VAN Integration & List Loading

Setting up your VAN integration 

Using the version (or fork) of Spoke specific to Politics Rewired, you are able to load saved lists from VAN directly into texting campaigns. This is done through a VAN integration.

Set up VAN for Spoke integration

1. You will need the application name and API key from VAN. 

Accepted: Politics Rewired-, Hustle-, or Civis-type VAN API keys.

Not Accepted: Spoke- type VAN API keys.

  • Application name -- This will be the "username" for the Spoke integration. It will be of the form: DNCNY.000.hustle
  • API Key -- This will be of the form: b1b9de3b-12b1-4e13-bebe-115123aa6536

2. Be sure that you've saved a LIST rather than a QUERY. Saved searches can't be pulled into Spoke, but saved lists can be!

3. The list in VAN must be in a folder shared with the API key user. Follow the steps below to allow this access: 
  1. In VAN, go to the folder that contains the lists you want to show up in Spoke
  2. In the top right corner, click "Edit Folder"
  3. Turn on "Allow other user to save into this folder"
  4. Turn on "Allow the API to save into this folder"
  5. Go down to the "User Access" section and add the API user into the "Users with Access" column
  6. Press save

Create VAN integration in Spoke

1. First, navigate to Integrations on your left-side admin panel.

2. Click on the "+" symbol in the bottom right corner of your screen. 

3. Create and save the integration:

  • Integration name -- You can name your integration whatever you'd like! Archie has a nice ring.
  • System type -- This should be "Votebuilder."
  • Van operation mode -- Select "Voterfile" if you will be pulling voter lists and select "MyCampaign" if you would like to pull lists on volunteers you load into VAN. If you are not sure what to select, select "Voterfile."
  • Username -- This is your "Application name" from VAN. If it ends in spoke, refer to the section above as this is (counterintuitively) invalid!
  • API key -- This is your "API key" from VAN.

Pull list information

You will need to pull list information from VAN before you can select a list to load into a campaign.

1. Click Sync on the Integration page.

2. Refresh the integrations list. The sync options last fetched column will update when the list information has been pulled.

Please note, our configure opt outs feature is under construction. Please email us if you'd like to configure how opt-outs appear in your VAN. 

Load a list

1. Click into the Integration drop-down menu in the Campaign Edit page and link your new campaign to your VAN Integration then click SAVE.

2. Then click into the Contacts drop-down menu. Update the Contact source to Integration (replacing CSV) and choose which saved list from VAN that you would like to text. Click Save to begin importing the list's contacts into Spoke.

Write script with VAN-provided fields

VAN provides a large assortment of custom fields to use in scripts. Depending on your VAN committee, however, many of these may not have values. You should check with your VAN administrator about which fields are guaranteed to contain values.

Sync data back to VAN

1. Click the  Sync To VAN button on the top right corner of the Individual Campaign Page.

2. Then click Configure Mapping on the Sync to VAN pop-up menu.

3. All of your survey answers will be displayed on the Configure Mapping pop-up. Survey answers that have currently been selected by your texters will be tagged with the yellow triangle. Survey answers that have not been used yet in conversations will be tagged with a gray circle.

To start linking your survey options back to VAN click the plus sign to the right of the survey answer.

4. Select between VAN  Survey Response, Activist Code and Result Code in the Mapping Type drop-down menu. Once you have finished selecting your VAN pathway, click ADD.

5. After you have linked all of your survey answers back to VAN, click OK.

8. Finish the process by clicking Sync!

Troubleshooting your VAN integration


After setting up the integration, the contact list won't upload beyond 0%.

Solution: Refresh sync. 

1. Click  Refresh Sync Options on the Integration page.

2. Refresh the integrations list. The  last synced column will update when the list information has been pulled.


Lists in VAN will not show up in Spoke.

Solution: Share VAN folders with the API key user.

  1. In VAN, go to the folder that contains the lists you want to show up in Spoke
  2. In the top right corner, click "Edit Folder"
  3. Turn on "Allow other user to save into this folder"
  4. Turn on "Allow the API to save into this folder"
  5. Go down to the "User Access" section and add the API user into the "Users with Access" column
  6. Press save
  7. In Spoke, go to the "Integrations" menu item on the left menu of your administrative dashboard
  8. On the right side of the API integration you have set up, press "Sync Refresh"
  9. Above that and on the middle of the screen, press "Refresh"

After completing those steps and selecting the API integration in the "Integration" section in the campaign, you will have access to the new lists in the "Contact" section.

If there are still issues, this is what else you can try:

  • Check to confirm the username and API key are in the correct format
  • Try both modes of VAN integration


No options show up when configuring the mapping.

Solution: Create questions and survey responses in the script.

  1. Go to interactions and under the initial text, write a question
  2. Provide responses to the question by clicking Add a Response

Learn more about writing responses to surveys here.

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