Political Mailings

Creating a winning campaign with mail.

United States Postal Service®

Mail: Reach out to voters beyond the handshake and slogan.

Do they know who your candidate is?

Do they understand your candidate’s position and how it differs from the opposition’s?

Is your campaign message breaking through the clutter?

Fifteen-second sound bites, lawn signs, and print ads may do a great job of getting your candidate’s name out there. However, even at their best, traditional media can leave a prospective voter puzzled about the people behind the names and where they stand on the complex issues of the day. That’s why Direct Mail should be an essential part of any campaign strategy – to fill the gaps left by other media.

Insight 1

Mail helps communicate your message to people who can make a difference.

Mail is targetable and personal. Unlike traditional media, Direct Mail can single out your best prospects by name, age, household income, and more – and communicate specifically about the issues that affect them the most. Focusing your campaign funds on the voters you can influence is a cost-effective way to get the best results.

Mail offers nearly unlimited formats. From postcards to letters to self-mailers, you can design your mail to fit your needs and your budget. Use Direct Mail to communicate detailed positions and policies, outline the differences between your candidate and the opposition, or send a survey to help understand the views of voters. Also, by making simple changes in your print production process, such as using less ink, you can create eco-friendly mail. Printing environmental certifications on your mailpieces shows voters you are conscious about the environment.

Mail is tangible. People hold it in their hands. They read it. They can save it for future reference and pass it on to others. They may even share it with like-minded voters. And it can be a valuable information reference tool for those who vote by mail while they fill out their ballot.

Insight 2

Mail can be used for many activities throughout your campaign.

Think of Direct Mail as a multifunctional marketing tool that can help you make the most of your campaign activities, such as increasing voter turnout, recruiting volunteers, increasing attendance at campaign events, informing voters about key issues, and getting voters to consider giving donations.

Direct Mail also works in tandem with other media efforts to increase effectiveness across the board. For example, you can use Direct Mail to drive people to your website. And you can time your mailings for the greatest impact, such as right before a scheduled appearance or a relevant news event.

Insight 3

Mail can target diverse population segments with customized messages.

Research reveals that mail is readily accepted by many of the important voting segments of the population, regardless of age. By targeting specific populations with Direct Mail, you can customize your communications to make them relevant to each distinct audience.

Also, segments such as seniors, baby boomers, and Gen X/Gen Y have unique media preferences, but they are all receptive to receiving messages in the mail.

Insight 4

Mail keeps working to get the support you need and want.

Measurable and trackable. Tracking responses to surveys and recruitment or fund-raising mailings can tell you if your campaign message is hitting the right tone with voters – and you can fine-tune the message to improve results if it isn’t. You can even use Direct Mail to see how well your other media efforts are working.

Mail Power is Your Power

Direct Mail has a greater response rate than e-mail for fund-raising.*

Easy. Create effective Direct Mail on virtually any budget and time frame. Do it yourself right at your own desktop. Or use an inexpensive online resource that allows you to design your own piece and download your mailing list. It will then print, address, apply postage, and mail it for you. Or hire an agency that specializes in Direct Mail.

Direct Mail is cost-effective. When you add the unique benefits of Direct Mail together – that it is measurable, flexible, targeted, and can be customized – you end up with a communications channel that gives you value for your campaign dollars.

* The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, December 2009

10 Ways Direct Mail can help give your campaign a winning edge

 Mail lets you:

1. Target the voters who support your position, issue or candidate’s platform – or who can be influenced to support it.

2. Take advantage of mail as one of the leading response- and revenue-generating channels for fund-raising.*

3. Measure the effectiveness of your mailpiece by tracking your results, and use this information to fine-tune your messaging.

4. Reach virtually any voter in the U.S.

5. Customize your mailings with personalized messaging and graphics.

6. Explore a wide range of formats for various purposes and to increase cost-effectiveness.

7. Learn more about your voters by including surveys and questionnaires.

8. Explain your platform in far more detail than a 30-second TV ad will allow.

9. Use Direct Mail’s pass-along value to reach more voters and help shape public opinion.

10. Support your other media efforts for maximum reach, impact, and results.

* The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, December 2009.

More ways Direct Mail can enhance your candidate’s message and image.

Personalize your Direct Mail in amazing ways.

Advances in Variable Data Printing (VDP) allow you to seamlessly integrate the voter data you collect into your communications. You can address specific interests both in text and graphics. By using these technologies, you can create mailpieces that can encourage greater voter involvement and higher response rates. With VDP you can:

  • Design an endless variety of customized messages and graphics.
  • Add a surprise graphic element, such as the voter’s name spelled out on a button, to grab attention.
  • Print your pieces in smaller, as-needed production runs.

Direct Mail goes hand in hand with the vote-by-mail process.

According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission 2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey, fewer than two-thirds (62.9%) of American voters cast a regular ballot in person at a polling place on Election Day in 2010. The rest voted by domestic absentee ballot (20.1%); by early voting (8.2%); or by provisional ballot (1.0%). Of the 22.8 million ballots mailed to voters, 76.2% were returned.

Direct Mail may play an even more important role in political campaigns now and in the future. Few other media channels provide the tangibility of Direct Mail, which is especially valuable for voters who choose to vote by mail. Voters can reference a well-planned Direct Mail piece for information – so they clearly know the issues, proposals, and candidates – as they fill out their ballot.

Campaigners who recognize the benefit of Direct Mail for targeting those who prefer to vote from the comfort of their own kitchen table may see the advantages, and even the necessity, of sending mail to succeed in achieving their own goals.

©2012 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the United States Postal Service®.

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