Top 5 Reasons Direct Mail Wins Big on Election Day

Political Direct Mail is one of the best ways to reach your voting universe – even in the digital age.

Many continue argue that physical direct mail is finished and that there are other newer and better and less expensive ways to reach voters.

While such methods do exist and you should consider them for your campaign, direct mail remains the most effective and affordable way to get your message directly to a targeted universe.

Here are the top five reasons why political direct mail still wins.

1. Political Direct Mail is Targeted

Targeting your political mail to voters you know will be most receptive to your message, and to those that are actually going to vote, is key to winning a political campaign.

Facebook ads, Google ads, newspaper ads, radio ads, television ads (even cable), billboards, and even yard signs are limited in their ability to deliver your message to to your voters.

At best these efforts are like throwing a handful of mud against a wall to see what sticks.

Political direct mail on the other hand is like a well aimed rifle shot.

Your ability to target your mail is limited only by your imagination, your team’s talent, and your campaign’s resources.

Remember:  winning a campaign is about counting votes.

The most competitive elections are won by tight vote margins.

Direct mail allows you to reach ALL of the targeted likely voters in your universe.

It provides you the opportunity to develop a winning margin.

And only a targeted mail program is going to allow you the ability to really know if your message is being delivered and resonates.

2. Political Direct Mail is Cost Effective

The cost of reserving billboard space and printing a huge billboard ad, purchasing newspapers ads, or television and radio spots in most markets is very high.

The argument is that more people will see a billboard or a television commercial, read a newspaper ad, or hear a radio spot.

In total numbers that may be true, but it doesn’t mean those touched by that marketing will be voters, and if they are they may not live in your district or even vote regularly.

Money is frequently wasted in such marketing ventures in campaigns because the ads are not targeted and do not hit too many people outside of your voter universe.

On the flip side, the cost of digital (including text messaging) and and online display advertising are extremely cheap.  But you get what you pay for.

There is no way to ensure your targeted voter will see your add. In fact, in some instances you may be putting your ad in front of the wrong voters despite your best targeting efforts.

Plus voters can block you and you must remove any person from your text messaging campaign who opts out.  If you don’t you could face large federal fines and/or have your campaign’s text messages blocked by the major phone carriers.

With all being equal, political direct mail is cost effective per unit then these mediums and you will know exactly who you are reaching.

With targeted direct mail you can pull out non-voters and those that you know won’t vote for you.

You will not waste money on non voters or your opponents supporters.

3. Political Direct Mail Provides Plenty of Options

One of the most effective tools with direct mail is the ability to use variable messaging or personalize your mail.

This is easiest with letters but with advances in digital printing it can even be done with glossy self mailers.

Variable messaging in a nut shell is simply making sure that each group (variable, E.G. women, men, seniors, etc.) within your targeting universe receive a specific message or variation of that message or an appropriately targeted graphic.

If you have a highly ethnic population and can identify language preferences (good data vendors can do this), personalized mail can afford you a better ability to reach those voters.

Personalized messaging makes the content personal to the recipient, that is, naming a specific person (E.G. Dear Mrs Jones).

Using variable and personalized messaging and targeting the right message and graphic to the right demographic or right individual person will win you more votes.

Variable and personalized messaging can save you money as well.

You will not be printing and mailing separate jobs. There may have different content and images, but because the pieces are digitally printed it can all still mail as one job.

You will need to find a mail house and printer that can pull this sort of thing off but when you do it will help you win an election day victory.

4. Political Direct Mail Does Not Limit Your Universe

With most media, electronic or print, you will not be able to properly reach your total targeted universe.

Not every voter in your targeted universe watches broadcast or cable television  (in the age of streaming), reads the local newspaper (in print or online), or listens to the radio (thanks to Pandora and Spotify).

Now while nearly everyone checks their emails every day,  many people effectively use spam blockers and keep out almost anyone they don’t know.  Gmail in fact does this preemptively for its users.

And even if you’re targeting properly on Facebook and Instagram, that does not mean your ad will stop a voter from their relentless scrolling of the feed.

But every registered voter has an mailing address and receives physical mail.

Almost everyone checks their mail box because many  important items still come to you in the mail, including jury summons and IRS statements.

A voter must pick up and look at your campaign mailers. They may or may not read them thoroughly, but they will have seen your name, your face, and the key point of your winning message.

You can’t guarantee that with any other paid form of advertising.  You can with direct mail.

5. Political Direct Mail Grabs Attention

Because you have a lot of options with mail it is easy to use this medium to grab voters attention.

Copy, fonts, color, graphics, size and shape can all me used to your advantage.

You can create a glossy self mailer, foldouts, flats, pop ups and letters.

Talking mail is even possible.

Some years back in a congressional race someone actually mailed a scratch and sniff.

Political direct mail is not a one dimensional electronic presentation.  It is real.

Voters can touch it, feel it, smell it, and with talking mail, they can listen to it.

With political direct mail you are not one of several dozen email lines that’s easy to delete or a silence video that’s easy to scroll past.

It is much easier to stand out among a half dozen pieces of mail in a mail box.

Remember, when people get mail, before they toss it out, they look at it and make sure it is not something important.

A stack of mail sitting on the coffee table will eventually be sorted.

If your campaign team has done their job there is a good chance your piece will get noticed.