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4 Election-Winning Postcard Campaigns You Can Copy
BY JOY GENDUSA
Campaign season is ramping up, and that means it’s high time I explored some of the political successes PostcardMania has experienced. There are a lot of political marketing strategies out there that can help you win, but this article will focus on using direct mail to get your message out.
Today I’m going to dissect 4 successful postcard campaigns from political clients of ours. I'll focus on specific actions that helped these campaigns generate results (these candidates all won!).
That way, you can replicate the best and winning parts of each campaign.
So, for the public service hopefuls out there, let's get started…
Strategy No. 1
Personalize your marketing and win a City Council seat
The Mission: Casey Weinstein (now Councilman Weinstein) was running for Hudson, Ohio City Council and needed a postcard design that targeted his local township and potential constituents with a personalized message.
The Design: His postcard design featured a picture of the Hudson clock tower — a local treasured landmark — in addition to a photo of him and his family front and center.
Check it out:
Here's the cool thing about this design:
Where you see <first> is where each and every voter’s first name would be printed.
This technique creates a personal connection from first glance! It also helps get the attention of potential voters.
The rest of Mr. Weinstein's message is easy to read thanks to the design and layout. Recipients can quickly become familiar with Mr. Weinstein and his campaign with just a glance and a quick read..
On the back, Mr. Weinstein expanded his message to tell voters why he is qualified to be elected and how exactly he’d help improve the Hudson community.
Plus, postcard recipients could easily join Mr. Weinstein's campaign efforts by visiting the link to request and obtain a FREE yard sign. This offer is a win-win — members of the community get something for free, and the Weinstein campaign gets even more exposure!
The Results: This political direct mail campaign worked! Casey Weinstein became Councilman Weinstein.
- To stand apart from the daily barrage of advertisements consumers receive (especially during campaign season), make your postcard personalized. Personalized postcards work fantastically to customize your design because, as you saw above, you can print recipients’ first names directly onto the postcard — which instantly grabs their attention and pulls them in to read your message!
- If you’re targeting voters within city limits (like for City Council candidates), select images indicative of your city. Don’t be general with your design — be specific.
Onto the next…
Strategy No. 2
Your headline = your campaign’s core focus
The Mission: Dan Morris, as St. Mary County Commissioner candidate, wanted his postcard's message to lead with his firm position on tax increases and a transparent government.
The Design: First, check out his headline:
Postcard recipients know right away what Mr. Morris stands for!
The back of this postcard mailer gives the lowdown on Mr. Morris’s beliefs and impressive public service experience, so recipients know why he’s qualified to advocate for them in office.
If you give Mr. Morris's postcard a quick read, you know pretty quickly if you're going to vote for him or not —and that’s the essence of good marketing:
Clear, no-frills communication that helps people decide FAST.
The Results: Mr. Morris mailed 5,000 postcards to win his preliminary. Then he targeted an additional 10,000 independent voters (who voted in the past 2 elections) over the remainder of this campaign...
Resulting in a close county commissioner WIN — by just 2,000 votes!
- Be upfront and immediately state what you and your campaign aim to achieve.
- Mail more postcards you perhaps think are necessary.
Mr. Morris won by 2,000 votes because his design communicated clearly to his constituents, and he mailed 15,000 postcards in all.
Strategy No. 3
Bullet-point your platform’s key issues
The Mission: Marty Gearheart needed a political marketing strategy that would target key voters to help him win his seat in West Virginia's 27th District House of Delegates.
The Design: We designed a postcard that would immediately tell potential voters exactly what he would address if elected, using easy-to-read bullet points.
Delegate Gearheart mailed 6,000 postcards to people who shared these demographics:
- Registered Democrat
- Older than 30 years old
- Resident of key zip codes in District 27
The Results: You guessed it — he WON.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Delegate Gearheart procured a targeted mailing list so that his 6,000 postcards would arrive in the mailboxes of the exact people whose votes would tip the ballot in his favor. Make sure when you buy a mailing list that you’re getting it from a reputable company (such as PostcardMania) who will tick off every demographic you need as well as ensure every address is valid — so your voters actually receive your postcards even if they’ve moved!
Here’s the last one:
Strategy No. 4
Mail to past voters with a fresh message
The Mission: Tyson Larson decided to run against the longest-tenured member of the Nebraska State House, so needless to say, he needed a marketing strategy that would reach and convince every possible voter.
The Design: Senator Larson featured a large photo on the front of his postcard to introduce himself to voters. His message to voters is direct — it's time bring new blood into the State House.
Examples Of Direct Mail Marketing
The postcard's reverse side wastes no time informing voters which issues he’ll tackle, with a relatable slogan in bold at the top:
Direct Mail Campaign Examples
Tyson blasted his postcards to 9,000 voters, mailing to all who had voted in the 2006, 2008, and 2010 primary and general elections. This is smart because he's targeting the folks who turn out to vote!
The Results: He WON. (Are you noticing a pattern yet?) Even though he was the youngest candidate in the race, his postcards — combined with endless door-knocking — helped him secure his seat in the State House, even taking out the longest-tenured incumbent.
- Incorporate a fresh message into your political marketing.
- Mail to a list of active voters — it may be a better bet than blanketing an entire area if the voting population is unreliable.
The more you market and put your name and your campaign out there, the higher your chances of winning.
So don't wait — 2018 is already well under way!
Get started on your political campaign today.
Want to see more political postcards which have already helped candidates win? There’s an entire design gallery here for you.