direct mail

Reconciling Conventional Wisdom and New Data on Direct Mail

A recent study conducted by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) in conjunction with the United States Postal Service (USPS) found that 75 percent of Millennial voters, those aged 18-35, “use political mail to remind them when to vote.” At first glance, this seems to be a surprising finding especially comparing it to the older generation of voters, only 58 percent of whom are motivated by direct mail to go vote. It also stands in stark contrast to established academic studies on the topic of mail used as a turnout tool.

In their book Get Out the Vote: How to Increase Voter Turnout, political scientists Donald P. Green and Alan S. Gerber explore the gambit of GOTV tactics employed by campaigns, compiling the results of dozens of studies which rigorous field-tested each tool. Of utilizing direct mail as a GOTV tool, Green and Gerber write, “Direct mail is expensive (more…)

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Using Social Pressure to Accomplish Campaign Goals

Despite the pop-psychology hubbub about individuality, our natural, human desires are to fit in, to learn and abide by social norms. Humans are innately social creatures. Think about tailgating during football season, double dates (or just regular dates), and Facebook. All of these activities point to the undeniable fact that people want to be socially accepted.

In political consulting, we frequently use social pressure, communication designed to compel the recipient to comply with a given social norm in order to avoid the risk of humiliation. Most often, we use the technique in advocacy or issue-based campaigns rather than candidate campaigns. The AAPC even has several categories of Pollie Awards dedicated to practitioners who excel in the use of social pressure. So how do we employ social pressure? (more…)

Campaign Direct Mail: It’s Not All About the Money

Direct mail is essential to any campaign, regardless of size. But candidates shouldn't sacrifice quality to save a few pennies.

Direct mail is essential to any campaign, regardless of size. But candidates shouldn’t sacrifice quality to save a few pennies.

Despite the increasing flow of money into politics, campaigns — especially local campaigns — are looking for every possible avenue to stretch their donors’ contributions to the max. Frugality should always trump lavishness. But when votes are on the line, quality should never be sacrificed on the altar of cheapness. Voters judge candidates, rightly or not, on the quality of material produced by the campaign.

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