5 Steps to Creating a Successful Political Direct Mail Campaign

5 Steps to Creating a Successful Political Direct Mail Campaign

Political direct mail can be an incredibly powerful tool in your campaign’s arsenal when done correctly.  Both marketers and political operatives have used direct mail as a primary tool in their campaigns for political candidates.  Direct mail campaigns use media like brochures, postcards, newsletters, and the classic glossy mailers in a targeted way to either promote a candidate, attack an opponent, or both.  

Unlike other forms of outreach, direct mail is something that needs to convince people fast, and it pays off to have a direct mail strategy that intelligently delivers a political message in a concise and meaningful way.  Here are five steps that you should be using when planning out your direct mail campaign.

Step 1: Establish your target

Using your available resources, make sure that you are carefully choosing your audience.  You should be able to identify targeted voters based on valuable information like party, frequency, and pattern of voting turnout, gender, geographic location, and much more.  

Don’t waste your time, or your money, on audiences that don’t meet the criteria for your candidate. Direct mail campaigns can be one of the most effective tactics in your marketing mix for a political campaign, and you need to be smart about your budget and reach.  

Step 2: Find your message

Before you go ahead and send out a large number of mailers, make sure you take the time to test out what messages stick with your various voter bases.  Conduct polls, gain data from canvassers and other data gathering strategies. Focus your information gathering on ‘why’ questions rather than ‘what’ questions.  This way, you will be able to gather much more specific and valuable information.

If your campaign has several angles, you need to be sure you know what messages resonate and with whom.  By conducting A/B testing on your audiences before sending a mailer out, you will be able to target your message in a better and more effective way.  

Step 3: Stand out

Direct mail is considered one of the most trustworthy marketing outlets, and there is a certain value to the tangibility of direct mail messages.  That said, you need to have a mail piece that is interesting, inviting, and worth looking at. In your designs, use interesting pictures that involve the people of interest as the main focus.  Use colors and designs that draw attention without being obnoxious.

The primary goal of your mailer’s look should be a sense of urgency.  Make sure your audience knows why they need to know about your message and what they need to do about it.  Your message isn’t merely just a piece of information, but a call to action that requires your audience to do something by a specific time.  For example. if your focus is a Get Out the Vote campaign (sometimes called GOTV), explain the stakes of voting for your candidate and give a focus on election day.  

Step 4: Don’t stop at one

Direct mail should not be the first time that your audience is hearing from you, and it certainly should not be the last.  Direct mail is part of a larger outreach campaign that should include more direct mail based on your audience’s response.

Is your direct mail campaign budget a little light?  Direct mail messages using variable data printing is a great way to send out a different message to different people.  This can be done all within the same mailing. Make several versions of your mailer using the same basic graphical outline. But change the text to cater to the interests of the individual.  Have you done a poll that shows that prime voters age 18-35 care deeply about issue A, but voters age 35-65 care more about issue B?  This is a perfect opportunity to send a mailer to each group with targeted messages that resonate strongly with both demographics.  

Read also Political Mail: Your Hidden Ace Card

Step 5: Rinse and repeat

Knowing what works and what doesn’t is an important part of your direct mail campaign.  Gauge your audience’s response to your first mailer. Are your polls showing a greater interest in your candidate?  Did your attack on your opponent stick and get the conversation started in other ways? Don’t be afraid to change your mail strategy based on information you gather from previous mailers. Hone in on what works, and try new angles when previous ideas don’t work. This way you will be able to strengthen your future mailers and create more traction for your campaign.

Remember, direct mail is only one tool in your campaign’s overall outreach strategy. It should be complementary to your overall goals of reaching voters.  Direct mail is a powerful tool in your campaign’s arsenal. By using these steps you should be well on your way to a smart and well-targeted strategy.

At Accurate Mailing Services, we have been helping candidates get elected over a decade. We have the experience needed in order to create effective political direct mail campaigns. Our experts can help you avoid mistakes and make suggestions for improvement in every aspect of your political mail campaign. Don’t trust your printing and mailing to just anyone. Go with the experienced team at AccurateAZ.com. Call Us Now: (602) 433-9101

 

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