Text Messaging for Organizers: How to use broadcast and peer-to-peer texting to recruit supporters and move them to action


Watch this webinar recording to learn how you can use broadcast and peer-to-peer texting to recruit supporters and move them to action.

You'll learn how organizers are using text messaging to:

  • Recruit new supporters at actions and rallies with text opt-ins

  • Mobilize supporters to attend events, contact decision makers or donate

  • Reach likely supporters via texting people from the voter file, commercial databases and other sources

You’ll also learn the differences between broadcast and peer-to-peer (aka person-to-person) programs and how they can intersect.

Relay is offering a substantial discount to PowerLabs webinar attendees. In order to qualify, be sure to mention PowerLabs when you contact Relay.

If you don’t have time to watch the whole webinar, here are 4 key takeaways:

1. Higher action rates

Broadcast and peer-to-peer texting have higher open rates and higher action rates than email. Text messaging can be used to recruit people to attend an action or event, make a call to a decision maker, donate money and more. 

2. What is peer-to-peer texting?

Peer-to-peer texting allows organizations to send batches of templated text messages, have real conversations with the recipients, and record data based on their responses. Organizations can text people who haven’t opted-in to text messages because each message is sent individually from a regular 10 digit phone number.

3. What is broadcast texting?

Broadcast texting allows organizations to send a message to thousands of people at once. Some broadcast text messaging platforms -- including Mobile Commons -- allows for automated responses to inbound messages. Organizations must get permission to send messages to supporters before texting them. Permission can be given on a sign-in sheet, a web form or from the supporter texting a keyword into a short code number. To see broadcast texting in action, text "HUELGA" to 41411.

4. Combine broadcast and peer-to-peer texting together to supercharge your organizing

Cosecha uses a broadcast text messaging platform to build their list of supporters at actions by asking the crowd to text “HUELGA” to 41411. They then use peer-to-peer texting to recruit people to attend events, join mass calls or form a local organizing team.

Watch the webinar recording above for more examples of organizations using broadcast and peer-to-peer texting.

Additional Resources


Thaís Marques is a Director with PowerLabs where she focuses on using digital tools and tactics to reach communities of color and immigrants and move them into action-oriented teams. Prior to PowerLabs, Thaís led the digital program at Movimiento Cosecha. While at Cosecha she developed new models for recruiting undocumented immigrants through social channels and connecting them to the movement.

Daniel Souweine is the co-founder of Relay. Prior to Relay, Daniel was the Director of the Bernie Sanders campaign’s national texting program, where he led a volunteer team that sent more than 8 million peer-to-peer text messages during this year’s Democratic Primary.

Lloyd Cotler is a mobile strategist at Mobile Commons and was SMS Campaign Manager at Hillary for America, where he ran the nationwide SMS program for organizing, fundraising, GOTV, rapid response and more.