Direct Mail Political Campaigns Are More Effective Than You Think!
Political ads—you see them all the time, good or bad. This candidate hates puppies; how can they possibly be trusted to run our great state? Or, since they announced their candidacy for Governor, over five people have said that they’ve personally witnessed him pick his nose in public!!! Is this someone you want making decisions for your taxes? It’s easy to think that this is the only way a political campaign is won (or lost—who would vote for someone who hates puppies?), but a lot of elections come down to more than just commercials. After all, buying up ad space on TV can cost a fortune, and a lot of candidates don’t have room in their budget for just one type of campaign.
That’s where political mailing lists can be a huge boon for your campaign—instead of a big, fancy (and mean) ad, pivot to a medium that’s plenty reliable and only costs a fraction of the price. We’ve outlined some of the key benefits of a direct mail campaign, and what steps you need to take to make sure that your targeted audience reads and listens to what you have to say.
Effective, cost-controlled marketing
When you’re deciding which direction to go in for your political campaign, your budget is undoubtedly one of the most important things that you need to consider. Why waste all your money on one medium, when you can diversify your options while still reaching your target audience? Direct mail is a cost-effective method of reaching the people you want to reach. Compiling a mailing list is relatively easy—you can choose voters that are active participants in local politics (you can see how many elections they’ve voted in recently), which party they vote for, what precinct they voted in, and where they’re registered to vote.
How to avoid the garbage can with your mail
Now that you’ve determined who you want to target with your mail campaign, how do you make sure they don’t immediately toss it away, never to be read again? While some voters that take a little more time to read what you have to say, the vast majority of recipients will barely skim your mail before throwing it away almost immediately. There’s not much that you can do to change what people do with their mail (some people would rather not receive mail at all), but you can certainly change the content of your letter to get your message across more effectively. You want to let your voters know why you’re running for office in as little time as possible—delivering a message that is too granular, issue-specific, you risk accelerating your trip to the trash can. Two key parts of a direct mail campaign are:
- Raising name awareness
- Highlighting your message/emphasizing negatives about your opponent
If there’s one thing you want the reader to see, it’s your name. Soon, they might be asked, “are you voting in the local election?” They may not have the best idea yet, but at the very least they’ll know your name. If there’s another thing that you want them to see, it’s what you do well, or what your opponent doesn’t do well. As long as you’re effective in your brand positioning, you’ll be able to reach the audience you want with minimal hassle.
Direct mail campaigns are one of the best ways to improve your clients’ visibility and give them a better chance of winning. So much of winning a campaign comes from how effectively you market—whether it’s appealing to an oft-forgotten demographic or reinforcing support within your existing voter-base, increasing awareness for your candidate is the only way to make sure they get more votes than their opponent.
Because it’s such a highly-targeted and relatively inexpensive way to combine your field strategy with your communication platform, direct mail marketing is often one of the only forms of paid communication for smaller political races. So how can Presort give your political campaign the boost that it needs? We offer all the traditional regular and political DirectMail 2.0 product suite, plus:
- AddressMatch on Google
- Gmail Campaign
- Youtube Ads
- Voter District Targeting
Now that you know what Presort can offer your next political campaign, here are some helpful tips to make sure that your marketing strategy does exactly what it’s supposed to do, rather than leave you in the dust behind your opponent.
- There are three kinds of people who read direct mail marketing campaigns.
- 3-4 seconds (these “readers” take a quick glance at the headline, look for a picture, before putting the letter right back down without so much as a second thought.
- 10-20 seconds (they’ll stick around a little longer than the former, and check out the general information you have to offer on your direct mail piece)
- Full-on readers (these are the readers that are already informed about the election—they have an acute understanding of what’s going on, and are eager to read more about what information you have to offer)
- It’s never entirely clear how many of each kind of reader there will be before an election. It’s a good rule of thumb to assume that in a high-turnout election, you’ll have more of the 3-4 reader, while in lower-turnout elections you’ll generally have more long-form readers.
- Strategize to meet your audience’s demands.
- The success of a direct mail political campaign comes down to how well the mail itself conveys the message the campaign wants its audience to take away. That means you need to proactively identify your audience, stick to a rigid timeline for distributing, and find a unique voice that gets your message across without appearing forceful, arrogant, or untrustworthy.
- There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
- So, you’ve decided that a direct mail campaign is right for you—have you decided on what the best strategy for a rollout is going to be? Whether that’s making sure your solution is cost-effective, compiling a mailing list of targeted voters, or figuring out if political postcards or more standard pieces of mail works best for your strategy, don’t be rigid in your approach.
- What’s your angle? Your mail could include:
- Positive information about your client
- Negative information about the opponent
- Early-voting information
- Compare-and-contrast information about other candidates
- Other pertinent information
- Find a layout that works. Not all mail is created equal—find a strategy that makes your specific piece of mail stand out from the rest.
Ready to launch your political campaign into the stratosphere? With Presort, we give you all the tools you need for a cutting-edge, innovative direct mail campaign designed to attract the audience your client needs to get elected. Wasted time means wasted voters—lock down your election today, with Presort.
Presort Inc. is a St. Louis–based company that specializes in a variety of direct mail services, from printing and mailing to warehousing. We have the resources and capabilities to help companies pull off any direct mail campaign.
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