What Businesses Can Learn from Voter Engagement Campaigns

Authored by Raquel Guarino

As the 2018 midterm elections draw closer, nonpartisan voter engagement groups are ramping up their efforts to get more voters on the rolls. And it appears to be working in Texas. Near the end of September 2018, Texas counted at least 15.6 million registered voters, a new record for the state.

Looking at voter campaigns, one can see some direct correlations between their goals and that of a business. While voter engagement campaigns are typically nonpartisan, the main goal is to generate action and enthusiasm from an otherwise apathetic group of people. And isn’t that the mission of a growing company? Help.com took a look at some of the most common ways campaigns mobilize citizens to register to vote. Here’s what your business can learn from their strategies.


Make It Personal

According to Nonprofit VOTE, research shows that the more personal an interaction is, the more likely someone is to register to vote. The group says “Voters respond best to other people, especially friends, neighbors, and community-based agencies that are familiar.” While it’s not always possible for companies to be best friends with their customers, it is important that businesses acknowledge the role that building relationships and familiarity plays in increasing customer engagement and sales. That being said, there are some things you can do to familiarize yourself with your customers and create longer lasting relationships:


Make It Easy

Because most people don’t have a serious incentive to use your product explicitly and exclusively, it’s important to understand how any little thing can keep them from giving you business. For potential voters, Nonprofit VOTE says that minimizing the barriers to voting is essential to creating engagement. Here’s how you can apply that knowledge to your strategy:


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Timing Is Everything

When it comes to mobilizing voters, timing is everything. Most people don’t want to spend more time than necessary figuring out how to register to vote. They also may be turned off by the idea of having to wait in long lines at the voting booth if they’re in a rush. The same goes for your potential customers. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the time you spend with them is respectful of that. In general, that means cultivating an environment where being considerate of your customers’ time is a major priority for you and your team.


Be Competitive

Nonprofit VOTE says that competition is a main driver of turnout and that mentioning highly contested candidate races is a great way to drive more people to cast their votes. A great takeaway from this is that your business shouldn’t shy away from mentioning competitors. In fact, acknowledging competition could be a great way to generate conversations and stand out from the crowd. Here’s why:


Positivity is Powerful

Negative messaging can be “counterproductive” to increasing voter turnout, says Nonprofit VOTE. Instead, the organization suggests reframing communication to encourage people to take action. Similarly, when it comes to your business, keeping a positive tone throughout communications is not only professional, but it’s also appreciated.


Are there any other similarities between voter and customer engagement strategies?

Let us know in the comments.


P.S. You can register to vote here.

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