Though modern election campaigns have evolved to include television and Internet marketing strategies, political direct mail is still a major factor in a campaign’s visibility and success.Engineering a viable political marketing strategy is critical in establishing and maintaining any given political candidate’s visibility. While modern political campaigns have most definitely embraced social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, direct mail marketing remains more than relevant – it’s the chief marketing expenditure for any serious campaign. As election season looms closer, political direct mail marketing strategies continues to drive election campaigns.
During the 2012 presidential election, candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent an average of over $100 million on direct mail marketing and printing costs alone – more than any candidate spent on any other marketing medium. Given the creative versatility of television advertising and Internet marketing, why, then, do political candidates spend the bulk of their campaign funds on political direct mail marketing each and every election season?
Political Direct Mail Marketing vs. Television Advertising
As the prevalence of DVR and similar devices rises, the reach of television ad spots diminishes in resonance. More than 43% of American households in the US feature some form of DVR; we simply no longer have to watch commercials. Services like Netflix and Hulu further separate television-watchers from commercial-watchers, especially considering the prominence of mobile devices which act as a second (distracting) screen during television commercial breaks.
Meanwhile, nearly every U.S. household receives and reads mail on a daily basis. In the age of Netflix and DVR, whether or not any given member of a campaigner’s intended audience will see a broadcast advertisement effectively amounts to a coin toss. Strategies including paper advertisements distributed via direct mail, however, remain dependable tactics for ensuring that each recipient encounters the candidate’s message.
Political Direct Mail Marketing vs. Internet Marketing
The primary reason that modern campaigners spend roughly twice as much on direct mail marketing than they do any other medium boils down to a matter of appeal. Americans at the age of 45 and older are far-and-away more consistent, frequent subset of voters than the average younger adult. A political direct mail marketing strategy appeals to these cornerstone voters more than colorful pop-up ads and trendy, “viral” Internet marketing campaigns.
By comparison to Internet-based advertising strategies, political direct mail marketing campaigns are easier to “target” to one demographic or another. A clever campaign might capitalize on this advantage by featuring variable images, data, or maps relevant to even a very specific voter, region, district, or subculture.
Other Advantages to Political Direct Mail Marketing
• Direct mailings remain one of the easiest marketing strategies to use.
• Mail marketing allows a candidate to specifically target a regional demographic.
• Mass mailings appeal to a growing subset of voters who choose to vote by mail.
• No tactic encourages interaction like the enclosure of a return envelope, postage-paid.
• Especially useful for reaching retirees and other key voters.
• Paper surveys allow polled parties to provide feedback in their own time.