Increase Voter Turnout: Personalised Language
How to increase voter turnout
Voter apathy has unfortunately become more and more of an issue in recent years. The key for increasing voter turnout is motivation. Motivation for participation: we have to strengthen the feeling of being part of society and our ability to create meaningful change through participation. You can increase motivation by using personal voter language. Personalising voter communication is closely related to using effective voter language when voters belong to different groups. With personalised language, voters as individuals are the focus.
Using Personal Language in your Election Campagin
Your election campaign is addressed to your voters and should therefore consider their personal situation. You want to activate your voter as effectively as possible to motivate them to vote. Voters receive a high number of messages on various channels every day, so you therefore need to draw their attention towards you. An important step is to use personalised language to address voters. So how can your election notification attract your voters' attention in their email inbox and actively address them?
Learning from the best allows you to significantly increase voter turnout – using personalised voter language.
The US election campaign in 2008 was a small revolution concerning voter language. Presidential candidate Barack Obama led a strongly personalised election campaign on social networks and was very successful with this strategy. Obama’s election campaign relied heavily on information about his voters. His campaign team knew the interests of his target groups which allowed him to directly address these issues and the needs of voters.
All eligible voters can be categorised according to their voting behaviour – and then specifically targeted. Categories can be “voters”, “non-voters” and “irregular voters”. Once expected voting behaviour has been established, voter information can be designed for each of the different groups.
- Voters can be thanked for voting in previous elections in the lead up to the next one
- Non-voters can receive information about what their vote can change before they get their poll card
- Irregular voters can receive information about the reasons for low voter turnout which demonstrates an understanding of their concerns – thereby encouraging them to vote
Understand your Voters
So how do you approach addressing your voters more personally? To learn more about what your voters think about the next election and what motivates them, you need to engage with them directly. Get to know your voters by using surveys via email, social media or on the phone, asking for feedback. This information forms the basis of the effective and personalised language you need for success.
POLYAS-Tip: Reach your voters directly with digital communication and get in contact on various platforms. With an online election, you can inform targeted voter groups about the voting structure with just a few clicks and send them all necessary information online once the election starts.
The Key for Success: Motivating Voters
Once you have evaluated what the voter thinks about the upcoming poll or election, you can use personalised language to address the voter directly: communicate on equal terms, don't judge them because of an unwillingness to vote - take a different approach. There is a reason for voter fatigue so you should aim to avoid it by presenting a positive message.
It's always helpful to thank regular voters from the outset. By doing so, you are acknowledging their commitment to participate and increase their motivation to participate again. Therefore you don't just increase your voter turnout but also strengthen the sense of community within your institution.