3 Types of Voter Contact Winning Candidates Use

Election Day is only 6 weeks away now. That means if you’re serious about winning, then your campaign’s voter contact activities should now be in full swing. Here’s the three types of voter contact every candidate who intends to be victorious on Election Night should be fully engaged in until the polls close.

1.  One-on-One Voter Contact

The best way to win an election is the personal connection. This means you the candidate are talking directly to the voter, telling them your winning story, and converting voters to committed supporters.

In my experience the best way to connect one-on-one with voters is to knock on their door. Walking precincts is a time-tested and time-proven method for winning an election, especially a local election.

If you’re unable to walk, are running in an area that’s too rural and un-walkable, or can’t connect with certain voters at their doors, then making telephone calls is another exceptional method of making one-on-one contact with voters.

A live candidate on the telephone line goes a lot further than a volunteer calling or a robo call. Not that I’m against either. They both have their appropriate places, but nothing can substitute for the candidate themselves talking to the voters.

At the same time, you should be deploying your volunteers in your one-on-one voter contact efforts.  Volunteers can walk precincts with you and make phone calls. If you have enough volunteers to hit the pavement and make calls, you should definitely consider organizing precinct blitzes.

Additionally, hiring a professional telephone call center to make calls on behalf of your campaign is an excellent way to personally reach voters. Because you are using a call center, these calls tend to be made rather quickly. The results you receive can help your campaign target both supporters and undecided voters in the days leading up the election.

2.  Mass Media Voter Contact

Mass media voter contact includes television advertising, radio advertising, and direct mail.

Direct mail is the most effective type of mass media voter contact a candidate for local office can utilize. Every voter has to provide their address when they register to vote. You can use that information, combined with their voting history and other demographic data, to target your mailers.

Mail punches through time and time again on a campaign. I’ve never won a local race without doing mail. In fact, mail is the priority of every campaign budget I’ve crafted for campaigns for city, county, school board, and water board seats. It may seem old fashioned, but let me assure you: mail works.

You may not be running in an area where radio or television advertising is feasible, but if you are there’s one thing you must do. Be sure any advertisements you do are running on the stations and shows that voters are likely tuned into.  A good media buyer will know how to do this by comparing and complementing audience demographics to voter demographics.

If you are considering putting ads up on radio or television, be sure you can buy ample saturation. While mailers are guaranteed to arrive at all of your targeted voters houses, there’s no such guarantee your targeted voters will hear your ad on radio or see it on TV if you’re only airing it a few times.

3. Digital Voter Contact

I put this last not because it’s new, but because too many candidates put all of their time and energy into digital and online activities. This doesn’t work.

While having a digital presence is important in today’s world, walking precincts and direct mail still must come first.  Put your time and money into those, then concern yourself with what’s going on online. You will find that your digital presence will be stronger if your personal one-on-one connection is a priority.

A candidate’s online activities are pretty straight forward. You must have a website. You must have a Facebook page.  And you must communicate on email.

A lot of candidates think they don’t need a campaign website because they have a campaign Facebook page. That’s a huge mistake. 

In 2016, a candidate who does not have a website, does not exist to the voters. Think about it. How will a voter find your on Google if you don’t have a website?

Put up a website. Keep it simple. Use high resolution pictures and don’t use too much copy.  Keep it simple and be sure to tell your winning story there.

Your website should contain an email sign up form. You want to collect emails so you can communicate with voters who support or follow you. You should be adding to this list constantly, first by putting friends and family members on the list, adding supporters as you get them on the campaign trail, and allowing people who come to your website to easily join your mailing list.

As far as social media goes, you need to have a Facebook page – that’s it for your social media presence. Don’t worry about Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Google Plus. Facebook is where all the action is at for people who are likely to vote in your election.

Using Facebook’s targeting, you can upload your email list and pay to target ads directly at people whose emails are associated with their accounts. It’s an amazing tool and one more candidates should take advantage of, especially if they have a list of likely voters they are targeting in their campaign.


There you have it, the three types of voter contact you need to be doing if you intend to win on Election Day.  I hope you found this useful.  Please let me know if you have any questions or different thoughts in the comments below.