Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Political Campaign Veterans Champion Direct Mail

Campaign strategists may argue over digital vs. TV ad dollars, especially as studies show waning TV ad reach, but is anyone arguing the efficacy of direct mail? Certainly not Denny Hatch, direct marketing pro and a veteran of past Republican direct mail success. Hatch recently wrote an article for Target Marketing magazine with the assertive title "The Secret of Winning Elections: Direct Mail." Citing the wisdom of political direct mail pioneers -- such as conservative fundraiser Richard Viguerie -- and his own experience in the Eisenhower-Nixon campaign, Hatch champions direct mail as a tool for political persuasion as well as fundraising. Direct mail reaches voters directly and personally in a way that cannot be muted, skipped over, or clicked off, he points out. It offers a way to hone a winning message in terms of issues and image through measurable, scientific testing. Best of all, political direct mail can be self-financing via issue-related fundraising appeals. Benefits of such an issue-oriented fundraising effort include the creation of an engaged group of voters who "bet on a horse" (contributed) and so are more likely to not only vote themselves but to convince others to vote for the same "horse," notes Hatch. Of course, another ancillary benefit is the gathering of data on hundreds of thousands of future supporters and donors. This quote from Viguerie's new book Takeover may put the role of political direct mail in perspective for today's campaigners: "When I started in 1961, direct mail was the second-largest form of advertising, second only to television. Today in 2014, direct mail is still the second-largest form of advertising." For the complete Hatch article, see http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/the-secret-winning-elections-direct-mail/?params=print

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