The 7 Best Ways To Make Get Out The Vote Phone Calls

Published on June 10, 2022

Phone calls for GOTV increase voter turnout by 3.8 percentage points.

While that may seem like a small percentage, in highly competitive races, 3.8 percent can make all the difference between winning and losing!

While there are several means of contacting supporters, GOTV phone calls are one of the most effective methods for reaching your constituents. Here’s why-

  1. All costs considered, phone calls are a relatively inexpensive means to reach a large number of people.
  2. With the right technology, such as autodialers, you can reach up to 3x more supporters per day compared to other methods.
  3. You have a personal connection with voters and encourage them to vote

Let’s look at how you can conduct a successful GOTV phone calling campaign.

Steps to take for effective GOTV phone calls

The right strategy for GOTV phone calls will ensure that you drive as many voters as possible to polling booths or get them registered to vote – whichever may be your aim. Here are steps that you can take–

  1. Plan in advance.
  2. Keep it personal.
  3. Prepare a solid script.
  4. Use the right tools.
  5. Decide what type of calls to make.
  6. Know GOTV laws.
  7. Keep your call simple and brief.

We explain these in detail below.

Plan in advance

Although you will make your GOTV calls only a few weeks before the elections, it’s a good practice to prepare in advance. Here’s how you can plan your GOTV calls:

  1. Determine the universe of voters you would like to target. How many people would there be on that list? How many phone calls would you need to make? Acquire voter data and contact lists to begin your calling campaign.
  1. Layout a timeline for both voter ID and GOTV calls, and what your plan of action for both of these calling campaigns will look like.
  1. Find the technology you would require to contact this universe of voters. This will help you determine the number of working hours, days to reach the voters, how many volunteers you would require, and for how long. You might want to think about–
  • The type of dialer you want to use – manual or autodialer.
  • If you want to go for an autodialer, then the type of autodialer you want to choose, you can take our quiz to find out which autodialer best suits your campaign.
  • If you want to use other means of communication such as text messaging or email for follow-ups.

Learn the difference between different dialers through our article Power Dialer Vs. Predictive Dialer: What Is Best For Your Campaigns? 

  1. Calculate the number of volunteers you require for your campaign. You will need more volunteers to cover your ground if you are opting for a manual dialing campaign compared to using an autodialer such as a power dialer or predictive dialer. This difference appears because an autodialer will help your volunteers make more phone calls (about 3x) an hour than a manual dialer. 

Here’s how you can calculate the number of volunteers you require-

​​Volunteers required = (Total contacts) / (Dials per hour X Days X Hours per shift).

Total contacts are the number of contacts on your list

Dials per hour are the number of calls that a single volunteer makes in an hour. This number depends on your dialer and the time volunteers spend on each call.

Days you plan to run the campaign

Hours per shift are the hours in a daily shift per volunteer.

You can read our article The secret to recruiting volunteers through 8 swift steps to learn how you can quickly recruit volunteers for your GOTV campaign.

  1. To ensure they are fully prepared to make the calls, train volunteers and practice mock calls so that they know all the possible queries that might come up during the phone call. 
  1. Your volunteers will also need to know necessary information such as the state ID contacts required while voting, the processes regarding voting via an absentee ballot, and if a particular state allows early voting. Ensure they are updated with state-wise voter registration laws.

Keep it personal

Being personal and having a two-way conversation can decide the efficacy of your call. When agents are friendly on the call, they make a stronger impression on the constituent, leading to a greater likelihood of them going out and voting. When your agents call, here are a few things you can ask them to keep in mind–

  • Be nice and polite.
  • Ensure that agents refer to contacts by their name to create an element of friendliness. 
  • If they repeat a script in a robotic voice, there’s a good chance that voters might get put off by the monotonous voice; keep room for flexibility in calls. 

You May Also Like: 10 tips to win at political phone banking

This brings me to my next point.

Prepare a solid script

Creating a good phone script helps in different ways: 

  1. Your volunteers will be confident about what they say during the call.
  2. It helps them remember and stick to the objectives of the call, thus improving your results. 
  3. It prompts them to talk about information that is too tedious to remember, and the message is clear and consistent. 

Of course, there are instances where as a phone banker, you will be required to deviate from the script, but it is still a strong guide in your GOTV call. Alternatively, CallHub offers branching script features that allow agents to branch into different scripts based on the constituent’s response. 

We’ve included a GOTV phone call script for your reference:

Sample GOTV Script

Introduction –

Hi, my name is {agent_name}  and I’m calling from {campaign_name}. Am I speaking with {constituent_name}?

If the answer is no: Can I speak with {constituent_name}? OR When will {constituent_name} be available?

If the answer is yes: {Constituent_name}, I’m calling today to remind you that you can cast your vote on {election_date}. 

Question- Can we count on you to vote this year?

If the answer is no: Why not? Voting this year is more important than ever because {insert reason depending on your campaign’s stance}. We can help you register to vote if you would like.

If the answer is yes: That’s great! Do you need us to assist you with anything when you vote this year? Have you been registered to vote? How will you vote? 

Thank you for your time {constituent_name}; I hope you have a great week!

Use the right tools

Without exception; you’ll need to make your GOTV calls to many people to mobilize them to vote. Tools like CallHub help optimize your efforts. With a phone banking tool, you can get volunteers to target contact lists at 3 times the speed of a manual dialer.

We’ve listed some software tools you can explore to improve your GOTV phone calling campaign– 

CallHub’s tools for GOTVHow it helps your campaign
AutodialerAutodialers like the power dialer and predictive dialer make phone calls on your behalf, instead of manually dialing numbers. Save time and improve outreach.
Dynamic caller IDWith the dynamic caller ID feature, you can change your caller ID to match the location of your voters. For example, your number will reflect a Texas area code if you are in New York and calling someone in Texas.
Agent leaderboardYou can make phonebanking for GOTV fun by introducing an agent leaderboard and giving away prizes to volunteers who are on top of the board.
Timezone callingEspecially useful when you are making calls to constituents at a different timezone; timezone calling helps you stay compliant with local call regulations.
SurveysSurveys can act as an excellent resource for your GOTV campaign. You can conduct text or phone surveys before or after your calling campaign to gain insights into voting patterns and turnout.
ScriptsAdd scripts to your campaign so that volunteers can access them easily. It’s much better than sharing scripts on a different platform and referring to them while on call.
Text follow-upYou can increase the voter registration and turnout chances by immediately following up your call with a text message. 
AnalyticsOne of the most important tools of your calling software, analytics can give you great insights into your campaign, volunteer performance, etc. so you can make better, quicker decisions.
Link shortener and trackerYou can showcase your brand and avoid telecom filtering with a link shortener. You can also track how many contacts clicked on the link and how many times.

With CallHub, you can also connect with CRMs like NationBuilder, NGP Van, and The Action Network, where your contact data instantly gets updated in the CRM. 

Decide when to make GOTV phone calls.

Several states in the US allow early voting, which takes place before the actual elections, so you should make your calls at least a few weeks in advance to remind people of this, depending, of course, on where they live

Also, make a list of the absentee ballot request deadlines and call your constituents in advance to give the necessary information regarding the absentee ballot rules, in-person absentee voting, etc., so that they are well prepared to vote in whichever way they want according to convenience.

Read Also: Why You Must Include Mail-In Ballots in Your Next Campaign 

Know the laws for GOTV calls

Staying compliant with regulations should be your top priority when conducting a calling campaign. You can avoid getting fined and discontinuing your campaign if you follow specific rules set by the Federal Election Commission.

Here is a list of FEC guidelines to follow when making GOTV calls–

  • Unions and corporates can make GOTV calls within their organization, asking people to get out the vote or vote for a particular candidate or party.
  • Organizations can provide transportation to their employees or members to the polling booth.
  • As an organization or union, you can operate phone banks to urge your members to vote or vote for a particular party or candidate.
  • If you are making communications that contain express advocacy, you must include appropriate federal disclaimers. Look up your State’s disclaimer requirements to know more.
  • You cannot call voters on the ‘Do not call’ list.

Keep it simple and brief

Lastly, GOTV conversations have to be short. Your campaign is calling busy people and taking up their time, so ensure your agents get their points across and answer associated questions in minimal time. 7 seconds is all they will get to make an excellent first impression.

If someone is unsure or doesn’t want to vote, agents can follow the above script but train your agent not to spend too much time trying to convince them otherwise. After all, they have a lot of calls to make as well, right!

GOTV efforts via phone calls are convenient for convincing, reminding, and mobilizing people to cast their votes. Make use of the tips above to optimize your efforts with maximum results.

Related reading: 10 Last-minute GOTV tips to Increase Voter Turnout for Political Campaigns (Scripts Included)

Apart from these tips, let’s look at a few Do’s and Dont’s you can follow to make your GOTV calls even more effective.

Dos and Don’ts of a compelling GOTV phone call

Knowing what ideas to implement and what to avoid while making GOTV phone calls can make all the difference between a vote and a no vote. Follow the Dos and Donts mentioned below to enhance your campaign.

DOs

  1. Keep it brief: You are calling a constituent and impeding their time. Keep your calls concise and deliver your message quickly. You do not want people to hang up on you.
  2. Train agents for every likely scenario: It may be a rude recipient or child who picks up the phone. How a volunteer reacts in that scenario depends entirely on how you train them.
  1. Have an FAQ list: An FAQ list answers questions that an agent is most likely to be asked. A handy FAQ list on your calling software will act as a good pointer for the agent and help the campaign prepare the best answer for common questions in advance.
  1. Be a good listener: Frequently, volunteers might catch some information on their GOTV phone calls if they listen closely. You might find out that a constituent intends to vote but does not know how to register. You can help them if you are alert.
  1. Have a follow-up strategy: Following up with constituents is a great way to remind them of the action you want them to take – get out and vote. You can schedule a mass text, or a voice blast reminding them to vote. 

Do Not:

  1. Be caught lacking information: As someone who is supposed to guide voters and help them register or get out to vote, you need to know as much as possible about the voting process. 
  1. Focus only on yourself: Let the person on the other side speak if they want to. It can be daunting, especially if you have a script to follow and you are in the flow, repeating the same script to multiple people back-to-back. However, allowing space for people to talk may help you gain insights, register more people they know, or address their concerns.
  1. Ask too many questions: There might be a fine line between gathering information and seeming intrusive. Know the exact questions you need to ask when calling and ensure they are important to the conversation. 

The way forward

A GOTV phone calling campaign is essential for reaching out to as many voters as you can. While a strategy in place is the first step towards creating a successful campaign, the next step is finalizing a calling software that supports your campaign’s goals.

CallHub’s calling software caters to campaigns such as yours to ensure you run effective campaigns. Try CallHub for free for 14-days to see for yourself.

Featured Image Source: Mikhail Nilov