How Camelot Works

A Guide to Managing Your Campaign with Camelot

Based our experience working with all sorts of campaigns--large and small, domestic and abroad, sophisticated and simple--we've put together a composite of how Camelot can help candidates win. Every campaign is unique, so tailor this guide to your circumstances and timeframe.


Prepare your voter data; invite your campaign staff

As soon as possible, you should upload, clean, and understand your voter data. Camelot allows you to import data from virtually any CSV file, which you can typically acquire from a local elections registrar or from a commercial supplier of political data. You can add additional sources of data--email lists, past donors, community group membership lists--and Camelot will automatically match and merge with existing voter records.

Once your data are uploaded, you can add notes and tags to help you segment your voters. Camelot allows you to search by any criteria you'd like, so you can create lists for Female Democrats, Likely Voters (based on our automatically generated likelihood scores), Supporters, Voters Under 30, and anything else. For any search query or list, we'll generate reports showing breakdowns by party, gender, age, and tags, so you can understand your constituents.

Camelot is designed for your whole campaign. Once your data are imported, you should create a user account for each campaign staffer. You assign users to your own custom roles, so you can limit permissions appropriately: you campaign manager has access to everything, but your volunteers can only view and edit voter records.

Before Election

Conduct broad-based outreach

Long before the election--3-6 months before, if not longer--you should start introducing yourself to voters. Before you know much about voters, you'll want to cast a wide net. The easiest way to do this is through direct mailings.

While you're crafting your message, you can upload drafts of your mailings to Camelot and share them with campaign staff while you refine your message. For large mailings, Camelot can export a list for bulk mailings (including any USPS bulk mail fields). For smaller mailings, Camelot will automatically generate Avery mailing labels.

During this period, you can also use Camelot's blast email functionality to keep in touch with any voters on your email list.

Before Election

Identify, understand, and contact likely voters

In the months before the election, your focus should shift from broad-based outreach to targeted outreach. During this period, you'll want to identify people who are likely to vote for you and send much more targeted outreach efforts.

In order to learn more about voters, you can use Camelot's canvassing and phone banking features. If you have sufficient resources, you can have your volunteers walk door-to-door to speak with, learn about, and try to persuade voters. When you create your canvass, you'll select a target list--all voters in your area, or perhaps only likely voters. You can choose which tags should be applicable during the canvass (e.g., whether someone needs an absentee ballot, is a supporter, or cares about particular issues); Camelot will add these to voters and show you a graphical breakdown of tags applied during your canvass.

Camelot will automatically segment your targeted list by city, precinct, and street. Canvassers can either view households and record encounters on smartphones or tablets or they can print automatically generated walk sheets. You can track progress, tags, and notes during the canvass.

If you have more limited resources or want a second contact for voters, you can conduct a phone bank--again, including all voters or only targeting a subset. You can even link your phone bank targets to your canvass success: for instance, you can create a phone bank that includes all people who could not be reached successfully by canvassers.

As with canvasses, phone banks allow you to add voter notes and apply pre-selected tags; you will be shown graphs of your progress. Any number of users can use a single phone bank without fear of double-contact. Users can call voters from personal phones and record results online.

As you learn more about voters, you can conduct more targeted outreach. For instance, you can create a targeted phone bank to ask past or likely donors for their financial support. Rather than sending broadly applicable emails and direct mailings, you can send issue mailings to receptive voters.

Final Month
Before Election

Stay in touch with your expected supporters

In the weeks before the election, you should have identified a group of voters who are likely to support you or who might still be persuaded to do so.

With this knowledge--and all the data you've gathered through your canvasses and phone banks--you can conduct very targeted outreach designed to maintain enthusiasm. Emails, direct mailings, door-to-door canvasses, and phone banks are all valuable tools to help you winnow down your list of key supporters. At this point, you can also identify voters who need absentee ballots or rides to the polls.

Election Day

Get out the vote!

On election day, it's time to get your supporters to the polls! By this point you've worked for months to persuade voters to support you, and you've identified the voters most likely to cast their ballot for your candidacy.

In the morning, you can send a final blast email to your supporters, reminding them of the election and offering a ride to the polls if necessary.

Throughout election day, you should call voters through a phone bank targeting expected supporters who have not yet voted. Throughout the day, you can use poll lists to record who has voted and automatically remove these people from your phone bank. This ensures that you focus your limited remaining time on people who have not yet voted.

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