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How to Build a Voter Contact Plan

Creating a voter contact plan for textbanking can help get more voters to the polls on Election Day.

illustration of little people around a large voter box holding big smartphones with a checkmark symbol
July 27, 2023
Chloe Mulliner
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Reading time about 4 min

When it comes to organizing support for an upcoming election, voter contact is crucial. Voter contact, political lobbying, or field organizing involves communicating directly with voters to gain their support and encourage them to vote on Election Day.

Voter contact involves a combination of the following communication methods:

  • Canvassing: Speaking with voters face to face
  • Phonebanking: Calling voters on the phone
  • Textbanking: Texting voters on their cellphones
  • Letters: Sending election material to voters by mail

Of course, when mobilizing voters, you won’t just pick up the phone and randomly dial a number or send a text on the fly. Instead, you should have a game plan, which helps decide who you’ll contact, how you’ll contact them, and what your messages will say. And that’s where a voter contact plan comes into play. A voter contact plan is a roadmap that helps guide your lobbying efforts.

So, how do you build a voter contact plan of your own, and what’s the link between outreach campaigns and text marketing? In our guide below, we’ll help you create your own contact plan focusing on textbanking.

 

How to Build a Voter Contact Plan with Textbanking

As we referenced above, textbanking involves sending SMS texts directly to voters who have opted in to receive your messages. These messages may include information about your candidate, polling locations, and Election Day updates.

To begin creating your own direct voter contact plan for textbanking, follow these seven steps:

#1

Pinpoint Your Target Voters

You need to know who to send your SMS to before you can begin your political text marketing efforts. To do so, you must determine your target voters and grow SMS contact lists for robust outreach. This involves understanding the three kinds of voters:

  • Supporters: Those who already support your candidate or political party
  • Swing voters: Those who flip-flop between different political parties
  • Opponent voters: Those who will not support your candidate or political party

Next, break those voters down into these categories:

  • Regular voters: Those who usually vote
  • Sporadic voters: Those who sometimes vote
  • Consistent non-voters: Those who never vote

From here, you can gather those most receptive to your mobilizing efforts. Typically, regular voters who are consistent supporters and swing voters are considered persuadable, as are sporadic voters who are supporters or swing voters. It’s these groups of voters that you’ll want to focus on texting while avoiding the consistent non-voters and opponent voters.

#2

Segment Target Voters

With a better idea of your target voters, it’s time to divide them up by factors like geography and demography. Segmenting your voters helps you make the most impact because you can appeal to certain aspects that relate to them.

For example, grouping voters who live in the neighborhood lets you send them messages about their specific voting precinct. Meanwhile, having information regarding their age or income level can help you craft messages that align with their lifestyles.

#3

Build out Your Messaging Timeline

Once you’ve identified and segmented your target voters, you can create a timeline to determine when to contact them.

The following are the phases you should follow, but the length of each will depend on how many days you have leading up to Election Day:

  • First contact to swing voters before early voting starts
  • First contact with strong supporters before early voting starts
  • Second contact with a period of persuasion before early voting ends
  • Final contact with get-out-the-vote efforts right before Election Day

#4

Make First Contact

When textbanking, your first SMS message to your voters should introduce the candidate and campaign and establish their permission to continue receiving additional political texts.

This first contact is an opportunity to get a temperature check on the voter and gather more information, such as whether they’re registered to vote and how willing they are to vote in the upcoming election. With textbanking, you can have one-on-one conversations with your voters to elicit more information about their voting intentions.

#5

Create Voter Contact Profiles

You can start creating voter contact profiles with the information you’ve gathered from your initial contact. These profiles should include the voter’s contact details and information regarding their support level. This info also lets you further segment your voters, helping you decide how much nurturing they will need to persuade them.

#6

Make Second Contact

Now, it’s time to step up your textbanking efforts. Your next iteration of messages should focus on persuasion. You’ll want to craft personalized messages, encouraging the voters to support your candidate and take advantage of early voting. Remember, swing and sporadic voters will require more communication and a stronger push than your supporters and regular voters.

For the best results, you should combine textbanking with other forms of direct voter contact, such as phonebanking and canvassing.

#7

Make Final Contact

As Election Day nears—typically around ten days out—you should begin your get-out-the-vote efforts to get your voters to the polls rather than persuade them to vote a certain way.

Your text messages should include information about polling locations and polling hours. They can also feature last-minute nudges, offer details about transportation to polling locations, and provide reminders about the importance of voting. Essentially, these SMS messages are your last-ditch effort to get people to vote.

Don’t forget to review our tips on SMS marketing for government entities too.

EZ Texting Should Get Your Vote

If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to reach voters, then turn to EZ Texting. From pre-election to sending SMS alerts post-election, our text marketing platform can help boost engagement and get more eyes on your campaign content. Contact us today to get started.

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