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Political Direct Mail

This election season, direct mail marketing will be used by political campaigns, political action committees, and interest groups across the country. And for good reason. Political direct mail is seen as a time-tested, cost effective, proven tool for campaigns, politicians, and parties to get their messages out to interested potential voters. At IMG Direct Marketing, we have all of the latest tools to make your political direct mail campaign a success.

Political Direct Mail Voting

What makes political direct mail effective?

One of the daily tasks that almost all Americans have in common is checking the mail. Even though many of us now spend a lot of time online and working with digital technology, our mailboxes are still a big part of our lives. Mail is still the way that our most important personal and business communication takes place.

For political campaigns, it's worth noting that older Americans pay even more attention to their mail than any other group. They are also the group that is most consistent in their voting during election seasons. They are the people it is most important to reach when election day is getting closer.

Election Campaign Mail

Mail may seem old-fashioned, but in an increasingly digital world, it actually has the potential to stand out and make a real impression. Studies have shown that people who check their mail every day tend to give their full attention to each piece of mail before choosing to either open it or discard it. That represents a huge advantage over email marketing where most marketing messages are filtered as spam before the intended recipient even sees them. A well designed mailing with the right message can make a huge difference in the upcoming elections. Just ask the successful campaigns from the previous election season. The most successful campaigns all used direct mail in one form or another.

The evidence is all around us: political direct mail works. It's not the flashiest technique for getting your message out but it is well tested and has been shown to be effective time and time again. When you get the right message out to the right people at the right time, there is a clearly measurable effect. It can do everything from increasing voter turnout to swaying the results in a close race.

The importance of direct mail to political campaigns

Direct mail has been an important part of political campaigns for as long as the US mail system has existed. Political direct mail pieces represent a direct connection between campaigns and voters which allow you to deliver your message in a way that is clear, controlled, and direct.

Successful political campaigns have used direct mail in various ways, including some of these:

  • Highlighting a clear message: During an election, voters need to know what a candidate stands for and what he or she will do if elected. What differentiates the candidate from the other options? Political direct mail can be used to show clear highlights of the important issues in a way that commands attention from the reader.
  • Targeting: It allows you to send different mail pieces to different voters, depending on which issues or areas of interest are most important to the recipients. That way you can put the emphasis on the things that are important to each segment of potential voters. For example, voters in urban areas may be most interested in reducing taxes and other costs while voters in nearby rural areas may have an increased interest in farming issues. To send the same messages to both sets of voters would be wasteful, but a political candidate may have good reason to reach out to both sets of voters. With targeted political direct mail, this specific matching of message and recipient is possible.
  • Perfecting your message: One of the most important aspects of successful direct mail marketing is the quality of the design of the postcard, letter, or brochure that you send out. For political direct mail, the goal should be to stand out from all the other candidates. This is an opportunity to try something bold and different in certain markets.
  • Measuring response quickly: With a political direct mail campaign, your goal is probably to convince voters to make certain decisions on election day at the polls. You can start on this path by using a direct mail postcard to direct interested voters to your website for more information. It's a good idea to engage your voters by using online surveys asking them questions about the issues and themselves. This is also a chance to find out how many of your respondents are already planning on voting for you, so that you can make your future mailings more targeted.
  • Quality materials: Political direct mail pieces of very high quality stand out from the crowd and give the impression that the candidate is a step above the competition. Using gloss stock and good matte paper is a great idea for this type of campaign. If your platform includes interest in eco-friendly causes, you might want to consider using recycled stock and advertising that you did so right on the piece.

A political campaign is intended to show voters who the candidate is and what he or she stands for, so a political direct mail campaign should have similar goals. Remember, the important steps are to target your audience accurately, express your message clearly, and get their attention.

What's the difference between political mail and election mail?

Political mail includes items that promote certain political candidates, campaigns, or referenda from one of the following:

  • A political Candidate
  • A local, state, or Federal campaign committee
  • A political party committee

On the other hand, election mail includes mail items sent from election officials at the local, state, or Federal level. That can include the following:

  • Absentee applications
  • Mail-in ballots
  • Ballot materials
  • Polling place notifications
  • Voter registration cards

Newest blog posts on political direct mail:

Political mail to play a big role this election season

According to the US Postal Service, "Political mail is expected to be heavy this election season from campaigns, interest groups, and political action committees. Direct Mail is a proven, cost effective, and extremely powerful political campaign tool that can help candidates, campaign committees, and political parties get their messages to voters."

Political direct mail is classified by the USPS differently from other types of mail. Political mail constitutes mail sent by:

  • A political committee such as the RNC or DNC
  • An active political candidate
  • A committee campaign on the local, state, or federal level

Political direct mail now more effective than ever

With the upcoming election season, many campaign managers are obsessed with finding the best way to reach voters with their message. While people outside of the industry may not realize it, successful campaign managers realize that one of their most effective weapons is targeted political direct mail. Here are a few reasons why.

Political direct mail is scientifically proven to work. It may not be the newest or most exiting technique on the block, but the effectiveness of political direct mail is not in doubt. It's been tested over the years and never faltered. Scientific study after scientific study, they all show that campaigns and political committees that conduct tests have shown that political direct mail has a real impact on campaign outcomes. The bottom line remains the same: when you use targeted data to get the right message to the right people at the right time, you can bank on positive results. This technique can have various effects, from increasing voter turnout, to effecting the voting tendencies of the public.

Political direct mail lets your message stand out. The general wisdom is that direct mail is considered "junk mail" and is ignored by its recipients. Don't let the general wisdom fool you. In this day and age, digital media like email is much more often ignored. No matter what the format is, some people will ignore any marketing message. But if you use good targeted data and a solidly crafted message, political direct mail will work its magic just like it always has.

Traditional mail gets attention. Even though this generation of Americans is much more active on the online world, checking the mailbox or PO box is still part of most peoples' daily routine. No one goes through that routine without paying attention to each piece of mail they receive. Particularly, for older Americans, mail is something that receives special attention. This is great for political campaigns because older Americans also tend to be more consistent and engaged voters. These are the people who political campaigns want to cater to.

Five reasons to use direct mail for your political campaign

In recent years, some companies have made the mistake of turning away from traditional marketing techniques like direct mail and turning exclusively toward newer online tools. The facts show that political direct mail still represents one of the most effective forms of advertising. Successful political campaigns find that using direct mail is an easy and cost-effective method. Here are five reasons:

1. It's targeted. Every political direct mail campaign is customized for a particular audience.

2. It's personalized. Mail pieces in a political direct mail campaign can include names and other unique information so that it gets more attention from the recipient.

3. It's cost effective. Both creation of the campaign and the actual mailing is much more affordable than most people think.

4. It's familiar. The US postal service is one of the oldest and most trusted public institutions. Unlike email and other online methods, the mail is taken seriously.

5. It's versatile. With so many options for formatting your message, from catalogs to brochures to magazines, a political direct mail campaign represents endless possibilities.


Give IMG Direct Marketing a call at 888-669-8857 and let's get started! We are experts in political direct mail marketing and we're ready to help you.


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