Tips for Political Marketing and GOTV Strategy in the Cloud

Santa Monica, CA – June 9, 2010 — In the spirit of election season, here are 8 tips from telecom expert CallFire for developing an online Political marketing strategy or GOTV campaign in the Cloud. CallFire attempts to highlight trends in online political warfare specifically in the 2010 election cycle.

#1 Market your candidate in search results on Google and Bing
Around election time people will be searching these and other search engines by candidate name. Your search result should appear for similar queries and any relevant permutations. Consider showing your candidates ad whenever someone searches for the names of political opponents. 

#2 Place site-targeted ads for your candidate on Political websites
Content match advertising allows you to place video or text ads for your candidate across various websites and mobile devices. Consider targeting geographically relevant local news websites and the political news sections of nationally read publications Huffington Post and Politico.

#3 Accept campaign contributions online, via telephone and snail mail
Make it blatantly obvious how supporters can donate to your campaign. Services like Google Checkout, CampaignPay and PayPal allow you to build web-forms to accept online donations. Seemingly simple variances in ad-copy and your call-to-action text can result in considerable percentage changes in your collections efforts. (
Fast forward to minute 18:00 to watch Dan Siroker discuss how small changes in user interface design can change donation outcomes.)

#4 Enable volunteers to make voter-outreach calls from home
Some volunteers prefer to work from home. In 2008 and 2010 we saw an increase in on-demand Virtual Call Centers usage by political folk. Solutions like CallFire’s own Cloud Call Center and Five9’sVirtual Call Center software allow volunteers to be geographically distributed areas of the United States.

#5 Survey your population via telephone and social media
Make calculated efforts to collect data on your voting population with online & telephone surveys. For example Facebook and Twitter support applications like RealPolls, providing an easy tool to survey Facebook users. Toll Free feedback hotlines can easily be set up using a Cloud IVR system like CallFire or Angel. Advertising an anonymous feedback hotline allows voters to freely voice their opinions, giving them the opportunity to be heard. 

#6 Tailor communication by age, location & political affiliation
If you’re mobilizing volunteers for phone banking, ensure voter-lists are paired with volunteers of similar backgrounds. This creates trust and increases the chances they will discuss issues of mutual importance. For email campaigns, be sure to address issues important to that specific voter. Electronic communication affords you relevance and micro-targeting like never before.

#7 Try the “Google Surge” (no, it’s not a dance move)
The phrase “Google Surge” or “network blast” refers to practice of buying all online ad real-estate for a single ad-network in a given geo-targeted area. A network surge can cost anywhere from $1M-20M per surge but ensures thousands in your geographic area will see an ad from your candidate.

#8 Partner with an experienced Political Technology company
Experience trumps all, so if you’re late to the game and don’t want to architect your Cloud campaigning solutions in-house, we suggest you find a great technology partner. We recommend a company like Action Kit or an experienced creative political consultancy like CraftDC. If you can’t afford one, a hosted CRM such as Salesforce or Leadmaster platform can be used to manage your outreach efforts.

To accurately measure your outreach efficacy you must define quantifiable success metrics!
The modern political campaign seeks not only brand awareness, but also interaction and voter education. Always question your assumptions, rely on real-time data feeds and create innovative ways to connect with voters.

Updated 06-12-2010

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