Most people would agree that this political campaign season, with a knock-down, drag-out presidential election as the main event, is destined to be the most highly charged in history. Regardless of party, candidate, or office, the competition to win the hearts, minds, votes, and donations of millions of voters promises to be fierce.
Because so much is at stake, marketing dollars must be spent wisely. Direct mail marketing offers political campaigns unique advantages, especially in terms of speed-to-market, personalization, and unique delivery methodologies.
High-profile campaigns often involve a lot of back-and-forth. Punch and counterpunch. Campaigns need to be able to quickly respond to current events, news reports, and the claims of other candidates. Digital printing capabilities and integrated workflows shorten the time between ideation and creation to enable incredibly fast ramp up speed.
For example, a completely finished card, self-mailer, or other direct mail format can be printed in one pass. No post-processing is necessary. When mail pieces come off the press, they get cut and go right out the door, allowing for much faster deployment than conventional methods.
With offset printing, multiple versions would have to be printed separately, which is more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Variable data printing makes it possible to print continuously without stopping to swap out images or change the messaging.
In addition to fast variable data printing, all political mail bears the red “Political Campaign Mail” tag. This increases your mail’s visibility while in the post office mailstream so processing and delivery can be expedited.
Most political campaigns approach direct mail marketing with a club when they would be much better served by using a scalpel. Variable data printing uses your database to customize the messaging and images of your mailings. Personalization can be based on geography, demographics, and the issues that are most important to each individual or group of recipients.
For example, a mailing for a senior couple in a suburban active adult community could be very different from a mailing for a married couple in their 30s with two young children in a large city. If an important issue is public safety, which message has more impact – “Keeping your community safe” or “Keeping Broad Street families safe”?
As mentioned in the previous section, variable data printing delivers this level of personalization without stopping or even slowing down the print process.
USPS Delivery Methodologies
In addition to improving speed-to-market and personalization, you can take advantage of USPS delivery methodologies to ensure the right mailings are delivered to the right households based on your political campaign’s goals, scope, and audience.
All politics is local, right? Even in a national or statewide race, campaigns often target specific geographic areas. Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is a service from the USPS that allows you to blanket a city, metro area, or group of zip codes. Because 100 percent of households receive your mailing, no list is required. You decide what area you want to cover, and mailings are printed according to USPS specifications and delivered to every door in that area.
While EDDM is primarily used for local campaigns, larger-scale political campaigns typically rely heavily upon mailing lists to target individuals based on party affiliation, likelihood to vote, demographics, and other factors. For these campaigns, purchasing the right list is critical to reaching the right audience with the right message.
One of the more overlooked opportunities for political campaigns is Informed Delivery. Informed Delivery is a free notification service that allows a household to sign up to receive daily emails with digital previews of the mail they’re about to receive.
There is a benefit to giving your mailings additional exposure through these digital previews, but you can also take advantage of ride-along marketing opportunities that bridge the gap between physical and digital to give your marketing more impact. Instead of a black-and-white scan, you can have a professionally designed marketing piece with links added to Informed Delivery emails.
When it comes to political campaigns, or any marketing campaign for that matter, direct mail, email, digital, and other platforms should have a seat at the table. Whether you’re trying to win votes, find volunteers, or secure donations, marketing delivers the best ROI when all types of marketing are working together as part of an integrated, omni-channel strategy.
Let’s discuss how to take full advantage of direct mail and variable data printing to support your political campaign as part of an integrated marketing strategy. Contact us to unleash the power of Digital Dog Direct.