Monday, February 27, 2017

5 ways to use voter contact data in campaigns

Guest post by Jeff Swift, author of Digital Community Organizing

Securing relevant voter file data is one of the first steps for any 21st century campaign. You’ve got to know where the registered voters live so you can plan house parties, canvassing, and GOTV efforts.

But your data efforts can’t end there. Contact information can be the most invaluable asset a campaign has, and voter file data is often out of date or irrelevant — how many voter lists still show the number for a home phone that was disconnected 8 years ago?

Whether you’re running a small municipal race or a full statewide one, it’s worth the effort to append accurate phone and email data to your voter file. Here are 5 ways to use voter contact data to change the course of close political races:

  1. Find out how many voters are already on your email list.
  2. Discover pockets of email list subscribers in neighborhoods you didn’t realize had any supporters.
  3. Send an email to all registered Democrats in a certain neighborhood to let them know about an upcoming event.
  4. Update your voter file phone records to get accurate contact numbers, often including mobile numbers.
  5. Build their own phone banks — and SMS texting banks — for voter outreach, fundraising, and GOTV.

There’s no reason the big high-dollar political campaigns should be the only ones with robust voter contact programs. The data is out there, and is usually quite affordable from services such as Accurate Append's data append. The cost is almost always worth it, particularly when you consider how much more effective your campaign will be when you have accurate contact information for all the people in your voter file.

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