As a candidate for office, you need to introduce yourself to the highly likely voters in your area fast. The best way to do this is with personal introduction letters.
Direct mail is the most effective way to communicate with the voters in a local contest.
You can target your mail specifically at the voters you want (and usually need) to communicate with.
And when most campaigns are only sending out tons of glossy mailers, personal letters sent directly to a voter stand out.
That’s why such personal letters are a great way to introduce yourself and start your voter persuasion efforts.
Who should you send the introduction letter to?
This letter should only be sent to people who are definitely going to vote.
You are targeting the highly likely voters in your district with this piece.
These voters often determine elections and you want to communicate with them early and often.
A personal introduction letter is a great way to put yourself before them.
These highly likely voters would definitely be those who voted in all four of the last four elections.
You might also define it as all three of the last three elections.
If that mailing universe seems small – and you have the funds – broaden your targeting to those who voted in at least three of the last four elections.
However, should budgeting be an issue, you need to narrow this universe if you need to.
You can tighten things up and mail to only voters who voted in all six of the last six elections.
When should you send the introduction letter?
Being that this is likely to be your first piece of mail, this letter will come very early in the campaign.
I recommend sending it about 8 weeks before election day.
This allows you to communicate directly with the highly likely voters very early.
These voters tend to make up their minds early and not change them.
The more of these voters you can lock up as quickly as possible, the greater your chances of winning are.
Going 8 weeks out also allows you a chance to open a dialogue with highly likely voters who cast their ballots early.
The latest I’d send this letter is 6 weeks before Election Day as it probably won’t get you the same results the later you send it.
What should be written in the introduction letter?
Remember your introductory letter is a personal letter, so start things off personally.
Do not have the salutation read Dear Sir or Dear Madam.
Don’t think about any combination of Dear Voter/Friend/Neighbor.
Don’t even have it refer to the voter as Mr., Mrs. or Ms. with their last name to follow.
Your salutation for each letter should be to the voter’s first name. Or first names if there are multiple highly likely voters at the same address.
A letter starting off with Dear Brian is going to get my attention a lot faster than one that reads Dear Mr. Floyd.
You should introduce yourself as a candidate running for the office that you are seeking.
Tell them who you are and why you’re running.
This shouldn’t come off as bragging in any way.
Like Tim McGraw’s been singing,”always be humble and kind.”
And keep it short and two the point. This shouldn’t be more than a paragraph or two.
Then state what your main goals are for if elected to this office.
This is the perfect spot to drop in a bulleted Three Point Plan.
And whatever you include, please be sure that it aligns perfectly with your campaign’s message.
After your signature, include a P.S.
In the P.S. state that you’d be honored to have the voters support.
You also want to include a telephone number and an email address, inviting the voters to contact you with any questions they might have.
Most will not call you or email you.
However, they will like that you easily provided your contact information.
It subliminally sends the message that you are open and transparent.
What else should be sent with the introduction letter?
The best thing that can happen by sending out these personal introductory letters is gaining support.
You want the voters to read it, feel a connection with you, and believe that you share their priorities.
You want to encourage them to come forward and support you.
That’s why you include that subtle request for support in the Post Script.
And you want to make it easy for them to support your candidacy.
The easiest way to do this is to provide an endorsement card as an enclosure.
Voters can then fill it out showing their support for you.
This will help you grow your endorsement list and will identify potential locations for yard signs.
Should I put a stamp on the enclosed endorsement card?
Paying for postage and putting them on those endorsement cards is a waste of money.
I wish I could tell you that a large amount of voters will send an endorsement card back to you.
If you get endorsement cards back from 10% of the voters you mail this to, you’re doing great.
You’ll likely get anywhere from a 1 to 5% return of endorsement cards.
Don’t let that discourage you.
You now have a larger list of supporters than you had before.
Plus these supporters are highly likely voters.
Highly likely voters make a larger impact on elections than those who vote less frequently.
This isn’t merely because they always vote.
It’s because they have strong opinions and will tell their family members and their neighbors who they are backing.
Every one of these voters out there advocating for you on their own volition is a big part of building your support base.
And the candidate with the biggest support base that turns out to vote is always the winner on Election Night.