Ensuring that you set about gathering data in the correct manner should be a key part of the strategizing at the beginning of your campaign. Without doing so, you may well end up with reams of fantastic data, but without it in an understandable format. In our case study below we look at how direct mail campaigns often contain information which is simply too general for voters - a problem that is only extenuated as scale grows. Ecanvasser provides a solution, allowing you to ensure that the letters that your voters receive are tailored to topics, and policies, that they are interested in.
Having immediate access to clean data will allow you to segment your database rapidly and efficiently:
- Examine your voter database
- Notice key trends
- Identify highly targeted segments
- Ensure your contacts contain individualized information pertinent to that voter
For demographic information, and a number of other data points, you will be able to rely on Ecanvassers standard fields. However, to tailor the system to record the data points you require, you will want to set up appropriate Custom Fields.
For general directions on their use or set up, visit the Customise Support Page
Creating your Custom Fields
When designing a data gathering plan, you will want to consider:
You will want to refrain from using the Text option as a potential answer - while this answering format has its own strengths, open-ended questions prove hard to analyze, segment, or cross-reference. As such, choose one of the other styles of an answer.
Number of Possible Answers:
While greater specificity in your data may seem useful; this is not always the case. If you allow too broad a scope for answers in a multiple choice context, this may result in sprawling data, that you later have condensed into smaller bundles.
Multiple Allowable Answers:
If you select Multiple Choice as the answer style, you can allow users to select multiple options regarding a field. This can be quite useful; however, it may also result in sprawling data, as mentioned above.
The potential application of data is also an important part of how to record it. You could have a mass amount of data available to you, but be unable to use it in the manner you require due to the format in which it is saved.
Example: Direct Mail
Consider how many individualized topics your Direct Mail will touch upon; three would seem to be an appropriate amount.
- Create that number of Custom Fields minus one, titled DM1, DM2, etc, using the answer format Multiple Choice
- Input potential answers (3-4) as the different topics that you would include a paragraph on in your Direct Mail that you believe to be major issues, e.g.
The DM2 Custom Field should omit the second potential answer from DM1, and contain the rest; in the example above, Education would be excluded from DM2
Create an additional Custom Field titled DM3, with what you may think are issues less likely to be as broadly appealing but have a niche you may want to appeal to, e.g.
- New Bypass (for)
- New Bypass (against)
- Not applicable
The purpose of DM3 is that it allows you to have a great level of flexibility as to potential individual topics while limiting the permutations.
As you create more Custom Fields, and potential answers, the permutations of possible answers increase exponentially. As such, in order to keep the workload manageable, the number of fields, and a number of potential answers above should be strenuously considered.
Your Canvassers will now collect the required data whilst out on the doors and engage with your voters via the mobile app.
Instruct your canvassers that they are to complete these Custom Fields with regard to topics that have been brought up by voters themselves primarily, and then topics that they engaged in a discussion on raised by the Canvasser - this will ensure that your Direct Mail will speak directly to your voter's concerns.
Your data will now be collected in a format that will allow you the maximum versatility for its application!
If you would like to find out more about how Ecanvasser can help you throughout your campaign, why not click the button below: