It seems like we’re always at some stage in an election cycle somewhere in America – the beginning of a governor’s race, the middle of an incumbent mayor’s race, the last push in a midterm election, and so on.
Right now there are political mailings, meet-the-candidate parties, strategic planning meetings, get-out-the-vote phone calls, and more happening or being planned for races around the country. Most of the activity is for the election happening in a couple weeks, but some things are already taking place for next year’s elections.
Of course, fundraising is the backbone of any campaign … and funds are always limited. So it’s important to spend those campaign dollars wisely! Don’t waste time or money mailing to or calling uninterested people. Target the voters most likely to support your candidate – and, even better – those who will donate to the cause.
So how do you target voters effectively …?
Know your geography. Be sure the audience’s location matches the candidate’s area. Of course it’s easy to select a state for a governor’s race or a city for a mayor’s race. US Congressional Districts, State Senate Districts, and State House Districts can be a little trickier, especially shortly after the census and the districts have been gerrymandered … errr … re-drawn – but we can select those! Other types of areas, like school districts, aren’t loaded into count systems, so be aware that kind of area will probably need to be hand-drawn or selected by zip codes, so be prepared with a map.
Don’t just stick to party lines. Sure, it’s easy to select Democrats or Republicans, but consider if the candidate might appeal to undeclared voters as well. Perhaps there’s a major issue that’s driving the campaign that would appeal most to women, minorities, gun owners, single parents, millennials, religious households, Spanish speakers, environmentalists, etc. There are so many topics these days that are the deciding factor for many voters – if your candidate has a strong position, be sure to let the demographic it will resonate most with know it!
Target deep pockets. The goal of every campaign promotion – second only to getting elected – is to raise money. Be sure you’re targeting the people with income to spare on a campaign they believe in. That can mean selecting folks with a high income, high net worth, or people who have donated to a political campaign before.
Know the rules before you call. Is your campaign message prerecorded or automated in some way? While political campaigns can call any phone number, including those on the do-not-call list, there are rules that apply specifically to cell phones – you cannot make robocalls, use autodialing, or send text messages to cell phones. So if your calls will be automated, be sure to rent landline phones.
You’ve got the idea – now go raise money & get your candidate elected!