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What is Political Mail? Overview and Tips | Prisma

Political Mail Services

Prisma offers complete political mail services, allowing you to run fully-customizable and variable direct mail pieces for all of your candidates’ target audiences. Get targeted messages to voters fast with the help of Prisma’s high-speed digital web press. Our secured lettershop protects your data and our state-of-the-art technology gets your candidate’s message to mailbox with flawless precision. You can count on our expertise with postal regulations to avoid delays and eliminate unexpected costs.

We also offer our marketing-based solution, Political Power Up, which allows you to seamlessly track the effectiveness of your political mail campaigns while enhancing your results through the integration of digital platforms. PPU offers nine technologies that drive exposure and engagement for your political campaign, making it more likely for your audience to vote.

Prisma helps candidates and campaign committees nationwide by offering a full spectrum of political mail services in a streamlined approach, powering their Message to Market with speed, quality, and control.


What is Political Mail?

Political mail is any form of physical communication that is delivered to voters’ mailboxes with the intent to promote candidates, referendums, or campaigns. Candidates or campaign committees can speak directly to their target audience by mailing postcards, letters, brochures, or other printed materials.

Political mailers are used to engage voters with an attention-grabbing design, concise text, and a clear call to action that encourages them to interact with a candidate or campaign. Keep reading to learn why political mail is a powerful tool to integrate into your campaign strategy.


Why is Political Mail Effective?

Despite being in an increasingly digital world, political mail is one of the most effective forms of political advertising. Why is one of the oldest forms of political advertising still so powerful today?


  • Political Mail Inspires Action

In terms of engagement, political mail is unmatched. The USPS found that 59% of voters search online to learn more about the race after receiving the mail piece. They also found that 55% of voters look at websites and sources mentioned in the mail piece. Mail is difficult to ignore and encourages voters to share information with others and further interact with a political campaign.


  • Direct Mail is Credible

Trust in digital political advertising is waning among the American public, but trust in mail remains strong among voters. According to the USPS, 67% of surveyed voters view direct mail as the most credible advertising channel. Direct mail is an easy way for your candidate to gain credibility and build trust with their target audience.


  • Political Mail is Memorable

Political mail is tangible, and in a digital world, each piece of mail is exciting and unforgettable. Sending a personalized mailer can also evoke an emotional response greater than other forms of advertising. 1-in-2 Americans said that mail was the most memorable form of political advertising they saw in the 2020 election.


  • Political Mail is Interactive

Political mail has the power to take advantage of the human senses to create experiences that boost audience interaction. Incorporating digital integrations and strong CTAs are effective ways to boost response with direct mail. USPS’s Informed Delivery technology is a great tool to integrate into a political campaign. This feature allows mail recipients to see what mail is being delivered that day accompanied by a ride-along ad via email. This allows voters to interact with your campaign online before they receive their mail piece.


  • Wider Reach

Everyone checks the mail, and because of that, political mail reaches a larger audience than other forms of political advertising. Mail reaches people of all ages and demographics, unlike email or social media channels, which may not be used by or are easily accessible to your candidate’s entire audience. According to the USPS, 71% of surveyed voters still check their mailboxes at least 5 days a week.


  • Less Competition

Political mail is less common because campaign committees are scaling back their physical advertising efforts in favor of digital advertising. This may not seem like a good thing, but it is quite the opposite! With fewer committees sending mail, your political mailer has a better chance of standing out. The internet is full of advertising messages, and committees have to compete for Google rankings. With political mail, your message is guaranteed to reach your target audience.


How to Create an Effective Political Mailer

  • Define Your Target Audience

Taking time to consider your target audience is a crucial step in generating a successful political campaign. Review issues you want to emphasize with your campaign goals to help you identify who is best suited to receive your mailer. Then, select your audience based on demographics, political party, and voting behavior. If you dedicate enough time to defining your audience, your campaign is more likely to produce higher engagement and voter participation.


  • Have a Clear Call to Action

Every political mailer needs an effective call to action that aligns with your campaign goals. Think about what you want your candidate’s audience to do and communicate that in clear terms on your mail piece. An example of this is directing your audience to scan a QR code that takes them to the candidate’s website to learn more about the candidate and their stance on issues. Having a clearly defined call to action as the focal point of the mail piece prompts your recipients to act and engage with your campaign.


  • Prioritize Timing and Sequencing

The key to an effective political mail campaign is to know when and how often you should send your mailer. A study conducted by the USPS found that direct mail received early in the election cycle has the most potential to impact voter opinions. They also found that more than half (55%) of surveyed voters search online for more information after reading a mail piece. Determining an effective mailing schedule in advance is a necessary step to successfully launch your campaign.


  • Combine with Digital Advertising

A common mistake in political advertising is to not market your candidate’s message across multiple channels. Restricting your efforts to only a single channel can result in a limited reach. Using a multi-channel approach reinforces information voters see across other channels and ensures your message is seen by your entire audience, keeping your candidate top of mind. To increase response rates, we recommend combining digital and print to spread your message across several channels.


  • Retarget Your Audience

Advertising efforts should not end once your mail is delivered to the post office. Not all recipients act on a single impression of a campaign. Following up with your direct mail audience makes prospective voters more likely to vote and re-engages previous voters. Tracking your responses also provides insight into which audience members are most likely to be receptive to future political advertising.


Types of Political Mailers 

There are a variety of direct mail formats that can be used to spread your candidate’s message to their audience. To identify which type of mailer you should use, you must consider your target audience and campaign goals, then tailor accordingly. These are some of the most successful types of political mailers:

  • Postcards

Postcards are one of the clearest and most cost-effective forms of political mail. Since they do not need to be opened, your message is easily seen and remembered if it is paired with an impactful, concise copy. If you want to quickly capture the attention of your audience, postcards are the best option. And because of their lower price point, the ROI on postcards can be higher than average.


  • Letters

Letters are a traditional form of political mail that can be highly personalized to your recipient’s needs. Addressing your letters to the names of each voter produces higher open rates and return on investment. We recommend using letters if your goal is to convey importance and professionalism and security.


  • Self-Mailers

Self-mailers are a great choice if your goal is to inform and attract new voters. This type of direct mailer is self-contained without the use of an outer envelope. They can effectively grab an audience’s attention with the use of compelling visuals and detailed information about your candidate and their stance on issues.


  • Brochures

Brochures are a cost-effective way to provide voters with a chance to learn more about your candidate. Typically produced in a tri-fold format, brochures efficiently provide a detailed look into your campaign. These mailers are an effective option if you want to establish transparency among your voters.


Cost to Advertise through Political Mail

The cost of a political mailer varies depending on several factors, including the type of mailer, how many pieces you send, and any added services or digital integrations. Contact us today to get a quote for your upcoming political mail campaign.


Political Mail Maintains Relevance

Direct mail is one of the oldest forms of political advertising, yet is still one of the most effective and credible forms of advertising. If you want to spread your candidate’s message to their audience in a highly targeted, cost-effective manner, we recommend incorporating direct mail into your political campaign strategy.


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BY PRISMANovember 4, 2022

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