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Rock the Vote ties location and mobile to drive Election Day turnout

Rock the Vote is making a last-minute push to drive users to the polls today.

Registered voters can text the keyword WHERE to a short code to find their polling place. Rock the Vote is working with Mozes on this initiative.

?It?s a simple and easy way for people to find their polling place,? said Chrissy Faesen, vice president of marketing and communications at Rock the Vote, Washington.

?We?ve used mobile technology to encourage users to both vote and show up at the polls,? she said. ?We have seen an increase in voter turnout by sending someone a text message with information.?

Find a poll
Consumers who are looking for their polling place can text the keyword WHERE to 788683, which is the short code associated with Rock the Vote?s SMS program.

Users are then sent back a message with their polling location and hours that it is open.

Additionally, the SMS message includes a link that directs users to the Rock the Vote Election Center mobile site. On the site, consumers can find voting information by state, follow the company?s social media sites and contact the company will any voting problems.

To help promote the effort, Rock the Vote is pushing the initiative through Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, street teams are encouraging consumers to text in to find their polling locations.

SMS is a great medium for Rock the Vote to use for time-sensitive content. Consumers always have their mobile device on hand as a tool to help them search for information.

Rock the Vote has been relying on mobile heavily this election season.

For example, the company recently partnered with Kenneth Cole on an initiative to drive voter registrations by equipping QR pins on tote bags (see story).

Similarly, Rock the Vote rolled out a line of QR code-enabled t-shirts earlier this year to build up the company?s email and SMS databases (see story).

The SMS message

Opted-in users
Although smartphone penetration is growing ? especially for younger demographics such as Rock the Vote?s ? SMS continues to be the most effective medium to reach the most users.

According to Dorrian Porter, CEO of Mozes, Palo Alto, CA, marketers need to think about SMS in three scenarios.

The first is to create an initial engagement with consumers. Secondly, calls-to-action need to be implemented into multiple marketing mediums such as television and print. Finally, SMS should be used to push out alerts.

?SMS continues to be important for nonprofits to reach 100 percent of their targeted audience,? Mr. Porter said.

?While smartphone penetration continues to grow at a tremendous pace, many cell phone users still rely on basic voice and text messaging services to communicate on the go,? he said.

?Even smartphone users appreciate the simplicity of text messaging when responding to a call-to-action at an event or in print, or when the SMS serves as an alert to a timely or important piece of information.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York