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Mobile Canvassing Gets Major Upgrade with Script Branching on MiniVAN


More than ever before, campaign volunteers are ditching clipboards and paper lists for canvassing apps like MiniVAN. Mobile canvassing is already completely transforming field programs, helping canvassers get out the vote more easily and efficiently. Now, we’re ready to take field organizing to the next level – by introducing Script Branching on MiniVAN.

What is Script Branching?

Script branching is a new automation in our MiniVAN mobile canvassing app that allows canvassers to conditionally select the next question on a script based on the response they receive from the person answering the door.

So, organizers can personalize a script to the individual in a given household by following a “supporter conversation” with a series of volunteer asks, or follow up with an undecided voter with a script meant to persuade. In the past, campaign organizers tried to do this with manually created text directions in their script, but now we’ve automated the entire process by showing the next question on MiniVAN based on the type of answer a canvasser receives.


Stay on Message.

Script branching is a game-changer for campaigns in two key ways: by making canvass training easier and helping clarify the right message for a campaign’s field staff and canvassers.

Canvassers now have a new tool at their disposal to help them stay on message and keep their conversations with voters on track. The automated script reinforces their training from organizers - by giving them direction on when to end a conversation or when to further engage a voter.

From a messaging standpoint, script branching ensures that canvassers have the right talking points for the right voter - changing scripts depending on which type of voter (committed, undecided, etc.) they’re talking to. It also increases confidence that canvassers are hitting all the key talking points in the desired order.

"By simplifying training and refining messaging for a campaign’s volunteers and organizers, Script Branching is going to be a game-changer for Democratic candidates." said Steve Sisneros, National Field Director at the DCCC. "We're excited to see so many Democrats around the country knocking on doors with miniVAN and taking full advantage of this new technology.”


Our Process:

NGP VAN’s development process is directly informed by real campaign organizers using our products around the country. This new feature is something that many clients from campaigns and advocacy groups alike have wanted for a long time. Campaign administrators have manually had to build in their own type of script branching in text (for example: if YES to Question 2, skip to Question 5), so this new automation is the logical next step.

“This idea of script branching is something we’ve wanted for a long time, and it’s going to be beneficial for our programs around the country,” says Amit Mistry, Data & Analytics Director at League of Conservation Voters. “Our canvassers will now have a new tool at their disposal to help them implement our conversational scripts, which is critical to the success of our field experiments.”


See for yourself:

Script-Branching-on-purple.gif(Above) In the admin panel within VAN, create your campaign's custom script branches to keep canvassers on track.



(Above) Your custom script will automatically appear on your canvassers' mobile devices. Start your scripts off with a “Who do you support?” question, and set different branches for different responses. 

For more information about how to improve your organization's field program with MiniVAN and MiniVAN Manager, send us an email here!


Topics: Organizing, Design