When you think of some of the most influential leaders and philanthropists history has offered us, what stands out to you about their words?
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
These famous speeches may have come at different times in history, but they all have one thing in common—they are no more than 60 words long.
20-60 words is all it took to capture the hearts and minds of the world for decades over.
You too have the power to create an impact in just 160-1,600 characters with your text messages. If these great leaders have shown us anything, it’s that less is more when it comes to advocacy.
And today, we’ll break down the anatomy of what that looks like for your text message advocacy campaigns.
Texts are a direct, personal way to connect with your audience outside the noise of traditional marketing inboxes. They place your message alongside that of your recipient’s closest friends and family.
Better yet, texting delivers your message to the only inbox with a 98% open rate!
In the spirit of the brevity texting provides, here are a few more quick reasons SMS makes the perfect vessel for your messages:
Photo Credit: Pooja Rathore
Writing an advocacy text message isn’t dramatically unlike how you would write any other long-form appeal to action.
The key difference is a need to capture attention and dive into what you want your audience to do far more quickly than you may with an email or letter.
The traditional text message is 160 characters long. However, MMS (multimedia messages) not only allows you up to 1,600 characters of text, but you can also include photos, videos, and PDFs to accompany your message.
Of course, all of this is easier demonstrated through example. So, we’ll imagine we’re a nonprofit writing to advocate for eco-form to our text subscribers.
Here’s how we would approach the process.
While it may seem obvious, capturing attention in only one sentence can be tricky. Your opening line needs to be both informative and engaging as you won’t have the time or space to expand on it deeply.
Some common methods for doing this include:
Next, you’ll get into the core of your text message. This portion should strive to answer the question “why should I care?”
There are a few different strategies for presenting your data in a clear, brief way:
💡 SimpleTexting Tip: Attach a photo of an infographic to include additional material in your text that would make it too long to include in the body!
The most important part of your advocacy text is the grand finale—the call to action. You want your readers to finish this message knowing exactly what they need to do to get involved.
Here are some of the most popular, SMS-friendly CTAs:
As you can see, short and sweet doesn’t have to mean you sacrifice quality. Just remember, when writing your advocacy text messages:
And in the end, you’ll wind up with a knockout advocacy text like this: