Editor’s note: Mckay Bird is marketing manager at telecommunications firm TCN, Saint George, Utah.
As old-fashioned as it might sound, the telephone is still a critical component in communication during political outreach. Throughout election season, specifically the presidential election, grassroots organizations across the country are working endlessly to compile data on individuals in an effort to better connect with them and inspire a rush to the polling stations for local and national elections.
Nine out of 10 Americans own a cell phone according to the Pew Research Center, that has increased its polling via cell phones from 65 percent to 75 percent in the majority of its telephone-based surveys. This increase in mobile surveying was inspired by the 47 percent of American adults who only use a cell phone instead of a landline. The demographics between those adult Americans who only use a cell phone compared to those with a landline are also telling. Americans that only have a cell phone tend to be younger, less educated and receive lower incomes compared to those with a landline.
Despite these numbers that show the dramatic shift in how Americans prefer telephone services, there are still many polling firms that do not include cell phones in their surveys, thus missing out on collecting a true sample representative of U.S. adults. Pollsters not including more cell phones in surveys typically comes down to one major factor: overhead costs. According to TCPA regulations, cell phones are required to be manually dialed by an agent. Manually dialing cell phones requires more time which also increases survey costs. Cell phone surveys can cost almost double the amount it takes to complete an interview via landline. Because of this reason alone, many pollsters choose to either dial fewer cell phones or to exclude them from samples.
During elections, a single call center can make more than 200 mi...