the more traditional forms of outreach - automated calling, live calling, and direct mail to the home. Rather than shy away from this vast and growing frontier, candidates should embrace it within the guidelines that exist to protect their constituent’s right to privacy and choice.
Statistical surveys suggest that although most consumers would choose NOT to be marketed to on their mobile phones, those that do are more likely to be “called to action” by recognized message senders. Consumers will read an SMS or Short Message Service, approximately 94% of the time and respond up to 23% of the time. This is a far greater response reliability than the 1% response on broadsheet advertising or 2-3% for direct mail.
These numbers, while astounding, are "permission-based" response rates - meaning people who want to receive messages respond accordingly. Such numbers should lead candidates down the well-thought road of finding new and unique ways to gather an Opt-In or participation from their existing or targeted constituency which can only bolster their support base even further.
Even with the rise in use of the mobile phone as the primary source of communication among those whom politicians are so desperately wanting to reach, laws exist which severely limit how voters can be contacted on their phones. Considerable damage can be done to any candidate's campaign effort by ignoring and abusing the laws that govern either voice or SMS contact to wireless subscribers. (Go here for more)