Research-backed Strategies and Tools to Increase Voter Turnout

With elections right around the corner, and the Pandemic changing the voting protocol, you might be wondering how you can increase voter turnout. With voter turnout lagging in the United States, at only 55% of people participating in elections, candidates must start implementing strategies to boost turnout. To increase the number of people participating in elections, take a look at why people might not be voting and use that to come up with strategies to counteract those reasons.

Connect With Millennials

Targeting Millennials who are new to the voting world will be an excellent way to increase voter turnout. Millennials tend to be unsure of their place in the elections. Several factors could be the cause of this uncertainty. Perhaps they are not educated in the political realm, they don’t know the process on how to cast their votes, or they don’t think that their opinion and say have a place. To squash these excuses, your campaign has to educate and encourage them.

Many people don’t like to ask questions because they feel like they might face judgment for their lack of knowledge. The truth is that many people, especially those fresh voters who are right out of high school, don’t know much about voting. It is not something they teach in school (but it should be). The good news is you can use our text message marketing to increase voter turnout. How? Well, our Conversation Starter allows representatives to engage with your voters via text. With this platform, recipients can ask questions and receive responses, be directed to your website, or referred to call your campaign hotline for more answers to their questions.

You can prepare text responses for questions like

  • Where do I vote?
  • When do I vote?
  • What do I need to bring with me when I vote?

These might seem like simple questions, but many do not know the answers. Not only that, but they won’t take the time to find the answers on their own. So you must prompt their questions and open up a dialogue for voters to ask these essential questions. Once people are informed, the odds of them going to the polls increases.

Why should your campaign care about Millennials, though? One reason is that the number of Millennials is catching up with the number of baby boomers. Check out our blog, 6 Ways to Earn Votes from Young People, for more tips on reaching the younger generations.

How do you know which voters are Millennials so that you can target them and secure their votes? Robocent has up to date voter data for your campaign! With our voter data, you can find out the names, age, location, and more registered voters. Using this platform will help you connect with younger voters and secure their votes. When they are informed, know where or how to vote, and are confident that their voice in political matters makes a difference, they are more likely to participate in the elections.

Plan it Out

Things always flow better when there is a plan. You can even help voters make an election plan through text marketing questions or poll questions. Ask things like:

  • Do you have a voting plan?
  • When do you plan on voting?
  • Will you be voting via mail-in or in person?

One thing is for sure—voting will be different this year. Asking questions helps reduce any uncertainty that voters might have about any upcoming elections. When people know how and when they are voting, they will be more likely to follow through with their votes.

There is a lot of stress and concern about going to the polls this year. With the Pandemic, there is an expectation of long lines at the polls and confusion about where to vote. Not only this, but different states have different rules about mail-in voting, and so do federal elections. The best advice here is to inform and inform some more. Leave no room for confusion.

Have a Clear and Engaging Message

Why might people not vote? They might think that regardless of who wins the election, bills and policies will be the same irrespective of the candidate. Voters need to know why your campaign is different from others, why they need to vote, and why they need to vote for you. Make clear distinctions between your campaign and your opponents, and encourage voting by bringing value to yourself. For example, let voters know how their lives could benefit from you in the office, the kind of reform that can occur, and any other relevant information.

The point is, stand out. Voters, especially Millennials, want to know how their life can be improved. Another way to engage voters with your message is to target those who are swing votes. That is, involved voters who can be pulled one way or another, and give them all the information they need to come out on top. Under-represented groups are another targetable group. Again, make it clear that if you are elected, they will benefit versus if Candidate B is selected.

Social Media Engagement

The great thing about social media is that platforms like Instagram and Facebook have ADS that you can pay for to promote your campaign. These paid promotions are customizable to your specific voter demographics and your price range. With these advertisements, the more you spend, the more engagement and views your AD will get. Not only that, but you can track statistics on each platform, which will tell you how many viewed your promotion, how many views turned into “clicks,” and more. Clicks are an actionable item. They will tell you how many people are clicking your AD to be redirected to your website or wherever you are trying to redirect them.

Social media is a perfect place to create a promoted schedule, especially for absentee votes. This schedule will provide reminders, so people know when to register to vote by, sign up to be a registered voter, and the countdown till election day.

Don’t put social media on the backburner. It is a proven method for reaching your targeted audience/voters, and you can see results of your social media campaign AD in real-time.

Social Pressure

You have all heard it, folks. You have probably even experienced it as a kid. Growing up, a friend or sibling may have had something that you wanted, so you went to your parent(s) asking for the same item. Your only justification for wanting it is: “but so, and so has it.” It is human nature to want what others want to follow what others do. Monkey see monkey do. It is as simple as that. So how can you use this concept to increase voter turnout?

A GOTV mailer was sent out in a study, letting voters know that it was a public record of whether they voted. The result of this mailer was that voter turnout increased by 8%. This shows that if there is pressure behind voting, i.e., that one’s family, friends, colleagues, etc. know if they participate in an election, this will prompt them to get out there and vote.

Another social pressure strategy is to tell voters that you may contact them after the vote to ask them about their voting experience. This urges people to vote because if campaigns do follow up, voters want to have information to provide rather than a response of “uh, I didn’t vote.”

Contact, Contact and Contact More

Persistence is key. Right? Right. Make sure that you contact voters not once, not twice, not three times, but four to five times. Whether you are calling or sending out texts, these messages should come in different stages. Ideally, your campaign will begin reaching out to voters five to six weeks before election day. Start by introducing yourself, touch base, confirm voter support, and remind the voter the day before election day to vote. Consistent contact will keep your campaign fresh and relevant.

A useful GOTV text right before election day might look like this: “[insert date] is Election Day. Polls open from [insert time]. Find up your nearest polling location at [insert polling location website]. If you have questions about voting, text us back, we’re here to help— [campaign name ].” This is a compelling and informative final message. The last thing your campaign wants is for someone not to show up on election day just because they didn’t know where to go.

Robocalls for the Win

Robocalls are another effective campaign strategy. They are even more compelling among seniors. Like text messages, they are suitable for reminders about election day. Plus, it has been shown that seniors listen to these calls for an extended period compared to younger generations.

Due to the limitations of the Pandemic, in-person campaigning and going door to door is not ideal. This year, and moving forward, text and call marketing will be the strategies used to pull the most voters into the polls.

Almost all of these strategies can all be achieved with text and call marketing. Which is how you will connect with voters, help them create an election day game plan, keep them informed and educated, and more. Use Robocent for all your campaign marketing needs and get voters to commit to their vote. Increase voter turnout and get elected today with Robocent!