SMS War Room

Movement Labs > SMS War Room


To win in November, we need massive turnout from voters of color. Since door-knocking isn’t safe right now in many places, texting is crucial. But which messages actually make a difference?

We texted 1.4 million people over 134 messages to find the best ones to get folks registered to vote, signed up to VBM, and persuaded to vote for Dems. Now we partner with grassroots organizing groups like Black Voters Matter and send 60 million texts to make sure our people vote. We believe we can make the difference in target states to take back the White House and the Senate.

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Our Test Results

To find the most effective messages to get folks registered to vote, signed up to VBM, and persuaded to vote for Senate Democrats, we ran Randomized Control Trials, the same experimental methodology that scientists use to make sure vaccines are safe and effective. These allow us to see how our scripts impact people compared to those that didn’t receive the messages – the control group. 

Through our testing, we found that our top performing Voter Registration script utilized the recipient’s address and had a link to register in the initial text. For example,


Using scripts like this increased voter registration by 0.3% over the control group. In other words – out of every 100,000 folks texted, 300 registered to vote who otherwise wouldn’t have.  




Similarly to Voter Registration, the Vote by Mail script that performed the best incorporated a custom address. For example,


Scripts like this boosted VBM enrollment rates by 1.3%. Out of every 100,000 people texted, 1,300 will enroll for VBM that otherwise wouldn’t have. 




In order to persuade voters to vote Democratic in key Senate elections, our tests found that messaging that engaged the voters on issues that mattered to them worked the best. For example,

“Engagement” scripts showed a 2.34% increase in a voter responding that they would vote for the Democrat in that Senate race. In the tests we ran around Tina Smith’s race, we saw a 7% shift in someone’s likelihood to vote for the Dem Senate candidate!



What does this mean?

From our testing, we anticipate being able to increase Dem net votes by almost 310,000 in our target states (GA, FL, PA, WI, MI, AZ, CO, IA, ME, NC) through texting for VBM, voter registration, and Senate persuasion. This would make up for the number of votes Hillary Clinton lost by in WI, MI, PA, and GA in 2016, and it would help us take back the Senate.

Let’s turn the map from this:Into this:
Using conservative assumptions, we estimate our cost per net Democratic vote to be around $22 for voter registration and $13 for VBM enrollment. Donate today to help increase the Democratic vote!

We need your help to make all of this happen. Below is our upcoming texting schedule. Please consider joining our texting team to help us take back the White House and the Senate in November. (And yes, we are working with partners to make sure everyone who gets a ballot mailed to them turns it in early or to a drop-box).