Campaign Calls are most effective when done at the right time for YOUR campaign.
When NOT to make Campaign Calls
We need to get this out of the way up front. There are some times when you should definitely not be trying to call voters:
- Before 9 AM or after 9 PM: You don’t want to waste people’s time in the morning when they are trying to go to work. And you do not want to disturb people’s evening when they are unwinding and trying to move into going to bed.
- Too early on the weekend or too late.
- During a holiday
- During an unofficial holiday.
- At a time that is legally not allowed by federal, state, or local law in your area. Please check with an attorney or proper authorities for proper guidance on this.
When to make Live Campaign Calls
Live calls are great for identifying supporters, persuasion, and getting people to the polls.
You need to start identifying supporters early so you have time to build your list of voters you can count on for Election Day.
Ideally your first live calls should start being made after your first mailer or couple of mailers have arrived in voters mail boxes.
This means that if you have people voting by mail in your district, and most of us do know, you better mail to those folks early and start making calls to them right away.
Making live persuasion calls, in my personal experience, works great in the final weeks of your campaign.
At this point folks have seen your mail, and if you are a serious candidate, there is a good chance you have knocked at the door and had a conversation with them.
If they were undecided, a final persuasive push at the end of the campaign may just get them on board. Adjust this method according to contend with early postal votes.
Get Out The Vote (GOTV) live calls should be made in the final few days or hours of the campaign. These calls are made to all those folks you identified from your earlier calling, and from walking door to door.
GOTV calls should only be made to those voters that you have identified as supporters.
You can make GOTV calls to voters that you have identified but ONLY if you know they are voters that will NOT vote for your opponent if they vote.
GOTV calls are best made starting the Saturday before the election and running through the last possible minute that a voter can possibly get to the polls.
When to make automated or robo Campaign Calls
In my opinion robo calls are best made as informative calls and not persuasive calls. They are not very effective as GOTV calls.
An informative robo call would be one announcing an important endorsement or an upcoming campaign event. Robo calls can be a great and effective way to get this information out.
Timing for informative robo calls obviously depends on your strategy for using a particular endorsement or promoting a campaign event.
I have also seen robo calls used effectively with precinct walking. A targeted robo call can be effectively used announcing that a candidate will be “in your neighborhood on Saturday knocking on doors” .
Robo call can also be a reminder that absentee ballots will be soon mailed or that Election Day is today or coming soon. But it is not clear how effective robo calls are with convincing voters to go vote.
Too often I see campaigns doing robo calls at the last minute when they don’t know what else do to, or simply on whim.
Make sure robo calls are part of your campaign plan and targeted.
Push Pulls, Unscrupulous and Negative Campaign Calls
Don’t even waste your time with this nonsense. Many candidates in history have used Campaign Calls to spread lies about their opponents.
Who knows if they work. My guess is there were many other factors that mattered. But I guarantee it won’t work for you.
It will end up being a story in the local press and make you look bad.
As soon as the voters figure out that it was you, they will think you are a bad person and rightfully so.
A final word on the Timing of Campaign Calls
Phone calls, live or automated, are just another tool in the box. It is a tool that campaigns should use when it makes sense.
Think out, far in advance, your phone schedule.
There is not a clear specific time to make campaign calls that applies to all campaigns.
It is clear when not to make campaign calls (see above “When NOT to make Campaign Calls“).
However, the timing of your calls does matter. But you will need to figure out when it matters most for your campaign.
Just Make certain your timing of Campaign Calls is part of an overall campaign strategy.