Tag Archives for data-driven voter contact

Taking Political Data to a New Level

In an effort to continually enhance the voter data for campaigns, we’ve integrated two exciting new features this month:

1. 50-State Voter Database

Voter Gravity now features complete voter files in all 50 states. Our database now includes:

  • Voter profiles appended with vote history for all major elections going back at least four cycles;
  • Geocoded voter profiles that will display beautifully on our Esri maps;
  • Able to append key consumer data points to increase predictive accuracy;
  • Monthly and quarterly updates for phone numbers and addresses;
  • A unified database that allows us to track voters even when they move across state lines.
Voter Gravity’s database also includes phone numbers and emails in all 50 states. With the click of a button, candidates and organizations can now append phones and emails to their voters, giving campaigns of any size the ability to truly tap into the power of Voter Gravity’s technology.

More Than Just Voter History: Esri Tapestry Segmentation

2. More Than Just Voter History: Esri Tapestry Segmentation

We’re excited to take the Esri maps inside Voter Gravity’s system to a new level. Voter Gravity has integrated Esri Tapestry Segmentation into our Esri base maps.

Campaigns now have an even better idea of what makes up the “fabric of America’s neighborhoods,” allowing them to identify and target voters with the best political data. Esri’s Tapestry Segmentation divides US residential areas into 65 distinctive segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics to provide an accurate, detailed description of US neighborhoods.

7 Digital Best Practices for Your Political Campaign

“Hope is not a strategy.” 

Among the many awesome insights gained while repping for Voter Gravity at the Inbound 2013 marketing conference in Boston last month, introduced in last week’s blog post, I find this pithy statement sums them up (thanks, @BenGrossman).

It’s not enough to hope to be the best. You need to craft an effective digital plan for your campaign that will nurture relationships, empower your supporters, amplify your offline message, and ultimately, win votes.

Examining Inbound’s innovative digital marketing strategies through a political technology lens, I came away with seven practical tips that the savvy political campaign can begin to implement today:

1. Be on the way, not in the way. We’re in an attention economy. Your campaign shouldn’t be like the pop-up ad that blocks users from the content they wish they were experiencing, but rather the purveyor of the information they want. Don’t interrupt, interact. As Seth Godin puts it, “Be worth connecting with.” Don’t coerce, connect. Do so by creating content so meaningful, your audience can’t help but share it

2. Target, target, target. Just like you target voters in your district, know who you want to reach and make steps to do that. How do your voters spend their time online and where? Your voters are online all day, every day. As Pew recently found, the majority of Americans own smartphones. Of those smartphone users, 72 percent say they are within five feet of their smartphones the majority of the time.

3. Get up close & personal. Meaningful relationships resonate online as well as off. Create a hyper-relevant sense of community among your audience by showing how well you know and identify with them. Strategist Ben Grossman stated, “Social media is where your brand lives as a verb.” As a candidate, your site and micro-sites are key places to actively show voters that you deliver on the promises you’re making. Allow your personality and vision to show through each post, (high quality!) picture, infographic, tweet.

4. Get LinkedIn. One out of every three professionals on the planet is LinkedIn, according to @WillHambly, online marketing manager for LinkedIn. As you form relationships with those in your community and establish yourself as a thought leader, don’t leave out LinkedIn. These are business decision makers who invest their time on this professional network to gain insight on their careers and current affairs. In fact, there is six times more engagement with content on LinkedIn than with jobs. Connect with community members and share valuable content, linking back to your other sites and social networks.

5. Always include a clear call to action. Whether it’s a post on Facebook with a link or a speech at the local rotary club, ask your audience to do something with the information you just gave them.

6. Ask questions. Don’t think of your online presence as a platform but rather an opportunity to join the conversation. Give your voters a voice. Engage. Show that you value your audience’s input by initiating with questions and then responding to comments and other content.

7. Use data to measure and improve. Keep a close eye on analytics. Track your efforts through Google Analytics, built-in alalytics (like Facebook Insights) or third-party programs. Data analyst Nate Silver emphasized that paying attention to stats empowers your relationships and actions: “Statistics is the science of finding relationships and actionable insights from data.” He incisively ended his keynote with the quote: “The road to wisdom? Well, it’s plain and simple to express. Err, and err again, but less and less.”

Using Campaign Technology to do GOTV Right

As we enter an era of data driven politics, it’s important to know what really works and what doesn’t in regards to Get-out-the-Vote (GOTV). It is still astounding how much money was spent on robo calls and mail for GOTV in 2012. There were reports that the some campaigns were doing five robo calls a day to the same voter during the last five days of the election.

The good news in regards to where you should spend your time and money for GOTV? Alan Gerber and Donald Green have already done a study for you to let you know what works best. In their 2004 book, which has been updated, they broke down the most effective means for GOTV. (There have been even more recent updates at Yale’s research site on GOTV.) But let’s take a look at some of the techniques, with their cost and effectiveness:

Alan Gerber and Donald Green GOTV StudyNow the study notes that the * means “Cost effectiveness is not calculated for tactics that are not proven to raise turnout” and that “door-to-door canvassing is talking to targeted voter, for phone calls, talking to targeted voter.” So robo calls, emails, and direct mail have no real impact for GOTV, and it should be noted that television and radio raise turnout by less than a point. That is not even targeted GOTV. It just raises turnout generally, not necessarily among a campaign’s targeted voters.

The study came up with the $29 a vote for door-to-door by calculating $16 an hour and 6 contacts per hour. The live calls were based off $16 an hour and 16 contacts and hour. Imagine if you were able to drive down costs for doors and phones to, say, $10 an hour, and then drive up doors to 10 contacts an hour and calls to 25 contacts an hour. That’s what campaign technology like Voter Gravity can do: make volunteers more efficient and effective by targeting the right voters so that more of the right work can be done in a shorter amount of time.