Create a More Unified Political Campaign with Direct Mail

10 Ways to Win with Political Mail in the Digital Age

This voting season, amidst the flurry of political ads, you can still count on one everyday routine: Voters picking up their mail and looking through it as they walk from their mailboxes. Direct mail response rates still outperform digital media.Unlike emails or online ads that voters can just delete or ignore, mail is a tangible object that they have to interact with, even if only for a few minutes. By integrating digital channels into your direct mail marketing efforts, you can create a unified, more targeted political campaign that reaches more voters.
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1. Put data to work for you
Tapping into data such as voter demographics can help campaigns better personalize communications. Target your political mailings by location to engage voters who live in your candidate’s district with messages specific to their neighborhoods and the issues that matter the most to them.
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2. Tap into social media to build your direct mail voter profiles
Social media sites contain a wealth of information that can bolster your campaign efforts. When you analyze your social media data, such as the hashtags, keywords and topics that are of interest to your voters, you have a better idea of the issues that matter to your audience so you can create more relevant messaging for your direct mailpieces. Please note: It’s a good idea to check with the social media platform’s terms and conditions before collecting and using data from their site.
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3. Get up close and personal with variable data printing
Variable data printing technology lets you change elements like text, graphics and images from one printed piece to the next, using information from your voter database. Think about personalizing your political mailing not only with each recipient’s name and address, but with unique content and imagery that’s based on their demographics, voting behaviors, issues they care about, and other data-driven information.
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4. Turbo-charge your political campaign with programmatic direct mail
Programmatic mail responds to real-time, online activity with a personalized, direct mailpiece that is sent to the voter’s home generally within 24 hours. This helps you get the right messages in the right voter’s hands quickly. Analyze activity on your website, using a simple tag, to identify the best segment and offer for each visitor. Easily sort your audience by hot button issues, party affiliation, demographic information, or virtually anything else, to create highly targeted, print mailpieces.
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5. Bridge the gap between physical and digital with QR Code® Barcodes
Millennials still interact with mail, especially when it’s paired with the right technology.2 By incorporating QR Codes3 in your direct mailpieces you can gain access to this large audience and engage them to interact with your campaign messages.
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6. Capture a prospect’s attention with a PURL
A personalized URL (PURL) campaign can be an effective way to merge your on – and offline channels. Potentially increase your base by sending a mailpiece to prospective voters, asking each recipient to log into a unique PURL to give opinions on issues important to them. This could give you a promising list of prospects for future outreach.
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7. Use hash tags and online event sign ups
Voters are used to seeing hash tags which could make them more likely to look them up when they see them on a piece of mail. The same is true for social media marketing. Provide a link to sign up for a mailing list on your social media pages. Or send a direct mailpiece reminder about an event and ask constituents to register online.
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8. Trigger instant digital content experiences with NFC
You can use near-field communications (NFC) technology embedded in your direct mailpieces to deliver targeted, relevant messages to your voters. NFC is triggered when a smartphone or similar device is in close proximity. This means that if the recipient of your postcard has a smartphone or tablet close by, you can connect with that person directly via the data sent from your NFC-enabled mailpiece.
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9. Bring your direct mail to life with augmented reality
This technology can transform your direct mail into an interactive experience that engages tech-savvy Millennials. By adding a digital image that recipients can scan with their smartphones or tablets, you can talk directly to voters and direct them to your campaign website, social media, or other digital properties for more information, to download an app or to watch other videos.
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10. Synchronize all channels for a true multi-touch campaign
True synchronization goes beyond simply combining channels. Tap into what your voter data is telling you about your target audiences in every channel they’re coming to you from – web, mobile, and social. A consistent brand should drive your campaign, strengthening your message and connecting individual touch points.
  1. DMA Response Rate Report, 2015.
  2. Matt Haskell, “Millennials, ‘The Greatest Generation’ and Direct Marketing,” Sourcelink, May 22, 2013.
  3. QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated.

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