“Done correctly, voter canvassing programs are the most intimate and effective way to persuade individual voters to support your campaign. ~Dan Tripp, President of Voter Contact SOlutions
There are two basic type of canvassing programs that any campaign should make full use of: candidate canvassing and volunteer canvassing.
Candidate Canvassing Program
The most persuasive type of canvassing program involves the candidate knocking on doors, talking personally with voters and asking for their vote. Any type of campaign – from State Legislative candidate down to City Hall candidate – will increase the chances of electoral success if the candidate commits to a robust candidate canvassing program.
Here are some tips to make the candidate canvassing program more effective.
Canvassing Tip #1 (Time)
You need adequate time to knock on enough doors to impact your race. In a typical legislative campaign, you may need to knock on four to five thousand doors so you need to start well in advance of Election Day.
We recommend a solid 3-6 month canvassing calendar for the candidate if they’re running for the State Legislature or a County-wide office.
Canvassing Tip #2 (Technology)
The campaign will need to invest in the appropriate mobile canvassing technology so the candidate can put the walk lists and voter surveys on his/her phone or tablet.
This allows the candidate to engage in direct conversations with voters while capturing voter identification data that will allow the campaign to target the proper resources to undecided voters.
Canvassing Tip #3 (Tactics)
The two primary reasons for voter canvassing are 1) to make a personal connection with a voter to persuade them and 2) to build your name identification with targeted voters so they’ll know you and remember your name on Election Day.
We have tactics that we build into every candidate canvassing program – including a specific set of tools that will build the candidates name identification by putting the candidates name in front of each targeted voter around 8-12 times over the course of the canvassing program.
Click here to watch a short video on canvassing tactics and get our FREE canvassing checklist for your campaign.
Volunteer Canvassing Program
While not as effective as candidate canvassing, volunteer canvassers can have a dramatic impact on voter persuasion compared to non-personalized mass communication like radio and TV ad campaigns.
The mechanics of a volunteer canvassing program are very similar to the candidate program. You still need the appropriate amount of time and the mobile canvassing technology so you capture data from individual voters.
The tactics are slightly different for organizing anywhere from 5 to 50 volunteers, but once you understand the basics of your mobile canvassing app, it’ll be very easy to scale a volunteer canvassing program.
Need help setting up your canvassing program?
We’ve organized and managed canvassing programs all over the country and we know the challenges and opportunities you’ll be facing.
We’ve prepared two easily digestable resources for your campaign. Watch a short video and grab a canvassing checklist for your campaign.