Texter Help Center

Setup & Getting Workflows

How do I start texting? How do I sign up for a new workflow?

1) Take our new texter training if you haven’t already done so.

 

2) Fill out our sign up form. Once you submit it, the workflow you selected will be sent to your Hustle app. (If this is your first time using Hustle, you’ll receive a text from Hustle with a link to finish making your account. After you’ve set your password, download the app and login to see the workflow you signed up for.)

 

Note: You’ll fill in this form a lot because we update the form with new workflows regularly. When you fill out the form, be sure to use the same email and phone number each time so Hustle knows to add the workflows to your account.

 

3) Check to see if there are any workflow instruction sheets for your workflow. If there are instructions, please read them in full before you start texting. These are very important, because they outline the special scripts, tagging, and opt out guidelines for that workflow.

 

4) Open the Hustle app and start texting!

I never got an activation text from Hustle to finish setting up my account. What do I do?

If you’ve used Hustle before, you won’t receive another text from Hustle. Open your app to start texting!

 

If you’ve never used Hustle before, please try filling out our form again. It could be that there was a typo in your phone number: https://resistancelabs.com/text

 

Still no text after filling out the form a second time? Please contact us at hello@resistancelabs.com. Tell us that you haven’t gotten a text from Hustle and include your name, email address, and phone number.

Where can I download the Hustle app?

Can I send texts from my computer? What's the link?

Yes! Log in here using the same Hustle login you use in the app: https://web.hustle.life

How can I learn about new workflows? How do I join Slack and/or Facebook?

We post announcements for new workflows in our Facebook group and our Slack community:

 

Do the people I text see my phone number?

No, your number is hidden! The app assigns you a proxy phone number with a local area code that you and the recipient use to communicate.

I’ve tried to sign up through the online form, but an active workflow didn’t appear in Hustle. Why not?

There are two likely reasons for this:

 

1) The workflow option(s) on the form are actually complete, but we haven’t had a chance to update the signup form to reflect that. Sorry! We don’t have workflows available 24/7, but we’ll add more soon — we promise.

 

2) The information you entered may have had a mistake, such as a typo in your phone number. Accidents happen, and unfortunately the info entered has to be perfect in order for our system to work properly with Hustle. Please try filling out the form one more time, and if it still doesn’t work then please email us at hello@resistancelabs.com.

All my workflows are complete. YAY! But I want to keep texting. How do I get another workflow?

Congratulations! Next time you want to text, go back to the online sign-up form! We work with a lot of organizers and are getting new lists to text all the time, so check back often and keep an eye out in Slack and Facebook for announcements! 

What if the form doesn’t have any workflows listed, or they’re the same as last time?

We either don’t have any new workflows yet, or haven’t had a chance to set up new workflows and update the form with them. As we said before, check back in a bit for updates. And if you know of any local organizers in red districts that may want Resistance Labs’s help, let us know so we can talk!

Replying to Messages

Where do I find people's responses?

The Unresponded Conversations section is the best place to see replies from the people you’ve texted. In the Hustle app, start at the main workflow screen. Tap “Conversations” at the bottom of the screen, then “Unresponded” at the top right. You’ll see a list of people who have texted you but you haven’t replied to. The ones with blue dots indicate new texts you haven’t read yet.

 

Check this Unresponded section at least once a day to make sure you haven’t missed anyone!

 

You can also view replies by tapping the “Respond” button after you finish a batch of contacts or the “Reply to Messages” button at the top of your workflow screen.

How do I respond if someone says something other than Yes or No?

Have you seen the “scripts” button yet? It’s the little chat/speech icon in the lower left hand corner of the screen. 

 

Click on that and you should see several responses that you can use for common responses we get (wrong name, moved, etc). We can’t provide you with a script for everything that people will say, so just use these as a starting point to craft your own response. If you get stuck, ask for suggestions in our Facebook group or Slack community! The awesome volunteers in there can help you figure out just the right thing to say.

Why won't Hustle let me send messages at night? What happens if it’s late or early morning where they are?

Most workflows won’t allow you to respond outside “normal” hours, 9am to 9pm in their time zone. Please return to the conversation when the workflow reopens.

What happens if they respond tomorrow (or several days later)?

This is common, unfortunately, but it’s still important that we follow up. You are the only one who can respond to your messages!

 

Please download the Hustle app on your phone to catch anyone who responds “after-hours,” and check your unresponded conversations tab at least once per day. (If you’re texting for an event, please check frequently up until the event.)

 

Hustle wipes away all your scripts after an event is over. If someone responds after the event has already passed, please respond if it’s something quick or easy (for example, if they ask to be opted out). If it’s more complicated or a question you can’t answer, feel free to ask on Slack or ignore it. And if the workflow had an instruction sheet, you can refer to that document for scripts and other information.

I’m getting A LOT of wrong number responses. Why am I texting the wrong people?

The lists we use are provided to us by others and they are of varying quality: we don’t compile them ourselves. This means that they can sometimes include out-of-date or incorrect information, especially when the list is brand new and we’ve never texted it before. We include an “Oops, sorry I got the wrong name” script that you can reply with, and if the recipient tells you their correct name, you can update the Hustle listing to keep them on the list.

What if the person I’m texting says they have already done what I’m asking them to do? (Calling their rep, et cetera)

Mark them as “Yes,” but also check to see if there’s a script asking them for further interaction, for example calling their rep’s local offices instead of the DC one. Remind them that it doesn’t hurt to call frequently/every day! And make liberal use of the thank you scripts!

I’ve received an inappropriate or rude response to my messages. How should I respond?

We’re sorry to say that this does sometimes happen, and we’re upset to hear it happened to you. 🙁 We recommend opting them out of the list if the person is antagonistic. We find it’s just better to move past someone that doesn’t want to engage in good faith.

 

Please let them know before you opt them out that you’ll be taking them off the list. Use the “sorry, I’ll take you off the list!” script — if you don’t let them know you are taking them off, these antagonistic people sometimes email us (or worse—or organizing partners!) to complain. Better to let them know up front!

 

Please DO NOT share inappropriate or rude conversation screenshots on Facebook or Slack. If something makes you feel angry or uncomfortable, it’s possible it will hurt or trigger other folks, too. If a text feels threatening or violent, please let us know directly and privately by emailing us at hello@resistancelabs.com.

What happens if they ask “who are you?” or “where are you calling from?”

Here are the guidelines to follow when dealing with questions about where you are texting from or where you live: 1) Don’t lie or misrepresent yourself, and 2) only give minimal necessary information — and only when asked.

 

Here are some tips shared by one of our volunteers:

 

If someone asks me “who are you?”  I always just answer with “I’m a volunteer!” or “I’m a volunteer working for X group in Y place.”  If they keep pressing me on my location (which is extremely rare, for me anyway) I might say “I don’t live in the immediate area, but I care about these issues and this is how I contribute.”  If someone asked me what state I’m in, I’d probably say “I live in CA, but I think these issues are important everywhere” etc.

Why did someone text me the phone emoji?

They didn’t text that image to you — that little phone icon you see means they tried to call you back! We don’t want you to have to handle phone calls from strangers, so we route all those calls to one offsite number. So your phone won’t ring, but you’ll see that little icon.

 

Please reply to them with the, “sorry I missed your call…” script.

What if they respond to me in Spanish/language other than English?

Unfortunately we don’t currently have voter lists or the capacity to run a fully-translated text program.

 

If the workflow has specific instructions, check the sheet to see what it says about responses in Spanish or other languages. Use the appropriate tags as directed, and don’t opt out if the instructions say not to.

 

If there isn’t a workflow instruction sheet, please help them out the best you can. If you don’t understand what they are saying, feel free to say “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. I will go ahead and remove you from our list. Thank you!”

 

If you know they are texting you in Spanish and you are sending invites to an event, here’s a simple template you can use to pass on the most important info— the invitation link:  “Hay mas informacion aqui: LINK” (“You can find more information here: LINK”)

Using Tags & Opting Out

What are tags? How do I know when to use tags? How do I add them?

Tags are labels you apply to a contact’s profile to save information about your conversation. Tags let our local partners / campaigns follow up later. Examples include:

  • Support Candidate
  • Volunteer
  • Already Voted
  • Activated

 

Many of our texting workflows have Workflow Instruction Sheets which describe what tags to use (as well as opt out instructions and scripts). Please check for a workflow instruction sheet each time you start a new workflow, and if there is one read it all the way through before you begin texting.

 

To tag someone on the app:

  1. Tap on the person’s name (with the little downward facing arrow) at the top of the text conversation. That will open up their profile page.
  2. Then tap “Add Tags.”
  3. Then tap the tag. That will add it to the account.
  4. Finally, tap “Done” to save your changes. (Close the profile page by using your phone’s back button.)

 

To tag someone on the website:

  1. Click in the “Tags” box in the panel on the right side.
  2. Click the tag in the drop down list. (If you don’t see a list of tags to choose from, start typing the tag to bring it up, then click it.) The website will save the tag automatically.

What is opting out? When (and how) do I opt out?

Opting out removes someone permanently from our texting list. 

 

Follow specific opt out instructions for workflows if available: Many of our texting workflows have Workflow Instruction Sheets which describe when to opt out (as well as tags and scripts). Please check for a workflow instruction sheet each time you start a new workflow, and if there is one read it all the way through before you begin texting.

 

More generally, we opt out everyone who asks for us to remove them or stop texting them. We also opt out people who are rude, racist, or clearly a Trump voter (“MAGA”).

 

DO NOT opt someone out just because they don’t want to take action or disagree with the item you are texting them about right now. They may be interested in the next action we text them about and if you opt them out, that removes them from all our lists and we won’t be able to text them ever again.

 

To opt someone out:

  1. Send the Opt Out script so they know they are being taken off our list.
  2. Tap the Opt out button.

Do I just opt people out when they ask to be removed, or do I send the “Sorry, I’ll remove you from the list” script first?

It is very important that you respond to EVERYONE that texts you, even if they are rude to you or they ask to be removed from the list. There is a script in there for that: “Sorry, I’ll take you off our list”.

Please send that script to them BEFORE you opt them out, whether they ask to be removed or they express anger in getting texts and you decide to just take them off. They have to understand that you have heard them and are taking action to make sure they don’t receive future messages. We don’t want them to complain to our organizing partners.

How (and why) would I tag someone as “activated?”

This is a tag we use on some activism workflows to indicate when someone is interested but can’t take the specific action we’re texting about. Don’t use it if you’re working on a workflow with instructions and the sheet doesn’t mention the activated tag.

 

If the workflow uses the “activated” tag, add it if someone:

  • Answered “No” AND
  • Seemed interested in taking action or hearing from us again

 

If someone says they want to help but are at work/are busy today/have exams coming up, tag them as “activated.” No + interested = activate!

 

Please don’t mark people who say “Yes” as “activated,” too. Just use one or the other. The Yes people are automatically added to a different list. We will often go back and text both the “Yes” and the “activated” lists, but those lists need to stay distinct.

Updating Information

How do I update someone’s name?

If someone says you’ve got the wrong name but they still want to stay involved/stay on the list, you can update their name. In the app, tap the little down-facing arrow next to their name above the conversation. That will open a profile view where you can edit their name. On the Hustle website, find their profile in the right-hand panel, click “Edit Profile,” change their name, and click “Save.”

How do I update someone’s phone number?

You can’t, unfortunately. If someone gives you a new number that they prefer to be contacted at, you can pass it onto the local organizer if one is listed. We don’t usually have local organizers for some “call goals,” when we are texting to ask people to make calls. In that case, just opt them out if they don’t want to get texts at the old number.

What do I do if someone I texted doesn’t live where we think they did OR has moved to another district or state?

This depends on the type of workflow. Workflows with special instructions will often have directions for people who have moved out of a district. Please refer to these workflow instruction sheets instead of simply opting them out.

 

In other workflows, we have a script for this. It encourages them to register to vote, to find a local activism group, and then tells them you’ll take them off our list. Use that, and then go ahead and opt them out.

Troubleshooting Technical Issues

I got an error message saying my text did not send!

This is likely a Hustle bug. If you’re in the app, try turning off the Wifi on your phone, turning it back on, and opening Hustle again. If you’re using the website, refresh the page or close and reopen the browser. If the problem persists, the text likely went through despite the message. Please swipe left (or click the right arrow on web) to send out the rest of your messages.

 

Sometimes you may appear to “lose” some of your allocated contacts when you refresh. Don’t worry! They will get reallocated to other texters.

I got a notification for a reply, but I don't see it in the conversation. What do I do?

If Hustle indicates you have a reply but you can’t see it when you view the conversation, please log out of the app (or website) and log back in. Then check your “Unresponded” tab under Conversations — you should now be able to see the replies that were invisible before. Be sure to double check for any messages that you may have missed.

Best Practices & Policies

What do general ethics and the law say about mass texting?

Texting individuals one by one is called “peer-to-peer” texting, and is compliant with FCC laws. Voter lists are maintained and made public by the secretary of each state. Also, political and charitable outreach is not covered by the Federal “Do Not Call” list. If someone asks to be removed from our list, though, you are legally required to opt them out.

 

We know that it can be annoying to receive texts for some people. However, for every person we may annoy, there are many others who we are informing and helping to resist Trump. It’s just like with phone-banking — some people don’t want to be bothered, but for many, this is their path to engagement!

Still need help? Email us at hello@resistancelabs.com!