Note: Below are some best practices that will help you build relationships, boost reply rates and increase conversion with Hustle. The most important thing to remember is that the magic of peer-to-peer texting is in real people talking to real people.
Top 10 Best Practices
- Treat groups as communities (or lists of people) that you are reaching out to over time through a series of goals. The best way to structure Hustle is to have more goals and fewer groups.
- Set your groups by geography so your contacts receive texts from a real, local phone number that they will recognize.
- Make sure your scripts are as short as possible — think the length of a tweet. Shorter scripts and ones that end in a question get the most replies.
- Respond quickly for great results! We crunched the numbers and our analysis showed a 20% higher secondary reply rate where agents reply in the first 20 minutes after the contact replies!
- Use tags and custom fields to target your group (or list) to the people that you want to text for each goal. More on tags and custom fields below.
- Respond with warmth even if the answer is no — it could become a yes next time. Try using “Understand that you’re busy. Maybe next time?”
- For best results at a Hustle text bank, make sure you’ve built in enough time for your agents to send out initial messages and also to manage replies that come in.
- Leave information for later in the conversation so you can engage in a 2-way conversation and build a relationship with your supporters over text.
- Avoid using short links (like bit.ly) in messages to your contacts, especially in the first message to new contacts. These messages can sometimes be flagged as spam and some carriers may stop them from going through. Try engaging with your contacts first and then send a link later on in the conversation.
- Have fun with Hustle! When you draft scripts that you’d want to receive and create a fun environment for your organizers, you’ll love Hustle and so will the people getting your messages.
Goals: Engage your people and call them to action with custom messages.
- Use reminders to follow up with those who have committed to increase participation.
Scripts: Keep it personal and design it to read as a text.
You want to make sure that your scripts are done right so you get the most replies and engage in back-and-forth conversations with the people you’re texting! Make them personal and authentic and always have fun. Remember: If you’re having fun so are the people receiving your texts.
- Keep your scripts personal and authentic! Simple scripts that read like a genuine text that you would send to someone you know is the key to getting a 2-way conversation started.
- Scripts that end in a question get the most replies! So make sure to end your script with an authentic and engaging question. Try phrases like “can you make it?” or “are you all in?”
- Keep scripts as short as possible (think length of a tweet) for higher engagement.
- Use Emojis for higher reply rates. 😉
- Don’t try to put everything in the first message. Omit information that you can give later so you can keep up a 2-way conversation.
- For existing contacts, leave out the agent introduction since they’ve already been texted from that person before.
- Use the additional response scripts to set up your organizers or volunteers for success! They’ll spend less time drafting responses to every person if they have a script library to access while responding.
Using Tags & Custom Fields
Tags and custom fields are the best way to organize your data in Hustle.
- Tags are best used to segment and identify your list by certain targets/metrics. You can tag your contacts with certain pieces of information and then target your goal to only include those people with a particular tag.
- Create your tags first in the General Setting area of the admin panel (i.e. volunteer, likely supporter, donor, etc.) and select the purpose of them: lead profile info, opt-out reason, or admin eyes only. Note: only organization admins can create, edit, or remove tags.
- Use custom fields to add additional information about your contacts that you want in Hustle. Think of custom fields as the additional columns in your csv file or VAN list.
- Add customized information in your scripts by using custom fields! For example, you can have a column in your csv for polling location and be able to text people reminding them to vote at their polling place.
- Target your goals based on specific custom field data by using the targeting section in the goal creation step.
Strategies for Good Conversations
Hustle is built to have engaging, back-and-forth conversations with people at scale! You want good conversations so when you text them again they will respond and then show up.
- Don’t put a shortened or full-length links in the first ever message to your contacts. You should aim to use Hustle to engage with people over text and a link may deter them from texting you back. Try asking how it’s going or if they’ve heard of an upcoming event/election in their area.
- Build a relationship by keeping and maintaining a 2-way conversation. This means you should build in time to manage replies to all of the people you texted.
- Avoid a hard ask (to get out the vote, donate money, or attend an event) in the first message. Try other ways to engage your members/supporters/voters with a “Thank You” or “How are you doing?”
- Anticipate receiving negative or hard no’s — people will say no. If someone is very hostile, just opt them out so they won’t receive texts.
- Spend more of your time and energy on having good conversations with people who want to engage with you and getting out your organization’s/campaign’s main messaging points.
NGP VAN Integration
Our exclusive integration with VAN allows you to easily push lists from VAN to your Hustle group and then sync back information to VAN in real-time. We’ve created these tips for our Hustle admins who use VAN.
- Give yourself enough time to successfully set up your VAN Integration — you’ll need to contact your VAN administrator for the application name and API key. You can submit a support request directly from your VAN dashboard.
- Make sure the VAN Integration is complete before you start texting. Syncs are not retroactive so please be sure to set up your information appropriately before you start Hustling.
- Do a test with a few numbers in your VAN list to make sure you can successfully push lists to Hustle and sync information back to VAN.
- When using VAN MyList, you don’t have to create a new group with every new list you create in VAN. You can add tags to these leads and push them to an existing group. Then, you can target a Hustle goal to just those people you pushed from VAN.
- Read more about Hustle’s VAN Integration on our help desk. You can find info about the VAN integration, how to send lists from VAN to Hustle and finally how to sync Hustle goals with VAN.
Reminders + Follow-Up: Keep the conversation going.
- Send Reminders to those who said “Yes” “Pledged” or “Interested”.
- Thank those who took action, including new folks who attended an event or made a donation.