04 Aug 2015
August 04, 2015

Tips for Using Direct Mail in Your Political Campaign

TooMuchAs you know, direct mail marketing is only one of many impression mediums that are essential to running a successful political campaign. There are many other tools used to get your message directly to voters including digital channels like email, display ads, telephone calls and text messages, and even television and online videos. 



While all of these methods should be leveraged, we’re happy to inform you that even in the digital era direct mail is alive and well! In fact, it should account for around 30% of your impression mix. Here are some tips to help you set realistic expectations and get the most out of your efforts.

It Takes 14 Impressions Before A Voter Recognizes Your Brand 

Politics used to subscribe to the seven-impression rule, but thanks to new research and the average person’s ability to block out advertisements, we’ve decided 14 impressions is a much better estimate. Because voters are bombarded with more and more advertisements each day, they tend to block out duplicate or similar messages seen on the same channels. Like many things in life, people simply adjust to what they’re used to, which makes grabbing their attention when and wherever possible all the more critical. By going beyond the screen with direct mail, your campaign will be much more likely to stand out in their mind when they see your messages elsewhere. 



Success Begins With Good Data

Successful campaigns send mail targeting specific voters regarding extremely specific issues that they find important. Principally, the better your data is, the less mail your campaign will have to send. You can enhance the quality of your data by conducting phone and door-to-door conversations with voters, or sending online surveys where possible. By taking the time to build outstanding data in the beginning, your campaign will save countless hours and dollars by constructing more specific, thoughtful, and effective messages, regardless of medium.



Household Impressions Are Mysterious

No one really understands how mail is shared in the household because it’s different for every family. Sometimes only one person gets the mail and disregards the “junk,” which means you must make your mail worthy of hanging onto. One thing we do know about every home is that no matter how the mail is distributed, sending more pieces increases your odds of being seen by each member of the household. 



Poor Graphics Are Not An Option

In terms of crafting campaign messages, outstanding design is critically important. Campaigners thoughtfully design the speeches, the image, the logo, social media presence, and, in this instance, the images and type of each piece of direct mail.



These are the three key characteristics of any effective, attention-grabbing mail out. 


• The bigger the better.
• Clean, professional graphics are present and accounted for.
• The copy is simple, pointed, and captivating.
 
Most campaigns with a balanced marketing budget will send three to four pieces of mail that meet these requirements to ensure their message is not only being seen, but comprehended and remembered. 



With so many pieces going into a campaign, it can be difficult to give each one the attention it deserves and trust that the ROI will be worth it. As far as mail goes, we assure you that even though the results can be difficult to measure, campaign after campaign has proved its value. To read more about our direct mail fundraising services, go here.

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John Connors

Written by John Connors

John Connors is the President and founder of Campaign Now. He grew up in northern Wisconsin and now lives in Dallas, TX. He's a political guy with a good eye on marketing and metrics.