Election day is less than 90 days away or even sooner depending on the state’s early vote. Your campaign or organization has probably completed its message mapping – polling, IVR surveys, focus groups. TV and radio have been purchased, and direct mail is likely finalized and off to the printers.
Now it’s time to activate your volunteers in the most meaningful way possible: coalition building.
Want to know a secret? Volunteers have something no paid marketing could buy: passion and enthusiasm!
Time and time again, we see the best calling campaigns not based on length of script or number of agents on a shift, but through the quality of the conversations between a volunteer and the call recipient.
A working parent, who rushed out of the office for after school pickups, then zooming off to ballet. In that tiny sliver of a moment between pickups and dropoffs, she gets a phone call (true story).
How do you keep her on the phone and engaged in your message?
- Time your call to action. You’re keenly aware of voting dates: when early vote starts, when ballots are mailed, and what’s required to vote. People on the phone? Maybe not so much. We consume political processes like a box of donuts. But most folks are just trying to get through each day’s news cycle. Time the calls around these important dates; alert people when their mail-in ballots have arrived, or when the deadline for registering to vote is coming up. Help bring education and awareness to the process so they will feel comfortable and confident about voting.
- Build listening into your call scripts. Give your audience the space to tell you what they care about. And bonus points for equipping volunteers with phone numbers, websites and resources to direct people for more information. Remember, quantitative data helps list building. Qualitative data builds relationships.
- We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – know your audience. Do you have voting history that shows whether they vote in-person or by mail-in ballot? Was this person a regular voter then dropped off? Why did that happen? Are they aware that there is an important measure lower on the ballot (and that they may need to flip the page on the ballot)?
- Give a platform to your volunteers to tell you what they’re hearing on phone calls. Volunteers are boots on the ground. Their insight is invaluable and often, critical, to adjusting a script that adapts to the needs of the audience. Moreso, pair your volunteers with an audience that aligns with their values.
For example, pairing first generation callers with first generation call recipients could lead to a greater empathy and understanding, and create a safer space for a message to be received. Intercultural communication is essential.
Predictive dialers are extremely useful in managing our most valuable nonrenewable asset: time. The most effective calling campaigns leverage your greatest asset, your volunteers, so their time is spent having conversations. Leave the setup, dialing, and wait times to us.