With about 100 days until the fall election, I thought it would be appropriate for another political marketing post.
Direct mail is a hugely important part of any political campaign. Direct mail pieces serve as a connection to voters and can deliver your message in a controlled method. I've picked up a few more tips and tricks on my recent involvement in the state and local political campaigns.
Here are some basic political direct mail tips to help tell your story:
Highlight your message - More than anything, voters want to know what you stand for and what you intend to do if elected. Make sure your values are highlighted in your message and that you use big, bold headlines to grab attention fast.
Target your campaign - Send different postcards to voters with different priority issues. Emphasize what is important to each voter segment. Rural voters might be interested in protecting agriculture, for instance; while other voters in the same district might be more interested in cutting taxes or support of education. These ideas do not conflict, so you can cater to both parties in your direct mail postcard campaigns.
Example: This is the address sided of a postcard mailed to hunters and was designed to capture their attention.
Example: This postcard was mailed to the farming community and was versioned for the specific county in which they lived.
Polish your image - Excellent direct mail postcard and brochure design goes a long way toward establishing your image to voters. You don't want to look like all the other candidates, so don't be afraid to try something different. You don't necessarily need to stick to the traditional red, white and blue.
Show voters you understand the size of the workload with an oversized postcard or brochure. A 6 x 11 postcard in the mailbox will certainly make you stand out against your competing candidates. And the good news; you can mail it at the same letter rates.
Get an immediate response - The ultimate goal of political direct mail campaigns is to persuade a particular voter to be on your side. You can increase your chances of being elected and collect valuable information by driving traffic to your website with a direct mail postcard. Ask voters to weigh in on the issues in an online survey, and include questions that yield demographic information. Better yet, you can determine who is already going to vote for you and who has not yet decided so you can develop more targeted campaigns as the election date draws near. You can do this in real time combining variable data printing with personalized URLs and social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.
Print quality - High-quality political printing showcases a high-quality candidate. For direct mail political postcards, use a minimum 12-point gloss stock or 100# cover matte paper. If you have a green agenda (as many voters do), you could go with eco-friendly 100% recycled stock. Brochures should be printed on 100# or 80# gloss text for optimal impact.
Your political campaign says everything about who you are, what you stand for and what you're going to do. Target your voters, highlight your message, showcase your image, be different and drive immediate response — all wrapped up in an effective postcard or brochure — and your next political direct mail campaign will be a hit with the voters.
David A Moore is a cross-media marketing junkie fueled by Mountain Dew. His habit is supported at Advantage Printing, a commercial print and marketing service provider serving churches, nonprofits and small businesses. He has provided marketing support on local and state level political campaigns since 2000.
Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidamoore