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It’s easy to overlook the power of print marketing and direct mail in today’s high-tech culture. But in 2020, almost 33% of Americans reported that maintaining their digital devices had become unmanageable. Meanwhile, USPS research from 2021 revealed that direct mail can be an effective tool for broadening your candidate’s appeal.
A recent survey revealed that three-quarters of millennial voters enjoy getting direct mail. Thirty-eight percent of them visited a website after receiving a relevant ad. Seventy-one percent of Gen X respondents said that direct mail is more personal. People enjoy getting mail, and research from 2021 suggests that direct mailings can be an effective addition to your political marketing campaign.
Direct Mail in Political Campaign Marketing
Despite today’s extensive digital marketing options, the direct mail and print ad industries continue to hold their own year after year. You can identify, target and communicate directly with voters who are most likely to resonate with your campaign message.
Digital privacy laws don’t affect direct mailings or print ads, and people trust them. You can touch, see and feel direct mailings when they arrive. You can stick them on the fridge so the whole family can see them. Political print ads will wait patiently on the dining room table until you’re ready to read them.
A recent survey after a South Carolina election for the democratic candidate for House District 78 revealed that 55% of the survey respondents had based their votes on what they learned from direct mail advertising.
Voters report that they’re more likely to believe information that arrives via direct mail than they are to believe other sources of information. Voters give direct mail the highest credibility rating at 57%. Canvassing followed at 49%, radio at 27%, email at 25% and social media at 20%.
Nearly 80% of voters say they always read direct campaign mailings. More than half of those voters read political mailings right away. During elections, print advertisers and direct mail companies typically experience their busiest season.
Direct mail and print ads are addressable. These ads are cost-effective. They can reach voters within well-defined parameters and in a variety of different subsets. Addressable ads are especially effective with voters who are leaning in your direction but haven’t committed just yet.
Print ads targeting certain geographic areas can also increase awareness of your candidate among voters in those regions.
Neuroscience researchers at Temple University learned that printed materials like direct mail have an emotional component that requires additional processing time. Print ads generate stronger recall and increased motivation to act compared to digital ads.
A powerful print message might incorporate verbal and visual cues that target the seven main emotional drivers and can trigger action. These drivers include fear, anger, guilt, greed, flattery, exclusivity and salvation.
After selecting an emotional component, you can add facts and figures to support your candidate’s message. Make your points clear, don’t be subtle and don’t be cheap. Use high-quality materials, high-resolution photos and fonts that are easy to read.
Your campaign will be judged by voters according to the quality of the message and the caliber of the materials.
A recent survey revealed that two out of three women voters would be highly likely to read direct political campaign mail if it included biographical information about the candidate. Female voters also want to know about the candidate’s voting record and previous statements.
Women voters want to know where a candidate stands on important issues. Two-thirds of millennial females want more information about voting dates and voter registration sites.
Launching a Direct Mail Political Marketing Campaign
Most print campaigns send each recipient three or four pieces of mail to establish a connection.
You want to utilize print sizes that get noticed. Bigger is better.
Ensure that your graphics are eye-catching and professionally rendered. The content should be straightforward, factual and straight to the point.
An Epsilon study found that 80% of participants were more likely to read and respond to direct marketing materials that were personalized with their names. The same study revealed that 90% of the participants “found personalized marketing appealing.”
Using a voter’s name makes that voter feel like their concerns are important to the candidate. Everyone wants to feel special, and when you personalize campaign marketing materials, your readers will feel special too.
Including Other Types of Print Marketing
There are many ways to bring your candidate’s message to the people. Distributing print materials can help reinforce your direct mailers and other advertising. Here are some ideas of print marketing to include in your campaign:
- Yard Signs
- Palm Cards
- Door Hangers
- Custom Apparel
- Promotional Products
- Bumper Stickers
If you’re not sure where to begin, we can help. Contact us today!