Campaigns and advocacy organizations use various methods to contact voters and supporters, including email and text. But before people had smartphones (and therefore instant access to email and text), phone banking was a staple of campaign outreach. As early as the 1960s, phone banking empowered campaigns to reach hundreds of thousands of voters and supporters. 

To this day, phone banking remains popular among campaigns and advocacy groups as a form of outreach. Read on to learn more about what phone banking is and why phone banking is so important to organizing groups!

What is phone banking? 

In the political and advocacy space, phone banking is a way to canvass voters and supporters over the phone. In other words, campaigns and organizations call voters and supporters to get out the vote, fundraise, or sway public opinion about a politician or issue. 

For example, volunteers phone bank with campaigns and call voters to remind them of an upcoming election. During their conversations, volunteers typically follow a messaging script provided by the campaign. After the call is completed, volunteers report back to the campaign about the information they learned during the call. Information like whether the contact is planning on voting or needs more information to make an informed vote is essential for getting every supporter out to vote!

Phone banking can be as simple as a group of volunteers manually dialing a list of contacts one at a time. It can also be a robust program in which campaigns or advocacy groups use a phone banking tool to automatically dial dozens of numbers in a few minutes. No matter the size of a phone bank, the most important part of phone banking is engaging in a meaningful conversation with contacts.

Why is phone banking important? 

Phone banking is an additional tool that campaigns and advocacy groups can leverage to engage with their audience. When used in addition to other powerful outreach tools like peer-to-peer texting, phone banking enhances the quality of outreach to voters and supporters.

Phone banking allows organizing groups to reach people that don't have steady access to emails or texts. For example, rural Americans have lower levels of technology ownership than Americans who live in urban or suburban areas. Less access to smartphones, computers, and other devices means email and text messaging aren't particularly effective outreach methods for these groups. Therefore,, phone banking is a better option for consistent communication with them.

Also, phone banking provides a personal touch to voter and supporter outreach. Speaking directly to a person and hearing a human voice can make contacts more inclined to converse and be more receptive to the volunteers' message. 

Impactive’s Predictive Dialer

Impactive’s Phone Banking tool is the best predictive dialer for campaigns and advocacy groups looking to manage and scale robust phone banking programs. Volunteers can call dozens of contacts per hour with predictive dialing and easily navigate conversations with contacts using interactive scripts set up by campaign administrators. Script set up is easy — administrators create custom scripts in the script builder without needing to set up complex IF/THEN statements. Just input the first conversation prompt and add branching response options for volunteers to select from. Plus, Impactive’s dialer is the first fully-operational phone banking tool available on mobile phones! 

Phone banking isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s the best way to reach people who prefer calls over text or don’t have stable access to email or mobile phones. And for the most comprehensive outreach, organizing groups can combine phone and text banking to reach their supporters. Using the combination of these two tools can ensure that one way or the other, campaigns and advocacy groups can supercharge their outreach and engagement efforts.

Dec 17, 2021
Tools & Tech