The integrated phone bank feature allows campaigns to efficiently contact targeted lists of voters via phone calls.
For more info on how to make calls using our phone banking feature, see the Making Calls page.
If you would like to increase the phone number quantity and quality of your target from the default numbers sourced by webElect, we offer a Premium Phone Append service via a 3rd party phone vendor at a cost of 3/4 cent per match. These will be automatically integrated into all of your projects and lists.
Volunteers log into the website or app, select that they want to make calls, and are presented with the lists (projects) they have been granted access to work on. Volunteers are limited to calling only during the hours the campaign has designated for each project. Once they have accessed the Calling screen, the system retrieves the "best" number to call from the list, serving up the numbers in descending order of accuracy score. This maximizes volunteer time by prioritizing numbers that are most likely to be good. Additionally, campaign's can choose to Enhance their phone number quality by running the list through our Premium Phone Append service. This processes the list through a 3rd party phone data vendor with daily updated data sources and increases the reach of the list by adding numbers to voters in which webElect does not have a number, adding newer numbers, and verifying existing numbers so they are prioritized in the calling order.
There are 3 ways volunteers can make the phone calls:
- Standard Dialing (included) - Volunteers use a telephone and manually dial the telephone number presented to them on the screen. The Caller ID displayed to the recipient is that of the phone being used by the volunteer. If an answering machine is reached the caller would need to leave the message. See our Standard Dialing video for a closer look at how it works.
- Power Dialing via Phone (2.9 cents/min*) - Volunteers use a telephone to dial into webElect and remain connected for the duration of their calling session. They do not need to dial numbers but simply click the "call" button on the screen. The Caller ID displayed to the recipient is whatever the number the campaign has assigned to use for that list, usually the campaign's office. If an anwering maching is reached, the volunteer clicks the "Start Voicemail" button on the screen after the beep and the designated recorded message is left while the volunteer can move on to the next call. See our Power Dialing video for a look at how it works.
- Power Dialing via VoIP (2.9 cents/min*) - Volunteers do not use a phone and are instead connected into the calling platform via the browser using VoIP and remain connected for the duration of their calling session. This works in Chrome and Firefox web browsers on desktops/laptops, Chromebooks, and Android (unfortunately Safari does not support this feature so iPhone users would dial in). All the benefits of Power Dialing via Phone are the same. See our VoIP video for a look at how it works.
* Power Dialing is charged 2.9 cents/minute that the volunteer is dialed in via phone or VoIP to the system. There are no additional charges for the outbound calls to the voters. Charges are deducted from a campaign's Prepaid Credits.
As the volunteers make each call, they are presented with the designated script to recite and a list of the targeted voters to speak to, as well as non-targeted voters that may share the number and answer the call. The volunteer then completes the specified survey form for the voter(s) and selects the outcome button indicating it was a Successful call. If an answering machine is reached and the volunteer is using Power Dialing, they click the "Start Voicemail" button at the tone. There may be other outcomes of the call, so buttons are provided for each allowing the volunteer to quickly update the system with the call results so the appropriate actions can be taken.
|Successful Call||The call connnected and should not be called again.||Number is marked complete across all projects.|
|Start Voicemail||Answering machine / voicemail answered.||The project's designated recording is played. Volunteer is removed from call and can advance to next call. Number is marked as having voicemail left across all projects and will not be called again.|
|Refused||Answering party refused to participate in the call.||Number is marked as Refused across all projects and will not be called again.|
|Busy / No Answer||Either a busy signal was detected or there was no answer after 60 seconds.||The call attempt counter is incremented and updated across all projects. If 3rd attempt, number will not be attempted again. If under 3rd attempt, the number will be added back to the end of the queue after a 30 minute delay.|
|Failed / Bad #||A connection could not be made. This could be due to a temporary issue or to a permanent disconnect.||The call attempt counter is incremented and updated across all projects. If 3rd attempt, number will not be attempted again. If under 3rd attempt, the number will be added back to the end of the queue after a 30 minute delay.|
|Wrong Number||Call connected but the targeted voter(s) are not reachable.||The volunteer is prompted to click the "wrong number" icon next to each voter that is not reachable at that number. This flags the phone number as invalid for that/those voter(s). A future feature will allow any additional number for the voter to be called.|
|Do Not Call||Answering party indicates to not call the number again.||The phone number is updated to DNC status across all projects and will not be attempted again.|
- Voter's number to call and system's reported call status.
- Call control buttons and settings.
- Call outcome options.
- Campaign's survey form for the selected voter.
- Access the voter's full profile to reference or add additional info.
- If the voter is no longer reachable at this number, flag it as a wrong number.
- Session timer and the phone number used as the Caller ID.
Volunteer Assigned Projects
Call Project Settings
- Set the number to display to the voter as the caller id when using the Power Dialing feature. You must verify this is a phone the campaign can answer with a simple validation process.
- Set the hours that volunteers can access the project.
- Record/hear the message volunteers can drop into voicemail boxes when using the Power Dialing feature.
- Restrict access to the project to certain users.
- Setup the survey form volunteers complete by adding Questions and then adding Groups/Tags as the responses
Adding Voters to the Queue
- Go through the Targeting process to select the voters you wish to call.
- On the Process Options page, click "Show Options" for the Call/Phone Bank section.
- Select the radio button to "Save Into" and select the Call Project you have created, or select "Create New" if you have not yet created the project.
- If you already have calls being made in other projects, use the suppress option to prevent numbers from being called that have been called recently in another project.
1. How much does it cost to call [X] number of phones?
On average, a caller using our power dialing features can expect to call about 60 numbers an hour and have about 8 "successful" calls meaining they talked to someone and were able to obtain useful data. Other calls during that time may reach voicemail (in which the caller can "drop" a prerecorded msg and move on), no answers (which go back in the queue after 30 mins for up to 3 more attempts), refusals, (stated) wrong numbers, or disconnects. At the current cost of 2.9 cents/minute a caller is making calls, that amounts to $1.74/hour or about $2.90/100 phone numbers. However, this is an average figure and multiple traits may vary your outcome such as: demographics of your target; choosing to call only cell or landline numbers; purpose/goals of your calls, ie how long does a "successful" call last; are you leaving prerecorded or live voicemail msgs; are carriers identifying your calls as "spam"; and more.
2. What is the effect of hitting the "Do Not Call" button in the call outcome buttons?
The number is flagged with the "Do Not Call" (DNC) outcome for this phone project and any other phone projects that the number is currently in the calling queue for. The number is added to the DNC list for the campaign account and any future phone projects for this campaign only will exclude this number. The number is still displayed on the individual voter profiles' pages but is identified as a DNC number with an exclamation mark. Periodically webElect may flag a number as DNC or a wrong number system wide if 3 or more separate campaigns have identified the number as DNC or wrong.
3. Why are our phone calls sometimes identified as spam?
Unfortunately (for campaigns) phone carriers have implemented spam filtering for phone calls (and text messages) just like email providers have with email. They use traits like the qty of calls going out from a number, where the calls originate, how long the calls last, etc to determine if it's a call the recipient is likely going to want to receive and then label it as they choose.
Just like email, even though political calls and texts are allowed, the fact that so many people don't like receiving them the carriers and email providers flag them as spam. Google announced that they were looking at allowing political campaigns to register to bypass their email spam filters for Gmail. There are some phone registries that can do this for phone numbers as well. You can try registering the phone number you use for your phone projects' caller ID to lower the chance of having calls identified as spam:
- CallTransparency.com : (First Orion) validates you are a legitimate business and verifies your calling numbers
- FreeCallerRegistry.com (First Orion, Hiya, and TNS) Free portal helps entities reach the analytics companies that support the major wireless US carriers
8/24/2023 - Our phone vendor has announced a new service to register calling campaigns with the various carriers so we are looking into the registration process for that and if each campaign needs to register or if webElect can register for all campaigns.
Last updated by Doug Homan, created June 13, 2018