Unsatisfied with the state of Washington D.C., as well as dissatisfaction with local governments and politicians, you can expect to see more people than ever before running for office in 2018. Already, candidates have come out in record numbers, which include more 200 scientists, mathematicians and engineers, as well as unprecedented numbers of women, people of color and LGBTQ individuals. There’s a lot on the line in 2018, and if you’re one of the many people running for office this year, then it’s imperative for you to know how to connect with the voters, and one of the best avenues for doing just that is through direct mail.
Why is direct mail powerful for political candidates?
Many people think that direct mail is the way of the past, and that it has no real bearing in today’s increasingly digital world. In fact, if you think about the 2016 elections, you probably learned the most about the candidates through rallies, debates, interviews and, yes, social media. However, direct mail is anything but dead, particularly when it comes to political campaigns.
#1. It allows you to connect with the right voters.
Television ads, though essential for any political campaign, are expensive and go out to a wide audience. But, the unfortunate truth is that advertising to a large group of people, some of whom were never going to vote for you in the first place, isn’t the best use of your marketing dollars. One of the main reasons why direct mail works so well for political campaigns is because it’s a cost-effective way to connect with people who are more likely to vote for you in the first place.
In your direct mail campaign, you can choose to send pieces of mail only to people who have voted in the latest local elections, people who are registered voters, and people registered in political parties — Republicans, Democrats or Independents. You can even narrow down your mailing list further. For example, you could choose to send your mailers only to Democrats who voted in the last election. The fact of the matter is that direct mail marketing is such a successful strategy because it allows you to target your audience more effectively than most other marketing strategies.
#2. It’s cost-effective.
Knowing how to manage your funds wisely is a skill that is vastly important for even the best political campaigns. It’s imperative that you spend each and every dollar wisely, one of the reasons why direct mail is such a great option for political candidates is that it’s incredibly cost-effective. This is especially true if you’re running in a large market, as rates for television ads in these markets are much, much pricier than they are in rural markets. Of all the marketing strategies you take advantage of in your campaign, direct mail is the most cost-effective.
#3. It increases the chance that your message will be seen.
Television ads are probably the most popular media for getting a political message out there, but with so many candidates running their messages, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. As the election draws nearer and nearer, voters are inundated with more and more political ads, and they will often start to ignore them or change the channel when they come on. Email marketing is another popular approach, but emails are easily deleted, and many people will delete emails before they even read them. But, you might be surprised to learn that people actually do like reading direct mail, and they spend much more time looking through a physical mailer than they do on a marketing email.
#4. It doesn’t require as many volunteers.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of any successful campaign, and the very best way to get your message out there is for your volunteers to actually get out there, door to door, talking to voters about their concerns, as well as about what you stand for as a candidate. But, the downside of this strategy is that it requires a lot of manhours and a lot of volunteers, which is not something every campaign has, especially at first. Direct mail is a great second-best option to going door to door, and the best part is that it doesn’t require a horde of volunteers to be effective.
#5. It allows you to connect with voters on issues that matter to them.
As we mentioned in our first point, lead for lead, direct mail is much more effective than advertising on television because it allows you to target a specific audience. But, it also allows you to target voters who care about specific issues. For example, if you’re championing an issue about LGBTQ rights, you could send mailers to voters who are members of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Or, if you’re looking to connect with voters who feel strongly about their right to own a gun, you could send mailers to voters who are members of the National Rifle Association (NRA). You could send mailers about education to families with children still in school. You could send mailers about religious freedoms to people who belong to a church. There are so many different possibilities when it comes to direct mail!
The bottom line is that direct mail is a great strategy for any marketing effort, whether it’s a business, a nonprofit or, yes, even a political campaign. Best of all, you can use it to even great effect when you combine your direct mail strategy with your other marketing channels, like email and social media. In fact, studies show that you can increase your response rate by up to 26 percent when you follow up a digital advertisement with direct mail. And, following up on a marketing email with a physical mailer can help to increase brand recall by a whopping 40 percent!
There are so many reasons to use direct mail in your political campaign, but not every direct mail campaign is equally effective. Stay tuned for our next blog to learn expert tips for connecting with voters via direct mail. And, don’t forget to take advantage of our one-of-a-kind direct mail solutions. Get your free product quote for custom business envelopes today!