Frequently Asked Questions
GET THE INSIGHT YOU NEED TO USE DIRECT MAIL TO YOUR CAMPAIGN’S ADVANTAGE.
Election season always brings a flurry of communication, and campaigns have a long list of media channels to choose from. The pressure’s on to connect with voters in the most engaging and memorable ways possible. So here are some key FAQs, helpful links, and takeaways to help you make a bigger impact with mail as part of your overall campaign strategy.
It’s smart to have a widely diversified marketing approach to add flexibility to targeting and to reach as wide a demographic as possible. Mail can be targeted based on a long list of characteristics such as household income, gender, and geographic location. Talk to your mailing list provider about how you can drill down to specific ZIP Code™ areas and addresses, regions that have already been analyzed for demographics, and predominant political preference.
Mail is not only a great way to reach the older and Baby Boomer population, but also Millennials, a large percentage of whom say they read mail immediately and find it useful.1
1. Mailing to Win: Election 2014, USPS, 2014.
Direct mail is useful throughout your campaign for a variety of purposes, including fundraising, awareness, and getting out the vote. As a best practice, it helps to launch your campaign when you can afford to send out a piece at least every other week to your targeted voters—and send more often if you can as you get closer to Election Day.
Every Door Direct Mail® is an easy, cost-effective way to reach potential voters in very specific geographic areas. Just create your mailpieces and select which entire postal routes you’d like them delivered to. Pay for postage online and just drop your pieces off at your local Post Office™.
Political mail can be sent from any candidate, campaign committee, or political party. For smaller campaigns, Every Door Direct Mail (discussed above) is a great tool; meanwhile larger campaigns can truly blanket entire ZIP Code™ areas with postcards and flyers with key messages.
Mail combines exceptionally well with digital channels, especially with the rise of smartphones and tablets. There is a range of interesting ways to engage recipients with your mailer and enhance their experience. You can use QR codes, Data Matrix, SnapTag mobile barcodes, Microsoft® Tags®, augmented reality (AR), and digital watermarks. You can also link to social media and cross-promote with social media channels. For some inspiring examples of mail pushing past the boundaries of the expected and making a major impact, check out IrresistibleMail.com.
Information you collect from digital channels, etc., can help ensure that your direct mail investment is reaching the targeted voters who will make a difference in the election outcome. Essentially, all of the big data stored in voter files can sharpen direct mail voter targeting like never before.
Mail can be the gateway to capturing voter attention and creating a deeper personal connection—especially in combination with digital and social strategies. Mail can be highly effective at driving voters to candidate websites and digital channels.2 An investment in a sleek, visually engaging webpage or video can be multiplied with a simple note in the mail containing the link.
2. “’Old School’ Mail Has Some New Tricks,” Campaigns & Elections.com, March 2016, https://www.campaignsandelections.com/campaign-insider/old-school-mail-has-some-new-tricks
Just head to our Getting Started page to get everything you need. You’ll learn how to contact your District Sales Manager (DSM), who can walk you through the various types of mail options you can integrate into your overall campaign.
Yes—and here are a few key tips.
- Explore the option of consulting with a direct marketing company to strategically add mail to your integrated media campaign.
- Carefully determine who it is you want to reach. There are many selections to choose from, including geographic location, demographic, party affiliation, and ethnicity.
- Track responses to measure the effectiveness of the mailpiece and your offers or invitations.
- Include mobile barcodes/QR codes and other elements to engage the recipient.
- Use mail to achieve your campaign objectives: fundraising, voter ID, persuasion, or getting out the vote.
- Begin your direct mail campaign without a clear, measurable objective.
- Overwhelm the reader with too much copy or graphics so your call to action gets lost.
- Forget to link your direct campaign to digital. Instead, develop mobile-friendly webpages when providing QR codes or other mobile apps.
- Waste time and costs. If you’re not using EDDM Service, you can be more efficient by updating your mailing list and eliminating bad addresses before each campaign.
- View mail as a one-off. It’s much more: an ongoing customer relationship tool that picks up where other media leave off.
You can rely on the expertise of your USPS District Sales Managers to help you determine what kind of mail is best suited for your campaign needs, ranging from Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) to First-Class Mail® and Standard Mail®. Contact Us
There are promotions and incentives available to help you invest in your campaign. These incentives help promote best practices for integrating mail with mobile technology, and they highlight new mail products and other innovative mailing techniques.
A USPS Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA) can help with automation efficiency, technical mail design questions, and mailpiece analysis, among other technical questions. You can email for MDA help or call 855-593-6093.
The Postal Service has a very effective system for identifying political mail and moving it efficiently through the mail stream and into mailboxes before Election Day.
When political mail is sorted and processed by the mail house and packaged for delivery to the postal facility, each tray, sack, and pallet of political mail is affixed with a special red tag. Tag 57 identifies campaign mailings during processing and distribution. It adds visibility for efficient processing.
Call in the experts
Let a USPS® Direct Mail Representative show you how direct mail can power your campaign.