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Political phone banking is one of the most important and effective strategies used by political campaigns to reach out to voters. It can be used to get out the vote or to canvas particular voters.
Everyone knows that political campaigns can only win by getting more votes than the other side. But before anyone thinks about voting for someone or a particular political party, they need to know they exist, who they are and what they stand for.
Successful campaigning is about making human connections. People make these kinds of decisions based on the people they’re being asked to vote for, so that human connection makes a real difference. Phone banking offers a realistic way of making those kinds of connections and is less time-consuming than door canvassing.
It allows you to reach out to people and make direct contact with voters in a way that’s personal while also behind highly efficient. You don’t need lots of money or hoards of volunteers in place in order to achieve success with a phone banking strategy.
It doesn’t take long to call a voter and this is what makes it so efficient. It takes as little as 3 minutes, and often even less than that.
You can use a list and a very small team of callers. Before long, they’ll have made direct and personal contact with a huge number of voters, and there’s none of the legwork that comes with door canvassing involved. But even if you are door canvassing, phone banking is a great complementary strategy, especially when it comes to boosting voter turnout.
How Does Phone Banking Work?
Phone banking is very simple. Volunteers call lists of voters and discuss issues relating to their campaign. Of course, the discussions and the aims of each conversation will vary depending on the campaign, as well as which stage the campaign is at. It could be about getting the vote out, raising campaigning money or identifying voting intentions.
Advanced Phone Banking Tools and Software
It’s neither efficient nor cost effective to use regular phone lines and calling methods to phone bank, however. It gets too monotonous and too much like hard work, with all that dialing, recording of information and waiting around. With an advanced phone banking software, it’s much different.
With the right phone banking software in place, volunteers log in and make calls via the browsers on their computers; it’s all very easy and efficient. Feedback can be stored very easily and voters can be assigned automatically to the people making the calls.
The software calls the number for you, skips bad numbers, answering machines and engaged numbers, meaning your phone banking volunteers will save a huge amount of time. And that’ll leave more time for vital campaigning.
Setting Up a Phone Bank
Using a tool such as Call Cowboy makes setting up a phone banking session very easy. The things you’ll need to prepare and take care of include the list of voters that need to be called, the script that you want volunteers to read, as well as the volunteers themselves. Other than that, there's not much to do as long as you've trained your volunteers and prepared additional aids such as surveys.
Phone Bank Parties
With the wrong approach, phone banking can be pretty dry and boring, but it certainly doesn’t need to be. When done in a group of enthusiastic people, it can be a lot of fun and can improve the morale of your campaign team. They can encourage each other to do better when you plan a phone bank party and get everyone together to bond during the session. Make it social by allowing everyone to be social, interact and discuss things as they call voters. It’ll make the campaigning more effective too.
The Two Kinds of Phone Banking
There are two different types of phone banking to choose between: automated and manual. Here are more details about each of them.
Automated Phone Banking
With an automated approach, a contact list is used and the dialer automatically dials through that list. When a call is answered, it gets connected to one of the phone banking volunteers. It’s known as a virtual outbound call center.
The volunteers can connect with the software offered by Call Cowboy by using a browser connected to a headset, mobile device or landline The browser is also capable of displaying the script and other information the caller might need to use. It’s straightforward and hands-free.
It’s also possible to use a phone to connect to the campaign effectively dialing into the campaign and talking to people that way. Phones are more familiar to older volunteers, so they may feel more comfortable with this method. It also doesn’t require an internet connection for making calls. However, more devices are needed and it’s not the most cost effective approach.
Types of Dialers for Automated Phone Banking
Predictive dialers are great for when you want to reach as many people as possible. The dialer filters out the calls that aren’t answered and only directs the ones that are answered to the caller.
Power dialers call automatically, leaving the caller to focus on the other tasks at hand. A dial rate can be chosen depending on the speed required at a particular time.
Preview dialers are very flexible because they allow the time for a caller to research each contact. That’s why they’re suited to more in-depth conversations.
Manual or Collective Calling
The difference between automated and collective calling is that with collective calling, is that the calls are not made by the software tool you use such as Call Cowboy. Instead, the number has to be manually dialled by the volunteer.
This option makes sense if you want to seamlessly assign contacts to volunteers without any problem.
Which Should You Choose?
It makes the most sense to choose an automated calling system if you are looking to reach voters for a political campaign or talk to people for an advocacy group. If you aren’t bound by any TCPA regulations, this option is also the best one.
Collective calling is the right choice if you are bound by those TCPA regulations but still want an optimized approach. It’s also a better approach if you are mostly calling mobile numbers rather than landlines.