Link: Direct Mail still a force in campaigns

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This article on points out that direct mail marketing is being used in the current presidential race. In fact, the campaigns have arguably focused more on direct mail than on electronic and social media!

The modern political campaign has fully embraced Twitter, Facebook and other social media to reach voters, but President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are still spending massive sums on a more traditional form of communication: snail mail.

The two presidential campaigns have spent nearly twice as much on old-fashioned fliers, get-out-the-vote cards and other forms of direct mail as they have on Internet advertising, according to disclosure data and campaign aides. The hope is to appeal to millions of baby boomers and retirees, who may prefer the familiarity of the U.S. Mail to pop-up ads, YouTube videos and other flashy media.

The use of mass direct mail in politics stretches back at least as far as George S. McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign, which deployed tactics perfected by the mail-order industry. The Religious Right movement of the 1980s married sophisticated voter lists with the reach of the U.S. Postal Service to become a potent political force.

Mailings are used to attack opponents, make policy promises, solicit donations and help supporters register to vote.

“The power of it is still huge because it’s reaching that age group that includes baby boomers, who are still largely more comfortable with direct mail than other, newer forms of communication,” said Paul Bobnak, research director for DirectMarketingIQ, a Philadelphia-based target marketing firm that tracks campaign mailings. “It is still a huge workhorse for political fundraising and messaging.”



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