Campaigns planning to launch a standalone GOTV website or those wanting to get a jump on 2017 can capitalize on a new partnership that’s seen the registry behind the .vote domain name team with PoliticalBank, a digital services clearinghouse.
Campaigns are chasing digital audiences whenever they can find them. In some cases, that’s meant expanding their digital presences beyond a homepage or Facebook profile.
For instance, the website Countable, which recently began offering campaigns a way to gather user-generated video, allows candidates to set up a profile on its site and engage with users.
While it doesn’t have Facebook’s audience, many digital strategists believe that being active on those types of sites lets campaigns cast the widest net possible for voters. Others say chasing random audiences isn’t worth the time for campaigns with limited capacity to produce content.
Now, PoliticalBank and Monolith are offering campaigns free .vote or .voto domain names, which are protected from squatters through a verification process.
“We wanted to provide an easier way for candidates to market their PoliticalBank website,” said Adam Berry, CEO of PoliticalBank.
In order to get the domain name, campaigns have to sign up for PoliticalBank’s services. The company provides basic campaign websites gratis, but charges for add-ons and takes a 5.4 percent cut of donations processed through its sites.
Berry said the service is aimed at down-ballot or local-level candidates who are operating on a tight budget. His firm estimates there are some 800,000 candidates who run for office every two years and 97 percent of those are doing so at the municipal or local level.
Now, with a .vote or .voto web address, Berry believes his clients’ sites will be more easily searchable. “You just never know what channel of communication is going to register with voters,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chuck Warren, a consultant and partner at Monolith Registry, said demand for his company’s addresses has spiked as the cycle draws to a close. “In the last two weeks we’ve probably had a dozen candidates call and buy a .vote,” he said. “GOTV dovetails very nicely” with the domain name.
Moreover, advocacy groups making GOTV pushes are also after the sites. “It’s really picked up since we started doing the social media campaign,” Warren said. “You can’t sell anything unless people know you’re there.”