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How to Guide: Text Reminders

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To help maximize event attendance, we suggest sending personal text reminders to sign-ups the morning of your event. A study by Sister District Action Network showed that personally contacting volunteers to confirm their plan to attend an event (confirming their RSVP) increased attendance rates by 51% over just sending them an email to confirm.

Text Reminders Role for a Sister District Team Leader

We suggest each Sister District team have at least one person covering the task of sending Text Reminders for all events. This is a great role for someone who:

  • Likes helping to activate volunteers and boost attendance at events
  • Likes texting
  • Is comfortable using the team’s Mobilize RSVP account, editing a spreadsheet, creating text reminder language, and sending texts from their personal cell phone
  • Wants an organizing role that might require an estimated 30mins of weekly morning texting

It might be a good role for someone stepping in to help organize the team for the first time but can’t take on too much at first. For more on task coverage and leadership roles, see: Organizing Your Sister District Leadership Team

But Wait, Mobilize Can Do Automated Text Reminders. Why Duplicate?

In our 2020 Mobilize pilot program, the Sister District Organizing Department noticed high flake rate (no-shows as percentage of total signups) for the HQ Top Priority Phonebank series, and received feedback from multiple sign-ups that they did not get Mobilize text message reminders. We received feedback that volunteers who had signed up on Mobilize for different events with different organizations had a hard time differentiating texts because they have a standardized look and feel.

We kept the automatic Mobilize text reminders in place but added a personal-feeling text reminder on the morning-of each phonebank. We saw our flake rate decrease and the level of engagement with the personal texts was quite high, allowing us to address questions and more directly thank and appreciate our sign-ups. This deepened the level of connection and feeling of community for the phonebank series.

Our suggestion: use Mobilize automated text reminders AND personal text reminders if you have the capacity. If you don’t have the capacity, or if you’re skeptical, give it a try with just the Mobilize automated text reminders; ask for feedback and see if attendees received the texts and assess.

See information on Mobilize automated text reminders here: How-To: Mobilize

How To Send Text Reminders

We suggest sending personal text reminders for every event: each phonebank, postcard party, fundraiser, meeting, etc.

Note that our texting platform in Action Network is designed for sending mass texts, aka Volunteer Recruitment by Text projects. It is not designed to take care of small lists of specific volunteers. So Text Reminder Leaders will use their personal cell phones to send the texts.

Also note that the Text Reminder Leader will need to be an Administrator on the team’s Mobilize account. See How-To: Mobilize.

Instructions for <35 Sign Ups

  1. Export the list of sign-ups from the Mobilize. See How-To: Mobilize.
  2. The export list will arrive in your email inbox as a .csv spreadsheet
  3. Open the .csv file
  4. Locate the first name, last name, and phone number columns (from the many columns in the Mobilize event export .csv spreadsheets) and move all of them to the left-most side of the spreadsheet. Ignore the other columns.
  5. Add a column for texting completed
  6. In your phone’s texting application, open a blank text
  7. Create your text reminder language. Here is an example: Hi there it’s Neal from Sister District, just a reminder of our virtual fundraiser today with NC candidate Brian Farkas 5-5:45pm PT. You received the Zoom link by email after you registered – see you soon!
  8. Check for typos, correct grammar, make sure the time listed is correct
  9. Select and copy all of the language in your text
  10. Type in the phone number of the first sign-up on your spreadsheet
  11. Send that text
  12. Add an X to your spreadsheet reflecting text has been sent
  13. Open a new blank text
  14. Paste the language you had copied
  15. Check to make sure it’s right
  16. Type in the phone number of the second sign-up on your spreadsheet
  17. Send that text
  18. Add an X to your spreadsheet reflected text has been sent
  19. Repeat until you’ve completed your list

Suggested Instructions for 35+ Sign Ups

Text Reminder Leader might want to have help with larger lists. The instructions for multiple texters are (instructions different from above are italicized):

  1. Export the list of sign-ups from the Mobilize. See How-To: Mobilize.
  2. The export list will arrive in your email inbox as a .csv spreadsheet
  3. Open the .csv file
  4. Locate the first name, last name, and phone number columns (from the many columns in the Mobilize event export .csv spreadsheets) and move all of them to the left-most side of the spreadsheet. Ignore the other columns.
  5. Add a column for texting completed
  6. Add a column for “texter” so you and your collaborators can keep track of which of you is sending texts to which sign-up
  7. Assign (leader can assign or texters can assign) texters to sign-ups by adding texter first name in your texter column
  8. In your phone’s texting application, open a blank text
  9. Create your text reminder language. Here is an example:
  10. Check for typos, correct grammar, make sure the time listed is correct
  11. Select and copy all of the language in your text
  12. Text this copy to your collaborators so they can copy and paste for their texting
  13. All texters follow steps 14-19 above to complete your list

Tips for Text Reminders

  • In the text language, remember to include:
    • Time Zone
    • Time the event starts
    • Texter’s first name
    • A message like “Look forward to seeing you there!”
  • Keep your texts very very short. This is as long as you want your text to ever be:

Hi there it’s Neal from Sister District, just a reminder of our virtual fundraiser today with NC candidate Brian Farkas 5-5:45pm PT. You received the Zoom link by email after you registered – see you soon!

  • Be prepared to send links if requested, but don’t include links in your first text. Links to be prepared to send include: Mobilize Event link & ActBlue link
  • When sign-ups reply in the affirmative, thank them and encourage them to invite friends. You can share the Mobilize Event link for them to text to friends
  • Extra points for texting AFTER the event to say thank you to those who were able to attend and share a link to the ActBlue link or your Mobilize Event link for your next event