The Dos and Don’ts of Gotv Calls

Every election presents candidates with one fundamental challenge: getting voters to the polls. This is especially true during midterm elections when voters have less of an interest in the political process.

Making GOTV calls can easily make or break a campaign on Election Day. Be sure to make your GOTV calls are as well crafted as can be. Remembering these DOs and DON’Ts can help your GOTV call get people to the polls.

DOs:

  • Have multiple rounds of calling. Talking to someone more than once about voting makes it much more likely that they’ll get to the polls.
  • Have a conversation with the person. If a voter feels like they’re having a script read to them then their attention will go elsewhere. Involving the person in the call makes sure their attention stays with you.
    • Ask them questions. Asking someone things like do they know where and when they’re voting gets them thinking about voting. Also check out plan making questions.
  • Get them to make a commitment to vote. This commitment can be used to remind them in later calls of their intent to vote.
  • Ask them to convince other people to vote. This increases the number of voters who go to the polls for the same number of calls. Also check out Adopt-A-Voter.
  • Remind them about early voting. Giving the voter a larger time frame to vote makes voting seem easier.
  • Practice your script before starting live calls. The more natural you sound on the phone the better.
  • Repeat the candidate’s name you’re calling for. This puts the candidate’s name in the voter’s mind and makes it more likely he or she will remember it.
  • Tell them you may be calling after the election to survey them. This puts some social pressure on the voter to make it to the polls.
  • Use interactive auto calls. After a multitude of calls pushing information on them this allows the voter to participate more in the call. Also check out push button automated calls.
  • Use personalized auto calls. Generic phone calls are less convincing in getting people to the polls. Check out more on personalized automated calls.
 

DON’Ts:

  • Say “I’m calling.” They know you’re calling, they’re on the phone with you.
  • Think GOTV at the last minute is sufficient. Telling a voter to vote tomorrow doesn’t give them much time to plan for it in their day and they’re more likely to ignore you.
  • Ask too many questions. This turns voting into a chore for the voter and makes it less likely he or she will make it to the polls.
  • List everything on your group or candidate’s platform. It’s time consuming and some of the things you’re talking about might not matter to the voter.
  • Use long sentences in the call. They will make the caller sound unnatural and difficult to follow.
  • Make the call too long. Your time is valuable here but the voter’s is even more so. Holding them on the phone will frustrate the voter.