Phone canvassing is one of the best methods to get out the vote. It is a one on one conversation between political campaigns and potential voters. The overall goal is to find out who the supporters are and then discuss the particular issues and where the candidate stands on those issues. From there, individuals are persuaded to register to vote and vote for that candidate. This is not just a poll or a survey, it is a more in depth conversation that is back and forth. In some instances it has been reported that phone canvassing increases voter turnout by 7%.
The two methods of phone canvassing are through text and call. Text messages have an open rate of 98% but phone calls have an answer rate of only 5-10% depending on if it is a cell phone or a landline. Does that mean phone calls are less effective? No! That just means you have to call more numbers. If someone doesn't answer, move onto the next. Phone and text canvassing is a numbers game. The more you text, the more you call, the higher the response rate you have. The important thing is to connect with as many voters as possible, and those that you do connect with do your best to make it a persuasive conversation and connect with the voter.
You can use text canvassing by sending Text Blasts or peer to peer messaging. While SMS messages won’t be as detailed as a physical phone call, it is definitely a fast and effective way to help get out the vote. Especially with the younger generations who are voting this year. The focus here will be phone canvassing, but if you are looking for text canvassing, check out Mobile Canvassing for all everything you need to know.
Live Telephone Canvassing
As opposed to text messages that are quick, short, and sweet, phone canvassing allows deeper more meaningful conversations that can last upwards of 10 minutes. This allows the campaign volunteers to really gauge the voter’s support, connect with them, and provide them additional information and resources that they might need so that you can secure the vote for your candidate.
The future of campaigning is phone canvassing. Whereas in prior elections, door to door canvassing may have been a plausible option, it isn’t anymore. Especially in the states where Coronavirus cases are more severe. Volunteers don’t want to be going door to door during the Pandemic, and residents don’t want someone at their door. The solution? Phone canvassing. Robocent has live-call phone canvassing options. Our live phone bankers are a dedicated team and will connect with your voters for you! Talk about saving time and being efficient.
As everything becomes more and more virtual, phone canvassing is the way to go. Not only is it personal, but it is way more efficient than old door to door techniques. How many doors can you really knock on in an hour? Maybe 10-20? Depending if people answer the doors and are engaging in conversation. WIth phone calls that use live phone bankers, you can double or triple that number! No walking, knocking, or waiting for someone to answer the door. Just calling, ringing, and moving on to the next call. It is that easy.
With the current state of the world due to the Pandemic, in person activities might not be going back to normal anytime soon. There are already companies that are talking about making work from home permanent, retail stores that are moving to an online store, and more. The future is virtual. The future is phone canvassing.
Canvassing Through a Transfer Call
Transfer calls work similarly to robocalls, except the callee can get connected with a live person to answer all their election questions. What might this look like? A robocall goes out, and when someone picks up, they are given the option to press a number to be transferred. Once they are transferred then they are connected to a volunteer standing by to answer their questions. This is where the volunteer can then canvass the callee to determine who they are voting for and try to persuade them to vote for the given candidate.
Types of Phone Canvassing
There are four types of phone canvassing scripts–voter identification, volunteer recruitment, voter persuasion, and GOTV. The goals are simple, find voters who are going to be voting for your candidate, convince voters to vote for your candidate, find volunteers, and get voters out to vote.
- Find out what voters are in support of your candidate, and answer any questions they might have about certain issues. These are typically “yes I am voting for candidate A” or “no I will not be voting for candidate A.” You want to try to avoid the response of “I don’t know”, and if this is a response you are met with, give them the information needed and ask to follow up at a different time.
- Once you identify voters, you can try to recruit them as volunteers (this might be easier than you think). Think about it, right now, a lot of people have extra time on their hands. They have shortened work schedules, college students are doing school from home, and plus volunteer work is always a great resume booster. Use these benefits as leverage to canvass potential volunteers for your campaign.
- Is a voter undecided? Do they need more information and resources to persuade them that your candidate is the right one? Many of the younger generations who are new to voting do not know what candidates are running at the various election levels. Persuasion canvassing helps identify those unsure voters and win them to your side.
- GOTV canvassing’s sole goal is to get those voters in support of you to the polls! This might be phone canvassing questions asking if they are going to the polls, if they know how/where to vote, and getting a pledge that they are voting for your candidate.
What Phone Canvassing Sounds Like
When canvassing for voter identification, ask open ended questions like, “what do you think about (insert issue)?” This will identify a voters stand or uncertainty about a given topic/issue and give phone bankers a way to initiate meaningful conversation.
Recruiting volunteers is simple and once you have voter confirmation, you can use this as a leeway. You can then say something like, “Great, your vote means a lot to us. Can we put you down as a potential volunteer?”
When it comes to phone canvassing for persuasive purposes, there are two paths to take. Each path will be determined by the answers of the voter/individual. The first is similar to voter identification, find out what issues are important to them. “Oh, better health care is important to you? Well did you know that candidate so and so is all for better healthcare.” The second path might be a little different, because some individuals do not care about issues, and they might even consider themselves “not political”. The way to get these voters and persuade them to go to the polls is by using the candidates demographics and making the candidate a relatable person that the voter will like. Utilize where the candidate is from, if they are a military veteran, their family, etc. to convince the voter that the candidate is “likeable and will be great in office”.
Phone canvassing is a great way to reach those swing voters, the ones who are undecided, who might vote for candidate A but also might vote for candidate B. It is the kind of personal conversation you can’t get via text messaging. Think about your own personal texting experiences. Have you ever been having a conversation with someone and you could not tell if they were happy, sad, or angry? Texting can leave a lot of “what ifs”, When phone bankers or volunteers can physically hear the voter on the other end, they can get a feel for if the voter is just unsure about the candidate or if they are completely against the candidate. This you cannot get from a simple “yes” or “no” response via text.
GOTV canvassing, on the other hand, is not meant to persuade. This is your final effort and final contact with voters to confirm they will be at the polls (or sending in mail in votes) on or prior to election day. It’s almost the vote before the vote.
If a voter won’t quite commit their vote to a given candidate, always ask if you can follow up with them. Following your voters through the election campaign up until election day is the best way to secure votes. Consistency is key.
Start Canvassing Today
The best part about phone canvassing is that nowadays, most people are home and readily available to answer their phones. Door to door canvassing never guarantees you will get to be in front of voters, especially pre-COVID. All that walking and knocking for nothing. People work, they run errands, and are always out and about. With phone canvassing during the pandemic and post-pandemic, the chances of catching someone during their downtime is higher. Plus, it is just the safer method of canvassing in 2020 and moving forward, not to mention cheaper.