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Peer-to-Peer SMS Tool

ThruText is a peer-to-peer texting tool that allows campaigns and organizations to text their contacts at scale. Since 2016, ThrutText has helped over 1000 organizations send over 250 million messages.

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

Problem it tries to solve:

In such a loud communication environment, ThruText helps progressives break through the noise and actually reach their contacts directly and quickly while also collecting the necessary data to keep the conversations moving forward at the right time.

Use case:

A local political campaign uses ThruText to ID possible supporters. After seeing discovering how many supporters they have across their city, they use ThruText to recruit volunteers for canvassing and phone banking. When election day is near, the campaign texts supporters reminder to vote and on election day continue outreach by monitoring volunteers at polling stations across the city.

Biggest drawback:

ThruText doesn’t have static numbers, instead, it rents numbers for users to use during the course of their texting campaign, meaning it’s not possible for a user to keep the same phone number across different campaigns, even if texting the same person in a new campaign.

Does it sync to NGP VAN?

Yes.

Pricing

$$$$

ThruText costs 8 cents per outbound message with a one-time $100 set-up fee. Significant discounts are available, beginning at 100,000 messages.

Testimonials

I like this system more than Hustle. What I have not liked is the poor implementation of syncing with VAN. It doesn’t sync survey questions, but still cheaper and easier to train people on than Hustle.”

ThruText: worked perfectly, only complaint is that the UI slows things down a bit with canned messages and surveys in different tabs. Highly recommended.

ThruTalk: the dialer itself was fantastic, they have a new script editor which is good, main complaints are testing scripts with live data is hard/impossible, you have to wait until the next day for exports, loading lists takes some time, hoping they’ll improve all of these, the team is great. VAN sync works well. Highly recommended, even with flaws it was way better than other tools. Requires a lot of training for volunteers.”

Pros: customer support/response, customized product for our compliance like three-click sends vs one, UI refresh = great, we got to beta test the new UI = great, being able to assign out via batches and drop down menu for “unsent texts” = great.


Cons / pain points: data sync came in very late in the cycle & incomplete, differences in our committees, data we asked for but never received like providers and deliverability and cell phone number level, buggy/caps if campaigns are over 15,000 or 20,000 numbers which made us make duplicate campaigns with weird names and inconsistent surveys, better mobile-friendly interface (either mobile website or mobile app)”

The Basics: ThruText is a peer-to-peer SMS tool that features robust analytics and admin controls.

User Flow:

  • A volunteer either requests a ThruText account from an organization or the organization sends them an email to make one. From there, a volunteer waits until they are assigned to a campaign and given phone numbers to text. They can then begin texting. Once they are done sending the initial texts, they can see the responses and begin to respond and record survey answers. Admins can view inboxes and measure progress.

Pros:

  • ThruText has a full read and write VAN integration. You can link your ThruText account with VAN to choose which lists are created automatically in ThruText, and survey results and contact results are synced back into VAN.

  • ThruText has robust admin controls. Not only does ThruText give at-a-glance analytics on response rates, opt out rates, and survey responses, but it also allows admins to go into users’ inboxes and respond to messages in a seamless experience for the contact.

  • ThruText’s ‘Follow Up’ feature allows for easy confirmations and retargeting. ThruText allows you to easily retarget any contact that has not responded to a text or marked a specific survey question — so you can reach out to them with a new pre-filled message without having to create a new list.

  • ThruText is very customizable. From designating what times of day volunteers can send texts to being able to create any custom variable or survey question, ThruText is open enough to accomodate most types of campaign.

Drawbacks:

  • ThruText is expensive. ThruText charges a flat rate of 8 cents per outgoing message to most organizations, although bulk discounts are available.

  • Phone numbers do not last longer than one list. You can’t assign phone numbers to a user account, so if you text the same person frequently it will feel more like spam to them.

  • The mobile interface is a little clunky. Responding to messages on a mobile device requires a user to click extremely small buttons on the side of their screen. ThruText is aware that this is not ideal and is working on a fix.

Pricing:

  • 8 cents per outgoing message.

VAN Sync:

  • ThruText has a two-way VAN sync that allows users to push their VAN contacts directly into ThruText from VAN. 

  • The second part of the integration allows users to sync their VAN survey questions, activist codes, shifted events, and more into ThruText and as that data is recorded, the results are sent back into VAN in real-time.

Who we would recommend this tool to:

  • Progressive political campaigns, advocacy groups, non-profits, unions, membership-based organizations, and schools/universities.

Who we wouldn’t recommend this tool to:

  • Long term or large scale organizing programs. The inability to retain a consistent phone number will decrease impact for long term organizing programs, and the cost can be prohibitive for bigger campaigns.