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From Mailbox to Ballot Box, Part 1

Using Direct Mail to Reach Voters
By Karen Loggia

Direct mail delivers your message with an impact that adds up on Election Day. The Postal Service’s dedicated political mail website, Deliver the Win™, gives a comprehensive overview about using direct mail; this blog series highlights key points. In Part 1, we talk about why direct mail is an essential part of your campaign.

Political budgets can be tight, and it may be tempting to dedicate your dollars to digital. However, direct mail helps create a powerful path to the ballot box, as outlined in this USPS® and American Association of Political Consultants study. The study shows that:

  1. Mail is considered the most credible source of political outreach.
  2. Mail is considered a highly persuasive form of political outreach.
  3. Nearly half of voters find mail had an impact on their voting decision. (Yes, even millennials!)

Credible: Direct Mail is a Trustworthy Source

Good direct mailpieces help cut through noise, capture attention, and compel the recipient to action. In the case of political mail, the call to action is a vote for your candidate.

Direct mail’s effectiveness in campaigns runs deep. It is the most credible form of political outreach, with 68% of survey responders ranking it as one of the most credible sources. It’s a channel that voters trust more than any other.

Persuasive: A Vote for Direct Mail

In crowded fields, good marketing can have a big impact. Fifty-five percent of voters say mail has helped them decide how to vote. Take the case of Beth Bernstein, a Democratic candidate for the South Carolina House District 78, as summarized by the USPS:

political mail case study

To understand why political direct mail works, it helps to study the science — specifically, the neuroscience. Defined as “the measurement of brain activity, biometric data, facial expressions, and/or implicit reaction times to evaluate voter responses to ads, messaging, and candidates,” the findings are clear: Readers build deeper connections with messages they can see and touch.

Impact: An Ounce of Paper Carries a Powerful Punch

The information in your direct mailing goes a long way. Eighty-six percent of voters check their mailboxes at least five times per week, and 79% of heads of households sort mail at their first opportunity. Unlike a 30-second TV spot, mail lingers. It’s placed on kitchen tables, desks and counters, ready to be picked up and read again.

And yes, this includes millennials. While they are more mobile than older voters, they are sufficiently anchored to an address — 91% will be living at the same address that is on their voter registration on Election Day. Seventy-nine percent check their mailbox at least five times a week, 66% do so daily according to a USPS direct mail survey.

Furthermore, the same survey found that for millennials political mail is more important than email and equally important as online ads. And because we know that direct mail has a longer connection with the recipient’s brain than digital advertisements, we can start to see the impact of budgeting for direct mail.

Win with Tension

Whether we’re talking about direct mail campaigns or political campaigns, experience matters. Tension has helped customers create winning campaigns since 1886. Put our experience to work for you! Contact us today to discover how Tension helps move voters from the mailbox to the ballot box.


Want to read more in this series?

Check out Mailbox to Ballot Part, Part 2 on using neuromarketing to reach voters.

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