If you want to be persuasive, nothing beats one person talking to another. If you can’t knock on a voter’s door and talk to them on their front porch, the second best thing is to call them on the phone.

For effective grassroots political efforts, the telephone continues to be one of the most effective tools for driving political action. The response rate to telephone contact far surpasses e-mail and direct mail, justifying the higher cost of investment.

Telephone contact enables supporters to be identified, educated and mobilized on behalf of a cause in a timely, cost effective manner. Because of the immediate feedback provided by telephone contact, ineffective efforts can be quickly identified and discontinued. Using telephone feedback, messages can be quickly adapted in time to make a positive difference.


Every candidate should have a plan in place to make Get Out The Vote (GOTV) calls in the days leading up to the election. There is no more effective use of resources in the closing days of a campaign than making sure the people who support you actually cast a ballot.

Effective GOTV efforts start in the months leading up to the election. The first step is to build a list with the names and telephone numbers of registered voters who are likely or certain to support your campaign. Door to door canvassing and telephone surveys can help you build a list of solid supporters and persuadable voters for follow-up contact.

Survey calls and GOTV calls can be of short time duration, making them especially cost effective. However, GOTV calls must be made, as the difference between victory and defeat depends on getting your supporters to cast their ballot, either at the polls or by mail-in ballot.

Survey research

The telephone is perfect for cost-effective survey research. A survey call can collect valuable information about a voter’s position on public policy issues, information that can then be matched with other known information about the voter, such as age, gender, precinct, etc.

Survey calls can also be combined with a request for support. (Example: “Do you support candidate Jan Smith for Congress? If yes: That’s terrific, because she needs your help! Could you make a contribution of $25?”)

Data is the difference between victory and defeat in a close campaign. Start building your database today.