What is Phonebanking?
Political Phone Banking is a procedure of reaching out to the voters in a political campaign via phone calls. It is done using mobilisation software, CRM, phone banking software or call center software. It is a process where volunteers call out the potential voters to raise funds & donations, convince them to cast a vote for a particular candidate, make them attend events, get the vote out, & identify their followers & supporters. Earlier volunteers used to dial a number & talk to the voters manually, and then they had to record the information on paper. Isn't it a difficult one?
Political Phoning has become a major part of movements’ daily life or during an election. It is used to reach a mass of potential supporters or voters effectively. Majorly after covid, now it is integral that there should be fewer mass gatherings, so the candidates or political movements use phone banking to mobilise and campaign effectively. It involves volunteers calling or messaging a list of voters & explaining to them about their campaign. These campaigns may be different for recruiting volunteers while different for identifying the voters.
Phone banking is also very popular in the non-profit sector: NGOs, unions, advocacy groups, etc. They use the same tactics to reach potential supporters, donors, make people sign a petition.
Political Phoning involves:
● Preparing the list of the potential contacts or voters to be called.
● Preparing call scripts.
● Selecting the proper phone calling tools and following up to make sure that the candidate or organization can reach every potential voter.
There are several laws for phone banking as well. For example, volunteers can't make calls on cell phones for campaigning in the United States.
Phone Banking involves everything starting from finding good volunteers to getting the support of each & every voter. It is the best strategy to get data of the potential voters & get the vote out.
How is Phonebanking done?
Earlier, the volunteers used to come to the campaign office and start calling in huge numbers through a list of voters. But now, they are given a list of voters to call through a political technology called Qomon, CallHub, Prompt.io. It provides numbers automatically from a contact list & connects them to a live agent. Using this technology mass of voters can be contacted very efficiently.
SMS Banking can be as effective as phone banking because messages can be sent to voters very easily and also at a very low cost. Moreover, volunteers can easily respond to them with simple pre-built drop-down answers. There is also Peer-to-Peer texting, which is a key feature of Qomon software and mobile app, to pre-build messages that volunteers can share easily with their network, friends, community, etc. at no cost (except the cost of the software).
Peer To Peer Phone Banking
Peer To Peer Phone Banking means that the local volunteers send calls & SMS to the voters in their community, which makes campaigning personalized and vanishes the feeling of spam messages. Due to this, Peer-to-Peer Phone Banking is getting very popular.
How to Setup A Phone Bank?
If you want to set up phone banking, then you need a:
● Phone banking tools such as Qomon, Prompt.io, Callhub (a call center software specialized in phone banking and peer to peer texting that integrates with your CRM).
● Voter's list, contact list, supporters’ list, donors’ list, depending if you are running for an election or a movement looking to gather supporters or an NGO collecting donations.
● Script to be followed (see the Qomon calling guide)
● Volunteers for phone banking
Types Of Phonebanking
There are two types of Phone Banking:-
- Automated - In an automated dialer, the system dials a number automatically through a contact list & makes it connect automatically to a live agent, who answers the survey questions & reads the script.
- Manual - Manual dialer has the same system interface as an automated dialer. Still, the difference is that the agent dials the number manually & then uses an automated tool to answer survey questions.
Qomon provides a system semi-automated where volunteers don’t need to dial the number, but just to select a contact to be called on a list. It allows them to choose the pace, save time and have a more-human approach.
How effective is Phonebanking?
There are many beliefs that phone banking is ineffective as people would not respond to this kind of message or wouldn't pick up the phone.
Exceptions are everywhere, but based on the recent stats & figures, phone banking is highly effective as it saves time & money for candidates, movements, NGOs. Organizations can reach mass very conveniently. Moreover, several examples in recent times show how phone banking has worked for the candidates in the elections.
Plus, you have a few tactics that can increase the efficiency of a phone banking operation, such as, asking your volunteers to call numbers in their area (that brings local touch and with more familiar topics), build a script, ask questions to the people during the call to show you are interested in what they have to say and not just here to spread a message.
Undoubtedly, Phone Banking is used all across the globe during elections, but not only made by political movements, elected officials, NGOs, advocacy groups, etc.
Jagmeet Singh, who ran for the leadership of the NDP in Canada, used phone banking massively for GOTV (Get Out The Vote). With this, he managed to win the election & become the youngest leader in the party's history.
Actually, political banking is not done to convince voters, but it is done to find dedicated & devoted voters and also find more volunteers for the party. Phone Banking with volunteers makes the whole process much-much simple. It is very clear & obvious, take any election no matter how big or small it is, for instance, take school elections, if the candidate has to win the election, the candidate has to reach the voters to express his speech, thoughts & vision.
Phone Banking cannot work without good volunteers - (the people who put their heart & mind into the party's vision). So finding good volunteers for the party is a must; otherwise, things won't work on the right path. The effectiveness is measured not only as of the conversion of voters into volunteers but also as; whether the campaign is gaining momentum or not? Whether the number of volunteers is increasing?