top of page

Patch-Through Calls: Live Versus Auto

Patch-through calls are a classic grassroots lobbying technique for organizations to mobilize their members or voters towards taking action. Calls from constituents to legislative offices remain an effective tool to persuade an elected official to support or vote down a particular bill.

Patch-Through Calls: Live Versus Auto Blog Post Image

Our years of experience running patch-through campaigns creates more effective patches.

One frequent question we receive from our clients is: What’s the difference between live operators and auto patch through calls? While the idea behind auto and live patch-through calls are similar, there are some differences that need to be considered when building the best possible patch-through program for your cause.

Live Patch-Through Calls

Using live patch-through calls ensures that legislators get your message in a powerful way. With live patch-through calls, our operators are fully trained to ensure a persuasive voice is speaking to your audience, asking them to take action. Our operators also talk the caller through the best way to deliver the message and the process, calming any apprehensions callers may have.

Another benefit of live patch-through calls is the ability for the operator to act as a buffer throughout the process—making sure the most persuasive voices are being heard and giving them the ability to screen out any detractors if necessary.

Cost is the biggest difference between live and auto patches. Live patch programs are most costly because a human is on the line. A live caller can heighten the urgency of the problem and quickly assemble your audience. Live patches also get a higher percentage of your total list to patch to an elected official’s office.

Patch rates fluctuate and are highly dependent on the quality of your data, the issue, the timing of the issue, and the elected officials you’re trying to patch-through. While these numbers can range dramatically, we estimate that 10-15% of the list will live patch.

Auto Patch-Through Calls

Auto patch-through calls work best to mobilize an already interested and active constituent base. If the members or voters are already knowledgeable on the issue, they will likely need little persuasion to speak on your organization’s behalf. Auto patch-through calls can also be used to follow up with an individual who previously signaled their support, such as signing a petition, and urge them to take further action.

Although the patch rate for auto patch calls is less than a live patch program, auto patch-through calls help you connect thousands members or voters to their legislators in a short amount of time. Since automated patches are cheaper they can be a more budget friendly option. With auto patches, a lower percentage of your total list patch to offices.

Similar to live patches, the patch rate can change widely, but we estimate that 2-5% of your list will auto patch.

How Stones’ Phones Can Help

Patch-through campaigns can be a great way to get the word out and mobilize your members or voters in a quick fashion. Whether choosing a live or auto patches, our strategists can help your build the best program possible and work towards achieving your legislative goals.


bottom of page