Connecting to Voters

How to Deliver a Personal Touch During Times of Uncertainty

One tried and
true method of
delivering personal
is direct mail.

In an election year when so much seems uncertain, one thing is clear: there will be an election. Time is short, money is tight, and events are unpredictable. Our election guide can help campaigns find ways to navigate this strange and uncharted landscape.

Graphics of woman in chair reading AAPC Guide to Winning in 2020 Whitepaper

Introduce the
Candidate to the
Voter at Home

  • This year more
    than ever, political
    campaigns must reach
    voters where they are:
    at home.

    2 out of 3 image graphic

    Americans don’t feel comfortable going to a polling place1


    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

voter trust graphic

Establish Trust with
Voters Throughout
the Campaign

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 targetting graphic

    Mail targeting allows campaigns to reach specific types of voters.8

  • voter checklist graphic

    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

When you contrast candidates through mail, you give the details, back it up with citations, and directly target the voters you want to receive that message. You can’t do that on television. You can’t do that online. The mailbox is how you can get that very specific message to a unique audience without having a broader adverse effect on your campaign.”

—Direct Mail Strategist
Graphic of mailbox, envelope, mobile phone, computer

Leverage the Media Mix to Inform and Influence Voter Decisions

  • Voters are determining who they will vote for earlier in the election cycle.

    • 0%

      Voters decide a few months or more before the election

    • 0%

      Voters decide in the last month before the election

    • 0%

      Voters decide in the last week before the election

  • Direct mail helps voters decide.14

    • 0%

      Voters feel direct mail makes them a more informed voter11

    • 0%

      Voters rate direct mail as one of the top three most persuasive political advertising techniques12

    • 0%

      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.

Happy voter graphic

Spark Voters to
Cast their Ballots

Voters depend
on direct mail for
details about early
voting, absentee
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.

For More Expert Tips from USPS and AAPC
Download the Full Whitepaper

An AAPC Guide to Winning in 2020

—Joint Study Sponsored by the United States Postal Service