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Political Direct Mail: Make Your Point in 20 Seconds or Less
An impressive resume is not enough to get you elected. Yes, your achievements can help you build a strong candidate profile. But to clearly and concisely communicate your vision to the people, now that takes something else. Something shorter.
Political direct mail gives you that platform to connect with the electorate by highlighting the most impactful parts in your campaign resume. Let people know what you can do for them, walk them through your vision, and get to the point fast.
Political direct mail should be concise and actionable.
Political direct mail does not give you much space to write lengthy propositions to win votes. But that’s not a bad thing. The limited print area pushes you to focus on the key messages that you want your electorate to remember.
Stick to one or two main messages.
Keep your points on a macro level. One reason behind this is that voters won’t read large blocks of text. Additionally, too many details give your opponent an opportunity to nitpick your plan, putting you on the defensive.
Always have a call to action.
A good way to provide more information without overwhelming your audience is to drive voters to your website or ask them to contact you via email. Once they are on your website, they can find more detailed explanations as well as ways to sign up to support your political campaigns.
Make sure your message is targeted to your audience.
Another benefit of including direct mail to your political printing and campaign resources is that you can send a precisely tailored message to a specific audience. Certain demographic information can be obtained from a voter list, including but not limited to age, sex, race, and average income based on zip code.
Remember: Political direct mail allows you to put your message directly in voters’ hands. Research outlined in this Forbes article shows that this “physical media” leaves a “deeper footprint in the brain,” a tendency that transcends the age demographic.Political direct mail allows you to put your message directly in voters’ hands. Click To Tweet
Give careful consideration to your words.
What are the hot button issues in your area? Can you tie your election to national themes? If you can afford it, invest in a professional poll conducted by a research agency that will help you test your message’s impact with voters. Wilson, Perkins Allen Research, Baselice and Associates, Inc., Pollmakers, and NorthStar Opinion Research are a few examples of professional political pollsters.
Alternatively, a grassroots campaign, or going door-to-door, gives you an idea of what is important to people. Use your grassroots efforts as a live poll for information. Then create your direct mail campaign to strengthen your grassroots campaign message.
Voters can be broken down into three camps.
The Scanner – Will look at your pictures for 1 to 10 seconds, then throw it away.
The Skimmer – Will look at your pictures and read the headers/captions of your piece for no more than 10 to 20 seconds.
The Studier – Anything beyond 20 seconds and you have someone that will actually read the text on your mail piece.
A good political mail is written to target all three audiences. It’s essential to have quality pictures that convey a message for the scanner, strong and catchy headers for the skimmer, and good copy for the readers.
A good rule of thumb is that your text should always reinforce your images, not the other way around. So always write your copy to complement the visual message you are sending to voters. Doing so will enhance the effectiveness of your political direct mail.
PrintPlace is here to help you win. Visit our Political Printing and Campaign Resources page for print essentials and print advice for your campaign.
I have spent over a decade working with political campaigns and national fundraisers. At PrintPlace, I am responsible for all political marketing pieces and work hand in hand with candidates and their consultants.