One of the best way for a candidate to connect with a voter is through a personalized letter or thank you card. But if you fail to personalize these voter contact tools, you could be hurting your campaign far more than you are helping it when you send them.
Voters today are very skeptical of anyone running for office.
Many assume you are only telling them what they want to hear to get either their vote, their money, or both.
On top of that they are being inundated with marketing messages from everyone trying to sell them things — including candidates trying to sell themselves.
To stand out from the mass marketing crowd, a candidate should always go out there and work to connect with the voters personally.
You want the voters to feel important.
Even more so, you want them to feel as if they are important to you as a candidate.
And not just as a number to tally — but individually as a person whose views and well being are important.
But if you send out letters and emails that are not personalized, you’ll be sending out just the opposite message.
No one wants to receive a letter or an email that addresses them as Dear Voter, Dear Friend, Dear Neighbor, etc.
They want to get something that is made out specifically to them either formally or informally.
If I was your constituent I’d want you as a candidate seeking my vote to address me in any letters or emails you send me as Dear Brian or Dear Mr. Floyd.
I would be a bit turned off if you sent me an email and addressed to me solely as Friend instead of by my name.
Which is what one candidate recently did to me and why I decided to write this article.
Here’s the email I received:
Yep, the candidate in question is the current President of the United States.
While Donald Trump may be our president currently, I can assure you that he and I are not friends.
(I did try to get on the second season of The Apprentice once upon a time, but Trump wasn’t there)
If the President and I were indeed friends, it would still be weird (maybe even more so) if he sent me a message that addressed to Friend instead of Brian.
I mean my friends call me by my first name (some even by nicknames) and they don’t send me texts that say “Hey Friend, what you got going on Friday night?”
I’m sure your friends do the same with you, but let’s get back to the impersonal email from the Trump Campaign.
I wound up on this email list because I took an online survey about major issues in America.
I did so because I saw a link on Twitter that said the President wanted to hear my views, so I told him.
That’s how the Trump Campaign got my email address.
I did not support, donate to, or vote for Donald Trump in 2016.
(Nor did I vote for Hillary Clinton. I wasn’t comfortable with either candidate and voted third party)
The only thing I ever did was fill out that survey, then I got that email.
Which makes this whole things a bit worse because to submit the survey, I needed to include my name and my email address.
So yes, the Trump-Pence Re-Election Campaign had both my email AND my name, but still failed to personalize the email they sent me.
To make this even more egregious, my responses in the survey were not entirely complimentary to the President.
But no one seemed to care over at Team Trump.
Not only did they send me a non-personalized email, they ignored my answers to the survey.
Allegedly the President wanted to hear what I thought on the issues, but that wasn’t the response I got.
Instead I got a welcome to the team message, even though I gave the Trump campaign zero indications in the survey I filled out that I’d support his re-election.
Remember when I said that voters want to feel important and that their views matter?
Well after this email (and two more, each addressed to Friend) I can tell you that I don’t feel that important to the President or that my views matter to him.
Does this surprise me? No, not at all.
But as a campaign professional I do believe that his campaign team had an obligation to create the appearance of such.
They failed to do this and instead of cultivating me as a potential supporter in 2020, they continued my skepticism of Mr. Trump.
Always always always personalize the letters and emails your campaign sends to the voters.
This is a great way to connect with the voters and build your support base.
If you fail to do so, you’ll probably be turning off potential supporters.
You might even have someone who gets rubbed the wrong way by the lack of personalization call you out for it with the voters, like I just did to President Trump and his campaign.