How to Win With Political Direct Mail

Direct mail can be a powerful tool for your political campaign. It influences not only the opinions of voters, but their actions as well. For many years now, the majority of political mail has been on the attack of opponents. Some have gotten downright nasty, not just in direct mail channels either.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 12.31.10 PMDirect mail can be a powerful tool for your political campaign. It influences not only the opinions of voters, but their actions as well. For many years now, the majority of political mail has been on the attack of opponents. Some have gotten downright nasty, not just in direct mail channels either. Sure attack ads work, but mixing in a combination of informative direct mail with the attack pieces can enhance the candidate’s or proposition’s overall appeal. There are other channel options out there, but they are not anywhere near as effective as direct mail. Unlike a business that is selling products or services and has the ability to sell them over a long period of time, political mail needs to convince people quickly to either support or not to support a candidate or a proposition.

How can direct mail help a political campaign?

1. Targeting

Choose your audience specifically. You can select types of voters you need to send to based on party affiliation, frequency of voting, gender, location and so much more. Reach out to only the people you need to in order to get the most bang for your buck.

2. Integrated

Including QR codes and PURLS (personalized web pages) that take people to landing pages with more information is a good idea. An even better idea is to create an experience for them. Get creative so that you build engagement as well as a desire to share that experience with others. Make sure everything you do is mobile friendly. Consider using videos online for voters to get to know the candidate or the proposition.

3. Influential

Mail is viewed as the most trustworthy marketing channel. Take advantage of that, as well as the tangibleness of direct mail. Add texture and coatings to enhance your message and get people to enjoy the feel of your mail piece. The more you get people to interact with your direct mail, the more influence you have on them.

4. Variable

Direct mail using variable data printing allows you to send different messages to different people in the same mailing. This can be used to not only change out text, but also images to make a greater impact on each individual. When you are able to appeal to each individual you have a greater impact on them.

5. Analysis

Direct mail is very measurable. Knowing what is working and what is not allows you to make changes quickly to your next mail piece. Do not be afraid to try new things, but make sure you are analyzing the results.

Direct mail is powerful when done correctly. There are some pitfalls you need to avoid. The first major one is to stay within postal regulations. After you design a piece, send a PDF to your mail service provider to review before you print. They can tell you of any problems and save you the extra postage. The next pitfall is your list. Make sure that you are targeting the right voters — otherwise you are just wasting money. Finally, your message needs to be clear, concise and tell people exactly what you want them to do.

Now, more than ever before direct mail can create experiences that no other channel can. You can enhance direct mail with Augmented Reality, Near Field Communication, QR codes, textures and more. Use these to really make your mail piece grab attention and get results!

Author: Summer Gould

A blog about Direct Mail Marketing, tips, tricks and what not to do.Summer Gould is President of Eye/Comm Inc. Summer has spent her 27 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as a board member for Mailing Systems Management Association of San Diego. You can find her at Eye/Comm Inc’s website: eyecomm.org, email: summer.gould@eyecomm.org, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.

5 thoughts on “How to Win With Political Direct Mail”

  1. While I agree wholeheartedly that direct mail is awesome I would add that it can be even more impactful when paired in a specific cross-channel effort. Savvy political marketers are realizing the impact of a new digital service called “Digital Direct Mail” that leverages the exact same list as the direct mail but this message is sent to a specific IP address. I am actually speaking on that very topic at the bequest of the USPS at the upcoming Elections and Campaigns conference. The goal is to show how direct mail and digital work best together!!

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