24 March, 2021

The ultimate voter registration machine

icon internet access,voter registration
WiFi hotspots that provide free internet access enable campaigns and advocacy groups to encourage hard to reach communities to register to vote.

How can remote, under-served communities get reliable information? How can advocacy groups promote voter registration and COVID vaccinations? And build opt-in contact lists at the same time?

Provide free internet access

An innovative, new approach uses free internet access provided through taco trucks and other venues to connect with hard-to-reach communities. It's a win-win-win model.
1. Users get free internet access through WiFi hotspots by registering with their contact information.
2. Vendors, community service groups and partner are able to provide Wifi for free
3. Advocacy groups collect opt-in contact info and serve messages and surveys while people are online and contact them later when they are away from the hotspot by text or phone.

Customers get free internet access by registering with their contact details. They see ads while they are connected and can also be contacted afterwards while they are not connected to the hotspot.

Cost effective list building

Each hotspot supports up to 40 simultaneous users and costs about $200/month which includes the cost of the Wifi router and cellular connectivity. This translates to 6 cents per user added to the opt-in contact list.

Better response rates

Hotspot users see messages just as TV viewers see ads in the middle of their favorite program. And there is no fast forward button. Advocacy groups can also present survey questionnaires through the Wifi hotspot which users have to complete before resuming their internet session. Ads can be precisely targeted based on the information collected from users when they first register on the hotspot - such as age, gender and zip code.

User experience

HotSpot users see targeted messages and surveys that have to complete in order to stay connected. They can also be directed to specific home page before they get on the web.

Free internet locations

Groups can deploy Wifi hotspots at any location within the T-Mobile coverage area. The routers are the size of a small pizza box and can run off a power outlet or from a car's cigarette lighter. Some of the locations currently being served include:
- Community Centers
- Outside homeless shelters
- Outside ethnic supermarkets
- Medical clinics with waiting lines
- Construction sites

Do the math

How much does it cost your campaign to contact someone -whether by post card, text message or an ad on Facebook? What is the response rate? How much does it cost to get a completed survey response? What does the recipient of your outreach get in return?

This free internet approach provides underserved communities with free Wifi - a service they need. In return recipients opt-in by registering for the service with their contact information. Ads and surveys delivered while they are online are watched. The contact lists built have long-term value and can be used to reach users later when they are away from the hotspot.

Takeaway: BMW may make the ultimate driving machine, but a taco truck may become the ultimate voter registration machine! Learn more about this free internet service here.


Image credit: Flickr - Creative Commons License BMW & taco truck.

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