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Elections and Direct Mail Go Hand in Hand
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Direct mail is one of the original forms of marketing. Its tenure easily overshadows those of social media or television commercials, but its potency has stood the test of time, particularly when it comes to elections and direct mail. You may wonder how direct mail continues to remain effective in a political landscape that has changed vastly over the years and why politicians and the American people continue to rely on it. Here are a few reasons why you can count on the continued demand for direct mail.

Truth in Advertising

As technology and digital advertising continue to advance, so does fake news and targeting. Consumers receive targeted ads and emails from superstores and clothing shops, and politics are no different. According to Adweek, 70% of U.S. citizens polled don’t want to be microtargeted by political campaigns through digital advertising, a sentiment shared equally across party lines. They feel that social media fosters false information and prefer to avoid areas where they can fall prey to misleading ads, like Facebook which fails to fact-check political ads. Consumers want ease of mind and, above all, the truth, which sometimes comes in the form of an envelope.

Vote for Direct Mail

2020 is an election year, meaning that politicians across the country are looking for the best way to grab your ear and share their message. While television commercials and yard signs are likely to be among the first examples that come to mind, direct mail is a crucial form of communication that shouldn’t be overlooked. Tom Howard, Domtar’s Vice President for Government Relations, says that “We know that election years result in more marketing mail volume. When looking at quarterly fluctuations in marketing mail volume, you can see that the Postal Service [and the mailing industry (that includes paper)] benefits from political mailings. Obviously, political mailings spike in election years and we are optimistic that 2020 will see heavy volumes of political mailings.”  Action Mailing, a website dedicated to comprehensive marketing solutions, reports that “in a recent voter survey commission by the United States Postal Service, it was discovered that 68% of all surveyed voters ranked direct mail among the three most credible forms of political outreach.” That ranking places direct mail higher than TV, home visits and even digital advertising. There is simplicity in direct mail that speaks to voters and candidates alike.

Numbers Don’t Lie

The power of direct mail has a long history of effectiveness and reach. More Americans use and respond to it than they do email, online displays or social media and the data shows that to be true. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) partnered with their Data Marketing and Analytics division (DMA) to produce a study on customer experience and marketing benchmarks. The survey reported that direct mail:

  • Is the second most-used medium, tied with social media, with 57% of all participants polled reported their use of direct mail
  • Has the highest response rate of all mediums, at 9%, with email, paid search and social media all topping off at 1%

As consumers, we respond to direct mail and we do it en masse. While the political landscape may be chaotic, direct mail is a dependable channel that all politicians rely on to get votes. Learn more about the power of direct mail in our latest issue of Paper Matters magazine.

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