Impact: Avoiding the “Junk Mail” Stigma and Getting those Voters Reading!
Next, it’s time to consider the format, design, and message of your mailer.
The challenge with direct mailing is that many people automatically dismiss it as “junk mail.” However, the difference in your case is that you aren’t trying to get anyone to buy a product or use a service, per se. You’re trying to inform voters, which puts you a cut above the rest of the direct mailing crowd. Approach the design of your mailer with this attitude.
Generally, political campaign direct mailing is done using flyers, brochures, or postcards. As your primary goal is to get voters to actually take a serious look at your mailer, choosing a unique format is a good idea. Although the low cost may be enticing, boring flyers made up of a sheet of white paper that contains an “important message” is not going to cut the proverbial mustard.
The best combination of impact and low cost is probably a jumbo postcard. Its size will make it stand out, but it’s not as pricey as a brochure. Jumbo, two-sided, full color postcards at Hotcards are just pennies apiece.
Once you settle on style, you can begin to consider design and content. These two major elements, if done properly, can also set you apart from the rest of the junk.
In terms of design, that wow-factor can be achieved by presenting voters with a mailer that is so visually appealing, it possesses an intrinsic value in and of itself.
For example, you could solicit local artists that support your candidate to create or contribute some original artwork for the front of the mailer. Now voters have something promoting Jane Smith that they can tack up on their fridge or bulletin board and look at every day!
In terms of content, you can remove your mailer from the junk mail category by actually providing voters with valuable information. A calendar marked with important dates leading up to the election can have this effect, as can information on the voting process in general. The message: Vote for me or not, the important thing is that you VOTE! (Of course, in the end, if it’s Jane Smith that gets them out on Election Day, it’s Jane Smith they’ll vote for!)
If you’re planning on sending out more than one mailer, a great way to compel your voters is to show continuity from mailer to mailer. For example, if you’re planning:
- One mailer to introduce your candidate.
- One mailer to discuss his or her platforms.
- One mailer to encourage voter turnout right before the election.
Try including a little comic strip spoofing the adventures of Jane Smith leading up to Election Day. Or create the “Jane Smith for Office” news, where every mailer is a voter update on what’s happening in the election race. This way, multiple mailers won’t be seen as junk, but as a fun and interesting story to follow along with.
Just remember that as much as you might want to pack on to that mailer, short, concise points that take only seconds to read will make the most impact. Odds are that just about anything you can say in a paragraph of text can, in fact, be broken down into short bullet points.
Once you’ve got your design and message sorted out, it’s time for the fun stuff, or as we call it, addressing and sorting!