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An organised get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operation is integral to the success of every campaign. It’s at this point in the campaign that you are going to channel all the support that has been built up over the course of the campaign - and convert that into votes.

The good news is NationBuilder has a number of native features that can help you to build your digital GOTV infrastructure, saving time so you can focus your efforts effectively. In this post, I’m going to share some of those processes.

‘Build your voting plan’ page

In the build up to your GOTV effort, you will have identified your universe of supporters. Using NationBuilder native features you can get them to build their own voting plan and follow up with suitable reminders. 

Studies show that getting supporters to make their own plan to vote will increase the likelihood of them voting by up to 10%, which could make the difference in a tight election race. By making a plan and thinking through the specifics of when, how, and where people are going to vote, they are making a psychological commitment to do it. And you will collect data which you can use to follow up with reminders as well as use the ‘vote plan builder’ as a tool to acquire new supporters.

With NationBuilder signup pages you can create a simple page that will ask people to share information on their voting plan. You can use custom fields to ask people when, how and where and who they will vote with or if you want to make a simpler option you can use tags/radio buttons, a survey page or a vote pledge page. In the example below, we’ve also shared information on deadlines, linked to an external resource to help people find their voting place and given people the option to opt in for additional support (such as getting a lift to the voting place).

Build your voting plan page, see also here for sandbox version.

‘Your voting plan’ email series

After people take action on this page, you may want them to receive an email with their voting plan written out. Having the plan in writing will also help to increase the chances of people voting. Using the automations feature, you can create an email drip campaign that will send one email immediately after submitting the form, which has the details of what they submitted. Then, they'll receive a follow-up a few days later encouraging them to share the ‘build your voting plan’ page with their friends and family, which will help you acquire more volunteers.

Email 1 (left) to be sent immediately after submitting plan to vote. And email 2 (right) to be sent 4 days later.

‘Remember to vote’ email series

With the data that you’ve collected from the voting plan page, you will have identified which people are planning to vote by mail vs. on the day. You can add these people to separate lists and set up time sensitive email series so that the voters will get relevant reminders at suitable times. For example, you can send emails to remind people to request their vote, send off their vote by mail, and remind them of voting day itself.

GOTV Reminder - Email Series

You may also want to set up a simple signup page giving people the ability to confirm that they’ve voted/submitted their vote. This will be helpful information to collect so you know how many votes are in the bag and where to focus your efforts. In addition, you can use the conversion tracking feature to count people who have confirmed they’ve voted as a conversion, and automatically remove them from the automation so they don’t get any more reminder emails.

'I've voted' page (and sandbox version here)

GOTV Phone Bank Path

Along with creating your email series, you’ll likely want to have a phone banking effort as well. NationBuilder's paths feature is an ideal way to organise this, and have it integrate with the digital infrastructure you’ve already created.

Paths allow you to create different steps of engagement, so you can meet people where they are at and call through supporters in an orderly way. For example, steps you might have on your path may be:

  • Identified as potential voter
  • Confirmed as voting early
  • Called to remind of early voting deadline
  • Requested support
  • Called to remind to vote (morning of voting day)
  • Called to remind to vote (afternoon of voting day)
  • Confirmed has voted 

You can also integrate this with your existing infrastructure, so anyone who submits a vote plan can be configured to automatically be added to one step via the page settings. And, all those who confirm they’ve voted through the ‘I’ve voted’ page can be added to the step ‘confirmed voted’, which will take them out of the calling queues and help your volunteers to prioritise their efforts and focus on those who you’ve not heard from. 

A section of my GOTV Phone banking path

RECORDED WEBINAR: GOTV: Equipping your supporters to get out the vote

TOOLKIT: Digital GOTV - Get Started Kit


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