Elections continue to see a trend of increased use of political mail, according to the United States Postal Service. The increasing skepticism by voters of mass media organizations makes political mail, now more than ever, an integral part of a winning campaign strategy. Here’s research that explains why direct mail can most effectively capture voters’ attention.
Voters View Mail as Factual, Believable and Transparent
Voters want campaign advertising to be accurate and honest. Skepticism and mistrust are at an all-time high. However, nearly half of surveyed voters considered the claims in political mail to be very or somewhat factual – just behind TV and, notably, higher than all forms of digital marketing. Furthermore, 77% of surveyed voters revealed they would trust mail about a candidate’s biography, stance on the issues, and legislative record. Research finds that mail consistently delivers believable, factual information voters can trust.
Voters Want Information about Where Candidates Stand on Important Issues
Mail plays an important role in helping voters feel informed on what they say matters most – the candidate’s stance on the issues. Voters want to appear thoughtful, logical and fair. 71% say the issues are more important to them than political party affiliation or general candidate likability. Research proves that mail is a particularly effective medium for delivering the content voters want and need to feel informed.
Voters Cast Ballots Earlier
With early decision-making and increased early and absentee voting, campaigns should start mail programs earlier during the election cycle. Six in 10 surveyed voters reported making up their minds about who to support a few months or more before the election and a quarter made their decisions in the last month. These findings make clear the importance for a campaign to get persuasive messages into the homes of voters early in the election cycle – and then again during the final weeks to sway the remaining undecided voters.
Voters Respond to Reinforced Messaging
Mail is an effective medium on its own, but it also delivers a strong reinforcement of other forms of political advertising. A majority of voters agreed that mail reinforced the ads they saw on TV and drove them to pay closer attention to those ads. Nearly half said mail led them to search online for more information. Using targeted mail as part of a broader media strategy will reinforce critical campaign messages in conjunction with TV, online and other advertising platforms.
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Source: A United States Postal Service and American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) study following the 2019 general elections.