Case Study


iAmerica Action Uses Text Messaging to Engage Thousands of People at Local Events – And Sees a 227% Increase In Clicks Over Email Outreach

Challenge: How Do You Turn On-The-Ground Events Into an Enduring Relationship?

iAmerica Action is a national organization dedicated to advocating, defending, and fighting for the rights of American immigrant families. They focus on inspiring civic and democratic participation among their members, to bring about real change.

As part of their mission, iAmerica Action realized they needed to reach young voters – especially Latino Millennial voters – in battleground states and districts. But while iAmerica Action could register and have conversations with voters through on the ground canvassing, they immediately lost touch with most of the people who passed through their events. iAmerica Action wanted to stay in contact, to keep people engaged and mobilized around crucial immigrant issues.

How could iAmerica Action turn a one-off contact into a continuous relationship?

Solution: A Mobile Campaign to Reach New Members and Build Long-Term Relationships

iAmerica Action worked with the digital consultants at Beaconfire RED to launch a mobile messaging campaign, which could turn their local events into list-building opportunities.

“People passing by were having meaningful conversations. We thought we could extend those into an ever deeper engagement,” said Jared Schwartz, Vice President for Strategy & Innovation at Beaconfire RED.  “iAmerica Action could use their on-the-ground canvassing to acquire new members over text.”

iAmerica Action asked people at their events to enter their information into an app, integrating Upland Mobile Messaging with their canvas program. People who signed up automatically received an SMS notification asking them to join the campaign. Almost 50% of people agreed to join. They then received welcome-series messaging to engage them more fully with iAmerica Action’s mission.

Reaching Members in Multiple Languages: iAmerica Action and Beaconfire RED sent out messages in both English and Spanish to make sure that everybody could understand their messaging. But most importantly, they made sure all their messages were in a conversational style. “We put a lot of thought into our audience, and so sometimes we include Spanish idioms in the English list,” said Schwartz.

Segmented Messages Based on Voting Eligibility: iAmerica Action segmented people as they registered based on their their voting eligibility. Were they eligible to vote but not registered? Were they not eligible to vote at all? By segmenting people into different groups within their Upland Mobile Messaging campaign, iAmerica Action was able to send targeted messages and relevant resources based on people’s voter status.

Results: 13,000 New Members – And Click-Through Rates of 8.5%

iAmerica Action reached nearly 13,000 new subscribers through their on-the-ground text message signup. That means 13,000 new and active members they can connect with, at no extra acquisition cost.

As iAmerica Action continued to use text messaging to reach their new members, they saw tremendous engagement, including:

  • Average open rates of 97%
  • Click-through rates of 8.5%

During the same time period, email had only a 15% open rate and a 2.6% click-through rate. That means at the crucial point at which iAmerica Action was reaching out to new members, SMS was over 500% more likely to be opened, and 227% more likely to be clicked.

Working together, iAmerica Action and Beaconfire RED were able to engage a motivated community over SMS. Through keeping the “conversation” going throughout the entire election cycle, iAmerica Action was able to get enough people motivated to head to the polls in Nevada and Colorado, states Hillary won.

As iAmerica Action continues to advocate for immigrants’ rights, their community of mobile subscribers is just a text away.

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