Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Study Details Direct Mail Impact on Voters

Political candidates and causes in 2018 election campaigns will want to give direct mail a key role based on a recent joint study from the USPS and the American Association of Political Consultants: "Voters and Mail: Five Insights to Boost Campaign Impact." The study found, for example, that mail is especially effective in moving voters to action, with 66 % of Millennials (voters aged 18-34) and 52% of non-Millennials saying that political direct mail motivated them to search for additional information about a candidate. More significantly, 57% of Millennials and 54% of non-Millennials said that political direct mail helped them make a decision on how to vote. With an increasing number of voters choosing early and absentee voting, direct mail can help campaigns win votes before the polls open because voters rely on mail to remind them of deadlines. In fact, 81% of U.S. adults say they prefer direct mail when they don’t know about an absentee ballot deadline, and 69% wanted direct mail when they didn’t know about a voter registration deadline. However, with so many information sources competing for voter attention--from TV to social media to traditional mail--the most successful direct mail will cater to voter content preferences. Per the study, 82% of registered voters want campaign mail to address a candidate’s position on the issues, 74% indicated that they were interested in campaign mail that contrasts the candidate with their opponent on the issues, and 73% were interested in campaign mail that illustrated the candidate’s voting record on past issues. While voters are inundated with communications in national elections, it's important to remember for next year's midterms that direct mail has special impact in state and local races, especially for younger voters. For example, a study released by the Postal Service found that Millennials found direct mail to be key in helping make a decision about races at the state level (82%) and local level (80%). For more political mail insights, see the USPS/AAPC research at