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Peer-to-Peer SMS Tool

Hustle is a peer to peer SMS platform that allows users to quickly send out and receive text messages.

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Tool type: Peer-To-Peer SMS tool
Meant for: Organizers, Volunteers

Problem it tries to solve:

How do I increase contact rate by using text messaging at scale?

Use case:

A campaign HQ team downloads a list of likely supporters to text to invite to a campaign rally.

Biggest drawback:

There are very few metrics available to admins, and its pricing model is one of the highest in the peer to peer market. 

Does it sync to NGP VAN?

Yes – Hustle can import lists via a button in VAN, and all the data from the SMS campaign syncs back instantly into VAN. It currently has the best VAN sync for any peer to peer SMS tool. 

Pricing

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Hustle pricing is based on usage.

Hustle’s pricing varies widely. Plans are based on the number of “contacts” a campaign uploads into the system, and you can text that phone number unlimited times for a set price. Many plans are in the 10-15 cents per contact range.

Additionally, many Democratic state parties will have reseller agreements with Hustle.

Testimonials

“We really enjoyed using Hustle. Organizers loved it and we saw a good action rate – about 8%. However, there was a lot of set-up involved and without a huge digital team it was a big lift on our HQ staff to set up goals on a consistent basis.”

“Pros: Easy UI; effective tool for crowd build, GOTV, etc.
Cons: Oversimplified tool; reporting is not granular enough; tool went down for several hours during GOTV 2018″

 

 

The Basics: Hustle is a peer-to-peer SMS tool that is optimized for mobile and has the most robust VAN integration.

User Flow:

  • An organizer cuts a list in VAN and clicks the “Send to Text” button. From there, the list will appear in their linked Hustle account. They can tap to send pre-loaded messages, and contact history will be synced in VAN.

Pros:

  • Hustle has the most robust VAN integration of any peer-to-peer SMS tool. Hustle signed an early contract with VAN to allow for better platform integrations. In practice, this means that VAN has a button on created lists that allows a user to send a VAN list right into their Hustle account, rather than selecting lists through the platform itself (or manually uploading a VAN export via CSV). Hustle also syncs all data back into VAN.

  • Many state parties have signed Hustle reseller agreements. Hustle will give state parties exclusive licenses for Hustle in a state (as well as a discounted rate). State parties can then resell licenses to campaigns in that state for whatever rate they choose (which could in many instances be a drawback).

  • Hustle has a large support team. The company was one of the first peer-to-peer SMS vendors to take off, and therefore has a large national support team to deal with any potential bugs or issues.

  • An organizer or Hustle user can have as many phone numbers as they wish for as long as they wish to text people with. 

Drawbacks:

  • The Hustle admin side has problems. The biggest criticism is that once you do something, you can’t undo it. There are also arbitrary caps when uploading or assigning texters to lists, which is cumbersome.

  • There are few metrics are available. Many reports require daily back and forth emails with the Hustle support team — and very few are available to users.

  • It’s still pretty expensive. We discuss this more in the pricing section, but Hustle’s cost makes it more difficult for a campaign to scale it down to organizers.

Pricing:

  • Hustle’s pricing varies widely depending on when you sign a contract, how long the contract is for, and if you’re signing it by yourself or as part of an aggregator or bulk discounter. While they do not have a publically available pricing model, standalone contracts generally run on a 10 cents per contact — you can text each person on your list as much as you like for 10 cents per month.

VAN Sync:

  • Hustle can read out of VAN via an in-VAN button.

  • Hustle can write into VAN on survey responses, event RSVPs, contact history, and more.

Who we would recommend this tool to:

  • Large organizing programs with state reseller agreements. The reseller agreements have the potential to drastically lower the cost of the tool — if the state party choses to. This could put it at an organizer-friendly price.

Who we wouldn’t recommend this tool to:

  • Programs focusing on event build with SMS. The pricing structure benefits texting the same people over and over, so if you’re doing one-off event builds, this can get costly quickly.

  • GOTV SMS programs. Again, the cost per contact model can be prohibitive for blast texting programs, like one you would run for GOTV.