Connecting to Voters
How to Deliver a Personal Touch During Times of Uncertainty
Candidate to the
Voter at Home
This year more
than ever, political
campaigns must reach
voters where they are:
VOTERS AT HOME2-in-3
Americans don’t feel comfortable going to a polling place1
INTRODUCTION THROUGH MAIL0%
Voters say direct mail increases awareness of which candidates are running2
Even with many parts of the country reopening, voters may be reluctant to attend or engage with candidates through campaign rallies, fundraising events, meet-and-greets, and door-to-door canvassing. Campaigns will need to shift in-person opportunities to connect with voters and find alternative ways to deliver the same value and personal touch.
Direct mail is unique in that it can deliver campaign messaging directly to the voter’s doorstep. Almost half of surveyed voters (46%) say they would read direct mail with information about candidates or ballot issues.3
Establish Trust with
Trust is hard to win these days: voter skepticism about the media runs high and political polarization runs deep.4 Most voters believe that direct mail delivers believable, factual information.5
Voters say they are more likely to trust positive claims about candidates made in direct mail than other types of political advertising6
Voters say they trust direct mail when it comes to information about a candidate’s biography, stance on the issues, and legislative record7
Mail targeting allows campaigns to reach specific types of voters.8
In fact, 2 out of 3 surveyed political consultants say direct mail effectively delivers information about candidates; 1-in-3 say it is the single most effective use of direct mail.9
Leverage the Media Mix to Inform and Influence Voter Decisions
Voters are determining who they will vote for earlier in the election cycle.VOTERS DECIDE EARLY10
Voters decide a few months or more before the election
Voters decide in the last month before the election
Voters decide in the last week before the election
Direct mail helps voters decide.14HOW MAIL CONNECTS WITH VOTERS
Voters feel direct mail makes them a more informed voter11
Voters rate direct mail as one of the top three most persuasive political advertising techniques12
Voters believe direct mail has an impact on their voting decision13
Direct mail is a powerful part of an overall integrated media strategy to influence voter decisions.15
Half of surveyed voters say direct mail motivates them to go online to search for more information about the candidate and the campaign, while more than half (56%) say it reinforces the impact of TV campaign advertising.16
The Postal Service has several new tools – such as Informed Visibility® Service 17 and Informed Delivery® Service 18 – that allow campaigns to track their direct mail pieces and digitally integrate their direct mail program, allowing campaigns to sequence and layer messaging across channels.
Spark Voters to
Cast their Ballots
on direct mail for
details about early
ballot, and voter
Consultants agree that direct mail is useful for sharing information20
Voters found direct mail to be a helpful source for deadlines on registering to vote or voting early21
If the primaries are any indication, the general election this year will be like no other previous election. Voting timelines were disrupted in more than a third of the states. Many political consultants and election experts anticipate a significant increase in voting-by-mail, early voting, and potential changes to in-person polling locations.
An AAPC Guide to Winning in 2020
—Joint Study Sponsored by the United States Postal Service
- 1 - Pew Research Center. Most Americans Say Coronavirus Outbreak Has Impacted Their Lives, March 30, 2020. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/03/30/most-americans-say-coronavirusoutbreak-has-impacted-their-lives/psdt_03-30-20_covid-impact-00-7/
- 2, 3, 11, 13, 15, 16, 21 - Summit Research post-election survey on behalf of the Postal Service™ among 821 actual Florida voters and 803 actual Ohio voters, conducted immediately following the midterm elections (November 6-11, 2018).
- 4 - Pew Research Center. The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider. Oct. 5, 2017. https://www.people-press.org/2017/10/05/the-partisan-divide-on-political-values-grows-even-wider/
- 5, 6, 7, 10, 14 - Summit Research post-election survey on behalf of the Postal Service™ among 1,813 voters in Kentucky and Louisiana, conducted immediately following the 2019 general elections.
- 8, 9, 20 - KRC Research online survey sent to the full AAPC mailing list (about 1200 individuals); 101 AAPC members sent responses from Jan. 9 to Feb. 13, 2020.
- 12 - Summit Research post-election survey on behalf of the Postal Service™ among 900 voters in Virginia, conducted immediately following the gubernatorial election (November 7-9, 2017).
- 17 - USPS Delivers. Track Your Direct Mail With Informed Visibility®. https://www.uspsdelivers.com/track-your-direct-mail-with-informed-visibility/
- 18 - Informed Delivery by USPS. https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action
- 19 - Summit Research national survey on behalf of the Postal Service™ among 1,398 U.S. adults, conducted August 11-22, 2016.