Election Day is roughly a month away, but with many voters in many states now being allowed to vote early, actually voting is getting ready to start.
With early voters making up a larger and larger share of the electorate, you can’t afford to ignore these voters.
In many races, especially close contests, the votes cast early will determine who wins the election.
Here’s five things that you as a candidate can do to make sure you reach the early voters before they cast their ballots.
1. Knock on Early Voters Doors
Times and technologies change, but this strategy does not.
Walking/canvassing precincts should be one of your top three priorities.
If you’re serious about winning you should commit a solid 8 to 12 weeks to knocking on doors.
Before and after the early ballots arrive, you should target the doors of the voters who have a history of always voting early.
In some districts that will be a majority of your voters.
Should that be the case, you should concentrate on canvassing the precincts you need to turnout if you’re going to win.
A couple weekends of precinct blitzes would likely be a good strategy for you.
2. Call Early Voters
You’re not always going to reach early voters at home, so you should call them on the phone.
A lot of candidates get lazy and do robo calls.
While that does have a time and a place in a campaign, robo calls won’t really help you collect votes.
You need to be on the phone talking to the highly likely early voters, just as if you were on their door step.
Volunteers can also help you make a lot of phone calls – as can professional paid phone centers.
Be careful though, as there are times to call voters and times you definitely should not.
3. Send Early Voters Mail
You should have a mailer or two getting to them before the ballot arrives, when the ballot arrives, and after the ballot arrives.
These can even be pre and post walk letters.
Like walking door-to-door, mail remains a great way to win a local election.
You can target exactly the voter you want to communicate with and need to turn out as a supporter.
Be sure that your mail is about something.
It can’t just feature a bunch of nice pictures and endorsements.
A mailer like that is a vanity piece and does nothing to persuade a voter to mark their ballot for your.
Your mailers should always have a very clear, concise, and easy to understand message in them.
That’s true for all of your voter contact activities and materials.
If you’re not sure if you have a good message or how to craft one, check out our premium training The Winning Message: A Six Step Formula to Win Any Election.
4. Send Early Voters Emails
Email is a cheap and easy way to contact early voters.
You should target the highly likely early voters in your district with a series of blast emails just as you would target them in your door knocking, phone calling, and with your mailers.
Remember though that you get what you pay for with email.
It’s cheap to send out and does not necessarily give you a big return on your investment.
Emails main purpose is to get your name out their with the voters, even if they delete it.
And for those who open it, be sure to have something to say in the email, just as you would in your mailers.
5. Reach Early Voters on Facebook
I’m sure you have a Facebook page for your campaign.
While a lot of candidates will go nuts trying to convince everyone who likes their page to vote for them and turn in their ballots, that’s not effective.
Facebook does not show all of your posts to a vast majority of your fans or followers.
To get in front of them, you need to pay to advertise.
And that advertising should be targeted at the early voters.
Create a series of Facebook posts – videos and images, some posted to your timeline and others private.
Then you want to sync the highly likely early voter data inside Facebook.
Once that’s done, target these early voters with your ads.
Remember, you need to be qualified as a political advertiser on Facebook.
More importantly, since you are spending money to get eyes on these posts, be sure you have the proper disclaimers that your jurisdiction requires in place.