Image depicting GOTV and get out the vote

Primary season is here, which means it’s time to start planning your campaign’s GOTV operation. In a general election, your GOTV efforts are typically focused on turning out the base, and low-propensity voters. But in a primary, successfully identifying and turning out your supporters can be the difference between winning and losing.  

Here are a few tips to help your campaign run a successful GOTV program in a primary. 

Use Direct Mail to Educate Voters

In primaries where turnout is typically lower, and the average age of a voter skews older, direct mail can be an effective tool when building awareness and name ID for your GOTV campaign. Additionally, direct mail can help educate voters on important dates and ways to vote. In fact, a recent study found 77% of voters said mail was a helpful resource for learning voting deadlines and timelines.  

Finally, you can use direct mail to target specific segments of voters. For example, if your state provides information on voters who requested an absentee ballot, you can send specific mail to that audience, reminding them to return their ballot before the deadline.   

Use Digital Advertising to Targeted Audiences 

Digital advertising in primaries is an extremely cost-effective GOTV strategy because you can target likely voters based on their individual voting history. And like mail, you can create custom audiences based on issue interest, geography and voting preference. 

Programmatic and social media platforms have proven to be an effective way to drive turnout because your GOTV message needs to be short and sweet. Additionally, digital ads allow you to drive traffic to your website by providing helpful information to voters like: “Find your early voting location here.” 

At Arena, we’ve found placing 6 second or 15 second video ads on platforms like Youtube and OTT/CTV, can help drive turnout because we can run these ads as non-skippable inventory. 

Use Text Messaging (SMS & MMS) to Supplement Mail and Digital 

Did you know 96% of text messages are opened within the first five minutes of being received? Texting is a great way to get in front of your target audience with a simple message. 

While it’s hard to drive a narrative via a text campaign, a simple text—reminding voters “tomorrow is Election Day” or to “return your absentee ballot immediately”—is an easy and cost-effective way to deliver your message.  

We recommend pairing your text with a graphic or video to increase engagement and retention.  

Voters today have so many options when it comes to casting their ballot. As a result, Election Day is now Election Month. Having an effective GOTV program can make or break your campaign. 

If you need help planning your GOTV operation, Arena can build a custom plan based on your campaign goals, budget and audience segments. Call or email us today so we can get to work for you!

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