Phonebanking Guide

With traditional events and door-to-door campaigning on hold, phonebanking is more important than ever, and we need you to start now! Calling early does three things: we clean up the list of voters by removing bad numbers, we identify supporters and we recruit more volunteers. We must do this now so that when we get close to election day, we know we’re calling people only supporters who will be encouraged to cast their vote for our candidates.

Tips for Phonebanking Success 

  • New to phonebanking? Read about it below, and/or watch our recorded webinar and see the slides to learn the basics.
  • If you’re calling for Joe Biden, make sure you’ve seen our DVC Joe Biden webinar.
  • Each week, make time to phonebank during our scheduled phonebanking shifts when DVC phonebanking experts will be standing by to help you. Start your shift by checking in with us on Zoom for any recent updates.
  • Keep phonebanking as many days as you can.
  •  If you need help other days of the week, email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Phonebanking: The How and Why

What is Phonebanking?

A phonebank is a coordinated effort by a campaign to talk with voters, using official state and local voter lists to decide who to call. These lists contain every registered voter, combined with information from previous campaigns and the DNC.

We make calls:

  • To encourage people to register, complete ballots, and vote for Democrats.
  • To find volunteers.
  • But especially to gather data for future action.

Every call is a good call!

  • All data is good! Even the bad and the ugly!
  • Data from voters who do not like our candidate is a Good Call!
  • Wrong or disconnected numbers are Good Calls!
  • Finding out a voter has deceased is sad, but the call itself is a Good Call!

Why is this good?

  • We’re cleaning the lists to prepare for GOTV (Get Out the Vote).
  • GOTV is typically the final days of the campaign when we call/knock on doors of every voter who’s been identified as a supporter.
  • We need them to vote! Without their vote, We Won’t Win!

Why Phonebank Now?

  • Early voter engagement is key!
  • Next to knocking on doors, phonebanking is proven to be the most effective way to reach voters.
  • This year, early knocking on doors will be limited due to Coronavirus.
  • We must clean up the voter lists for 2020.
  • We need to identify both supporters and non-supporters.
  • We need lots of volunteers, and everyone we call needs to talk to 10 more people!
  • Many voters may have not been contacted in a while and we need to make sure our voter lists are up to date.

Making Calls – Using the script and being yourself

  • Review the script and put it in your own words.
  • Learn about your candidate from their website.
  • Understand how to mark voter responses.
  • Feeling nervous?
  • Most people are nervous at first!
  • Remind yourself why you’re doing this, and all that is at stake.
  • It’s okay to make mistakes – we all do!
  • Worried that a voter will yell at you? It happens. Just move on.
  • Don’t have all the answers? It’s fine! Refer them to the candidate’s website. Or, get their phone number and call them back.

Phonebanking Etiquette: Make the most of your calls

  • Call when it is convenient for the voter – check the time zone of the state you’re calling.
  • Be brief and get to the point.
  • Smile and be upbeat.
  • Make a personal connection with the voter (“My aunt lived in Wichita” …)
  • Tell the voter why YOU support the candidate.
  • No need to argue with a voter! Just move on.
  • Be prepared for all types of voters (Grouchy, hang ups and even some swearing!)
  • You WILL talk with voters who like your candidate.
  • Thank the voter for taking your call and for voting.

To Leave Messages, or Not to Leave Messages

Most campaigns do not want us to leave messages. Why?

  • It can take too long to leave a message – time is better spent making calls.
  • Most people don’t listen to them if they don’t know you.
  • It is not a way to identify supporters and track your calls.
  • People get annoyed by phone messages.
  • They may be less likely to talk when reached later.

Please do NOT leave messages unless the campaign specifically asks you to.

IMPORTANT: Tracking the Data for Campaigns

Marking voter’s responses is the key to cleaning up our data. Responses include:

  • Not home – the voter doesn’t pick up the phone, they will be called again
  • Busy – same as not home
  • Wrong number, Disconnected
  • Refused – when the voter explicitly tells you to leave them alone
  • Deceased – sad, but important data to clean up list
  • Do they support our candidate – and other campaign-specific questions?
  • If told by another member of a household that the voter will not vote for our candidate, then because they are not the voter – mark as not-home and the voter the will be called again
  • Will they volunteer?!

You CAN do this!