Direct mail has been a tried-and-true medium for political advertising. You may wonder, though, if it’s still relevant and effective in this digital age.
Political campaigns that overlook direct mailing are doing so at their own peril. A recent voter survey on political direct mail effectiveness found that 68% of respondents (PDF) ranked direct mail as one of the three most credible methods of political outreach – higher than TV, home visits and online ads.
But why is political advertising important? The best political mail allows candidates to inform voters about their positions on various issues. You can gain exposure and build the awareness you need to influence voters’ preferences and participation in an election. Sharing the right message via the right medium will help you reach the right audience.
The Benefits of Using Direct Mail in Your Political Campaign
There are different types of political mail, from postcards to letters to brochures, that provide candidates various ways to communicate with voters. Here are some key advantages of using direct mail in your campaign.
Target Your Message
Unlike TV, radio or print ads, you can segment your mailing list and target much more effectively with direct mail. This will allow you to tailor your message to address issues that are most important for each audience segment (e.g., based on geographic area, type of household, etc.)
For example, when you work with United Mail, we leverage our extensive registration files and use direct mail list profiling to pair the right audience with the right message.
Maximize Your Budget
A well-targeted direct mail campaign costs less than TV, radio or newspaper ads but often yields better results. In particular, political postcards grab people’s attention and get read because their content is visible the moment it’s picked up from the mailbox.
Not to mention, the cost per piece goes down as the size of a print order increases so you can scale your campaign cost-effectively. Combined with the fact that they’re inexpensive to print and mail, political postcards can help you get the most out of your budget.
Send Timely Communications
Political direct mail is fast and easy to produce, especially compared to traditional media such as TV ads. The short turnaround time allows you to respond quickly to current issues in today’s fast-evolving political climate.
Also, the best political postcards are often simple and straightforward in design and execution — a few well-chosen words and bright images are all you need. As such, you can get the message out quickly and get the point across effectively.
Leverage the Power of Personalization
Besides tailoring your message to each audience segment, you can leverage personalization technologies to make your direct mail more engaging and achieve a level of personalized communication that isn’t possible with TV and radio ads.
For example, you can use “variable data printing” to include a recipient’s name and/or location in the content. You can also customize political postcards with images that resonate with local residents, such as a public park, a historic landmark or a community event.
How to Create the Best Political Postcards
The best political mail is concise and attention-grabbing. It has a focused message and uses a color palette that aligns with the campaign’s overall branding. Its message not only speaks to the concerns of the constituents but also helps the candidate build a personal connection with voters.
To achieve the best results, develop a strong and succinct message for your political mail. A strong campaign slogan, typically just four or five words, helps voters better remember your agenda and identify with your message.
You can also send out a series of postcards, each addressing one specific issue or featuring one endorsement, to increase exposure and tap into the power of reputation. Most people will need to encounter a message multiple times, and often in different ways, for it to sink in.
Hire a professional design team to create a fresh, unique and effective brand identity for all your campaign materials. The consistency will help you build trust while communicating your brand effectively.
Last but not least, work with a direct mail service that has extensive experience supporting political campaigns. United Mail has handled several nationwide presidential campaigns that involved not only direct mail but also fulfillment on everything else from bumper stickers to mousepads and hats.
We’ll help you create direct mail campaigns based on your budget and use our direct mail list-profiling capabilities to reach target voters. We can also assist you with strategy and design to optimize your funding. Learn more about our direct mail services and request a quote today.