In the digital age, MPs have moved onto the likes of Twitter and Facebook. However, you cannot ignore the power of delivering your message to the door of your constituents. Direct mail is experiencing a recent boom, with Google and even Facebook turning to the advertising method in 2018. While social media and email marketing have their benefits, the power of tangibility in an online world is unrivalled.
It has even been reported that direct mail, when combined with digital advertising, can lift responses by a staggering 118%. Washington Direct Mail, a leading UK mailing house, is sharing their guide to improving your political campaign with mail marketing.
Importance of candidate mail
Every UK candidate standing in an election is entitled to ‘Candidate Mail’, a service by Royal Mail. This service enables you to send one piece of mailing, completely free of charges for postage. You can send this to every eligible constituent on the electoral register. While this is an excellent service and allows you to reach all of those relevant to your message, your direct mail design, copy and fulfilment require payment. As such, many candidates spend little time and budget on their actual mailing, in order to get their campaign ahead of all others. However, to stand out from the crowd, you must understand the potential for direct mail.
Use correct data
Accurate data is the key to your political campaign. In fact, the key to success rests on how you address and tailor your content to your prospects. For example, political postcards and the likes addressed to the ‘homeowner’ are likely to be ignored. If your competitor has taken the time to speak directly to your audience – with the data readily available – you will lose your campaign. More than 84% of consumers are more likely to read direct mail if it is personalised, and you have absolutely no excuse not to do so – particularly if you are looking to win votes.
You should also be aware of the GDPR legislation, coming into force on May 25th. Constituents must provide permission for you to use their personal data. Likewise, if they ask to be ‘forgotten’, you must remove their information from wherever you hold their data.
We touched on the potential with personalisation above, but it can strongly mean the difference between gaining votes and losing. The objective of all political campaigns is to gain trust and build transparency between candidate and consumer, and personalised direct mail enhances the relationship. It’s reported that direct mail can stay in the house for as long as 17 days, and you stand a stronger chance of prospects reading your marketing if you speak to them.
Design and copy
The human eye is trained to process images above text, so use this knowledge to your advantage. Place an image front and centre that reinforces your message, and is relevant to the constituents. Perhaps it’s a community incentive, or a town meeting etc. Images speak a thousand words, and your copy should reflect the message. Avoid paragraphs and jargons of text, as it’s unlikely all constituents will read through. Punchy, bold and persuasive text is much more appealing. You should also ensure you are clear on the next steps. Whether that be asking the constituents to attend a community meeting, or even vote for you – there should always be a clear and dynamic call-to-action.