ThruText and vote tripling: A how-to guide
Most voters have a friend that needs that little extra nudge to vote. By implementing an easy friend-to-friend voter turnout tactic called “vote tripling” using ThruText, you can nudge thousands of supporters to get those on the fence out to the polls.
Vote tripling is an optimized commit-to-vote pledge that involves two steps: (1) securing a supporter's promise to encourage three friends to vote and (2) following up with a timely text reminder to the supporter. The tactic is based on behavioral science research and has been validated by a rigorous study finding that it produces a statistically-significant increase in turnout for a fraction of the cost of other tactics.
Vote tripling is geared toward non-activists, the 97% of voters who will cast their ballot on election day don’t volunteer for campaigns. Reminding three close friends to vote is an easy, bite-sized task that non-activists are delighted to say yes to. This guide walks through how to collect vote tripling pledges using ThruText and how to send out reminder messages:
Step 1: Upload your Group
Follow the steps for Group creation. Use a naming convention to make identifying your vote-tripling list easy! Be sure to map VAN ids if you want to sync back your Vote Triplers.
Step 2: Create your Campaign
Start building your vote-tripling campaign. Again, using a naming convention like, “Vote Tripling – Doe for Congress” will save you time later. For the description, use: “A reminder from a friend is the best way to get someone to vote. Ask your friends if we can count on them to get three friends to vote, collect their names for a personalized reminder text before Election Day!”
When writing your script we suggest, "Hey %FirstName%! It's %SenderFirstName% with [Candidate] for [Position]. A close friend's message is the best way to get someone to vote. Can I count on you to remind 3 friends?"
(Keep the character count low enough to stay in one single message! Remember, the variable names will be shorter in the real text.)
In a recommended reply, make the ask for their names:
Name your reply, “What are their names?” and for the body of the reply insert, “Great! What are their first names?”
In another recommended reply, make the thank you response:
Title the next reply “Thank you!” with the body, “Awesome! Thank you so much. You’ll be receiving a reminder to get these three to vote before Election Day!”
Anticipate a contact's common hesitations
- Can’t think of who to remind:
- Create a reply “Can’t think of people”
- “No worries! Can you think of a family member, co-worker, or neighbor who can use a reminder?”
- Can’t think of three:
- Create reply “Can’t think of three”
- “No worries. If you can only think of two or one, that’s fine! As long as we get more people out to vote, that’s all I care about :)”
- Doesn’t want to share names:
- Title your reply “Won’t name names”
- “No worries! I totally understand. I'm not trying to collect data, I just want to be able to send you a personalized message on Election Day. It can be initials or even nicknames, as long as you know who you should be reminding!”
- All my friends already vote:
- Add a reply “All their friends vote”
- “That’s awesome! I find that it can be nice to get a reminder from a friend just in case they’re really busy on election day or have something unexpected come up.”
Add survey questions
Create the Survey Question so that you can input the contact's three friends. Create a “Freeform” survey question and name it “Vote Tripler’s Friends Names”.
Create vote tripling activist code and others. We recommend activist codes to identify Vote Triplers, Wrong Numbers, and Republicans. (Import your survey questions if you would like to sync back to VAN.)
Step 3: Send out your messages
Text your supporters! Send all of your supporters and likely supporters the initial pledge SMS and, to everyone who responds positively, send them the recommended response asking for the first names of their three friends. Ensure that your texters are collecting survey data!
Step 4: Export the list of responses
Export the survey responses. This CSV will contain the results from your survey questions. You will see who agreed to vote triple and the names that they provided.
If you want to bring the names of the Vote Tripler's friends, you will need to manually upload the names into the Notes section in VAN.
Step 5: Follow up with your committed Vote Triplers.
Create your new group
Before creating your next group, make sure you have created a custom field for "Vote Triplers' Friends' Names". Next, using your export from Step 4, create a new CSV with your respondents that includes a column for the "Names of Friends" as well as the three required fields.
Create your new campaign
Write your follow-up script. We recommend "Hi %FirstName%! It's %SenderFirstName% with [Candidate] for [Position]. Election Day is tomorrow! Right now, will you remind %CustomFieldCode% to vote!"
Send your reminder texts
Encourage your contacts to get their three friends out to vote!
Tips and Best Practices
- Be direct and clear with your ask. Don’t be shy in asking your supporters what the names of their three friends are. Many supporters will be happy to share this information and it will allow you to send them personalized reminders before Election Day!
- Answer your survey questions. Write the names of the friends your supporters say they’ll mobilize in the survey question.
- Don’t forget to check in and remind your supporters to Vote Triple!
Want To Learn More About Vote Tripling?
This voter turnout technique was designed by VoteTripling.org, a non-profit that designs, tests and disseminates free friend-to-friend voter turnout programs for progressive campaigns. For more information, visit VoteTripling.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.