Mass SMS Tool
Peer-to-Peer SMS Tool
Problem it tries to solve:
How do I onboard a P2P SMS, blast SMS, and call tool platform all in one place at a low cost?
If you want your organizers to be able to run their own localized blast SMS program, you could set it up with this platform.
The platform has not been tested widely on a general election statewide electoral campaign yet.
Does it sync to NGP VAN?
Yes – read and write.
Costs vary based on services but are generally based on usage and are very affordable. For instance, peer to peer text messages cost only 1.6 cents per outgoing message.
Additionally, you can pre-pay on your account, meaning you will not pay more than you want to – the service will just stop.
Bulk usage discounts are available.
“Used for texting, UI is horrible and janky, lots of rough edges around loading contacts and building campaigns. Sent texts to numbers on the DNC list a few times, VAN sync was very glitchy. Not worth your time or money.”
“I was looking for a mass SMS and robocall tool and referenced ACRONYM to find CallHub. I only actually used the voice broadcast services but found them incredibly easy and fast to set up, pay for, and track (and I had never set up robocalls before). There was some trial and error, but their FAQs were easy to understand. I didn’t interact with CallHub staff at all.”
The Basics: CallHub is a multi-channel platform that allows for various types of call tools (predictive dialing, power dialing) and SMS options (peer-to-peer and mass/blast).
It’s cheap. Peer-to-peer SMS only costs 1.6 cents per outgoing text and 1.2 cents per incoming text. The call tool features are similarly well priced at 1.6 cents per call.
It’s a one-stop shop for many different channels you might want. If different departments in your team want different channels (i.e. a digital team wanting MMS, an out-of-state team wanting a dialer, etc.) it’s helpful to just have one vendor and one contract to work with.
You can cap the amount each account can spend. If you’re concerned about the cost of scaling this tool, you can pre-load credits into an organizer’s account so they can’t rack up a large bill.
Its UI is organizer friendly. It doesn’t require a large amount of training to get started, and organizers will be able to quickly navigate the tool.
You can put VAN lists right into an auto dialer campaign. No more spreadsheet downloads and uploads!
The peer-to-peer SMS functionality is new and has not been tested on a statewide GOTV yet. A lot of peer-to-peer SMS tools have crashed under high usage and adjusted after initial crashes. CallHub is still new and hasn’t gone through this same process.
The VAN integration is a little wonky. While CallHub does have read/write permissions for VAN, it can only read out survey questions and activist codes (not lists), and when you text someone they’re marked with an activist code, not a contact history note.
All CallHub services are pay as you go.
Predictive/Power Dialing: Free for the first 5,000 calls, 1.6 cents per call after that.
SMS: 1.6 cents per outbound text, 1.2 cents per inbound text, $2 per month for phone number rentals.
CallHub can read survey questions and activist codes out of VAN and write survey questions and activist codes into VAN.
Who we would recommend this to:
Any campaign that wants to call a large universe in a short amount of time. The dialing platform is both cost effective and user friendly enough to make it scalable.
Programs that are worried about unwanted costs. CallHub allows you to preload credits into the system, meaning it will stop once it hits a certain threshold. This allows for more exact budgeting.
Small campaigns where organizing and digital are fully integrated. CallHub does both texting and calling which often fall under different departments. If your program has one person doing both, this might be a good solution for you.
Who we wouldn’t recommend this to:
Large campaigns with large budgets. CallHub gets the job done, but isn’t quite tested for national use cases. While it is competitively priced and functions well, we would want to see it scaled more before national adoption.
A state party or non-cycle dependent program that already has a short code. Similar to domains, it is advisable to keep one consistent short code to build long term infrastructure. We would rarely advise changing a system that would change your short code.