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Senator Cruz drives 16,000 SMS opt-ins during keynote speech

United States Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently included an SMS call-to-action in his keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference which resulted in a significant uptick in opt-ins.

The speech was given to announce the senator?s new political-action committee ? the Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund ? with SMS playing a key role in how the politician connects with constituents. The SMS campaign is powered by Tatango.

?On March 16th, Senator Cruz had the honor of keynoting the Conservative Political Action Conference, the largest annual gathering of conservatives in America,? said Michael Duncan, Austin, TX-based digital consultant for Senator Ted Cruz.

?With so many activists in the audience, this was the perfect stage to unveil his new leadership PAC, the Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund,? he said. ?For such a large public event, SMS marketing proved the best way to reach people.?

Mobile connection
During Senator Cruz?s 30-minute speech on March 16, the politician asked attendees to text the keyword GROWTH to the short code 33733.  The keyword and short code were then repeated by Senator Cruz to etch the call-to-action into consumers? minds.

Senator Cruz also told attendees that by opting-in to the program, they would be helping spread the word on the new PAC.

Additionally, the politician encouraged consumers to visit the campaign?s microsite - The site is optimized for mobile devices.

When consumers opt-in to the SMS program, they are sent a reply message with a link to the site where they can watch the senator?s keynote, learn more about the Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund and donate to the cause.

Senator Cruz?s Facebook and Twitter pages also include calls-to-action that encourage consumers to learn more about the new organization.

The strategy behind using the speech as a catalyst to growing the senator?s SMS database was based on connecting with consumers who are already plugged into the convention.

?Rather than simply emailing everyone and asking them to text GROWTH, we wanted the buy-in from supporters watching and engaging live as Senator Cruz explained his new organization,? Mr. Duncan said.

?I strongly feel that SMS should support ? not cannibalize ? your other marketing channels,? he said.

Mobile growth
SMS gives marketers the widest reach when it comes to mobile channels.

For a political campaign in particular, SMS is a great way to connect with consumers while they are at rallies or events and want to donate money or learn about a cause on the spot.

Additionally, politicians can leverage SMS to target specific demographics.

?SMS campaigns are a great tool for immediate calls-to-action and location-based marketing,? Mr. Duncan said.

?When we need to activate the grassroots or we're hosting a local event, we anticipate mobile will be an integral part of our campaign strategy,? he said.

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