Targeted letters are an effective campaign tool and a great way to share your winning message to voters.
People are not writing letters any more. It is old school.
But guess what?
Targeted letters work.
This article in Forbes by Lois Geller makes that clear.
The article is about marketing. But what is a political campaign? It is a marketing effort.
Geller reports up to a 1300 percent increase in response rates to letters. That is incredible
She also reports letters are being read by younger men (30-50 years of age) and that is they are reading them – something I did not expect.
Targeted Letters are simple, affordable, and you can do them in house.
You can write the letter yourself, or if you have a consultant they can do it.
You can also hire a copy write expert, but make sure they know politics.
All you need a first class stamp, a computer, some paper, envelopes and either family, friends or volunteers that will help you complete the project.
Computer generated personalized letters seem to work best.
Learn to do a mail merge, have someone do it for you, or have your campaign people do it.
Here is a great mail merge video but there are others on YouTube if this one doesn’t work for you.
You can also go to an office center, give them your stationary, and have them merge and print your letters.
Or you can hand write the letter yourself, but try doing that a few thousand times and you will see why it is not a great idea.
There are also companies that will write letters for you.
Some companies use robotics that copy your hand writing style and others actually hire people to write the letter.
This is a pretty expensive proposition so unless you have a lot of cash in your budget it may not be possible.
For your campaign, if your voter universe is more than a few dozen voter, it is probably best for you to mail merge and print the letter. Hand sign and hand address.
Targeted letters to a tight universe.
When you are planning your targeted letter campaign, think very seriously about who you are mailing.
You do not want to mail to a huge universe.
Mail only to the universe that you know you can rely on to vote and those voters you can win over with the proper message.
A letter is also a great way to introduce yourself to high propensity or likely voters.
Consider trimming the universe down to only very likely voters. Likely older voters (over 60) are a great group for letters.
You may also want to consider geographical relevance to your campaign.
Are there specific issues relevant to a group of voters and the issues you are campaigning on?
Is there a neighborhood issue like a need for a stop sign, traffic control issues, blight, environmental issues that may be addressed specifically in your letter?
Sign and hand address your targeted letters.
After you write, mail merge (make sure the letter is addressed to a specific voter) and print the letter, you or a group of volunteers can sign the letters.
It is important to sign the letter rather than have your name printed at the bottom of the page.
It is also very important to hand address your letter.
Cindy Zimmerman, a hand writing advocate, found that the open rate of hand-addressed envelope is between 99.2 percent and 100 percent.
If Cindy is only half right in her estimate, hand addressed letters can be a great tool for any political campaign.
Hand addressing takes time. Again, you can use a service, but if you have a group of friends and relatives or a bunch of volunteers, put them to work hand addressing your letters.
Some final tips on targeted letters.
Mailing a personalize letter does take some planning.
You must be organized and create a system that ensures you do not send the wrong letter to the wrong address. This is not hard to prevent but it is also easy to mess up if no one is paying close attention.
It is also advisable to have some letter head and envelopes printed up with your name and logo.
The creative end and printing will cost a few dollars, but it will still be much less than if you developed a self mailer.
It’s probably best to keep the letter to one page.
Always personalize the letter – Dear Mrs. Jones- and if there is a local issue, relevant to that part of town or that street, or an issue related to that age group or demographic, include it as well.
And always use a stamp. A stamp contributes to the personal feel.
A mail house can send your letter out using their account and you will even get a discount on postage, but you will pay for their service and it will look machine generated.
You can also use a metered machine in your office or have the post office do it, but again you will loose that personal touch.
Personalized targeted letters are a great addition to any campaign. Many voters will appreciate that you took the effort.
Start writing your targeted letters and start winning your election today!