Understanding Your Multiple Attempt Numbers
This guide will walk you through the process of compiling a report of how many times each target was contacted within a multiple attempt calling list and provide tips on determining the number of attempts to select with a multiple attempt strategy. If you want to review more details on multiple attempt calling, please review our guide Multiple Attempt Calling Overview.
How to Check the Number of Attempts Per Contact
To review these attempt results, the process will require compiling data from the call results to perform a vlookup using a pivot table of the needed data for comparison. These instructions are for Excel.
Note: A vlookup is looking data up in a vertical column and returning the value found. We will be using the unique ID for our vlookup function, as it is unique per contact, which is needed for vlookup to work. The unique ID column is titled "Voter ID" in our reports.
Open the call results file:
Click on the upper corner triangle to select all cells:
Create a Pivot Table and choose open as “New Worksheet.”
Add the "Date Called" to the Columns field
Add the "Voter ID" to the 'Rows' and ‘Values’ fields
Make sure to update the setting to 'Count,' choose "Value Field Settings" and select "Count" before clicking "Ok."
In the Call results sheet, copy columns A, C, D, and E, and add them to a new sheet
- Create the new sheet by clicking the + sign at the button of the file.
- Copy A-E in the original file, paste into the new sheet, and then delete column B that includes the 'Unique ID Type' by clicking on that column B heading,
- For Mac: Press cmd+shift+down arrow, ctrl+click, then choose “delete.”
- For PC: Press ctrl+shift+down arrow, right-click, then choose “delete.”
- Choose “Entire column” to delete.
- In the new sheet, create a header row in the file titled “Calls made on ‘[Date]’” to cell E1
- In cell E2, you’re going to create the vlookup function =VLOOKUP(A2,'Sheet Name'!A:B,2,FALSE) by pulling in the data from the Pivot Table sheet:
- Note: For adding additional days, you will need to select column A and the column that corresponds for the next day in the pivot table. For example, after choosing A:B,2,FALSE for 8/28 in the following image, we would then choose A:C,3,FALSE for 8/29.
- Type =VLOOKUP(D2, in Column E within the new sheet
- Click on the pivot table sheet and select columns A+B, which will add this data to your function, and then input ,2,FALSE to the end of the function (2 is the number of columns checked, and FALSE is used to check for an exact match)
- Within the newly created results sheet, copy cell E2, then click shift+ctrl+down arrow, and click ctrl+v (PC) or cmd+v (Mac) to paste the formula to all contact rows.
And that’s it. This will bring in the number of reaches per contact in column E of your new sheet for you to review.
How to Determine Number of Attempts to Make
When choosing Multiple Attempt Calling, your team is confident that you would like to talk to every person on your list. However, there are important questions to consider: How many times should you complete the list before replacing it? How long should the list exist without replacement?
Each complete pass through your list yields diminishing returns. While you wish to identify the support for every target on your list, not everyone will answer even after multiple attempts have been made. As this reduced efficiency varies too much for us to give a definitive answer, due to factors as diverse as weather conditions and regional behaviors, the best gauge is to monitor your results daily. Note when you see a marked decrease in the percentage of canvassed identifications and prepare a new list immediately.
As a general suggestion, we advise all organizations to consider replacing lists weekly. Your comprehensive strategies including email, texting, and canvassing will inevitably have some amount of overlap with your calling lists. By replacing your multiple attempt lists at least weekly, we find a successful balance of repeating attempts to a calling list with minimal overlap with your other outreach efforts.
- For a given week, five complete passes is a solid guiding rule for a thorough effort to reach everyone possible via the Multiple Attempt strategy. You should track your results to see when your list is not worth another attempt.
- Outside of GOTV, we suggest limiting daily repeat rounds of calls to one extra rotation only. In times of high urgency, campaigns can see valuable results on a third attempt in a single day. A fourth attempt in a single day is highly inadvisable - "do not contact" requests soar as a percentage of results
- Contact rates vary widely for many factors from accuracy of the numbers on the list, to the day and time of your calls; 20% of contacts is exceptional, while a decrease in contact results to under 5% would indicate a new list should be created
- Regularly replacing your Multiple Attempt list with new lists minimizes overlap with other outreach efforts, but also maximizes your ability to track who belongs at which step of your engagement process - from unsure, to supporter, to a donor, to volunteer