Direct Mail Journal

Direct Mail and Marketing Tips

Direct Mail Delivers for Candidates & Causes

When you are trying to sell your cause (business or political) there are lots of tools that you can use these days. You should definitely have a website, a Facebook page, and some additional keyword rich content posted on both, that are is optimized for search results. You can/should post relevant videos, boost your Facebook posts, and run some ads on Facebook and/or Google.

This is just the baseline for digital media in the world we live in. Still, we can/should do much more.

In particular, we need to pay attention to the offline world – that is the world that people “live” in.

Working on a recent campaign for a school bond measure, we used a whole compliment of digital tools, just as described above. We also used (old school) yard signs, posters, public appearance, social events, and yes, direct mail. In fact, direct mail was one of our single largest budget items – it was also one of our most effective promotions we used.

Here is why direct mail is still such an effective tool in the digital age.

Reach/Deliverability

The mail can reach every household and business in America. We do not need to worry about firewalls or SPAM filters. If we have a valid address, and we send a message in the mail, it will get there.

Based on extensive customer experience at Zairmail (www.zairmail.com), delivery times for First-Class mail appear to be pretty consistent right now. We are seeing three day delivery anywhere in the US – sometimes faster. This gives us the opportunity to deliver messages exactly when they are required.

In Oregon, all elections are conducted securely by mail, as they have been for over 20 years now. The ability to predict and track delivery, allows campaigns to deliver a compelling message, in the same week voters receive their ballot in the mail. This allows us to influence even early voters who will not wait until election day to submit their ballot. We can also reach-out days before the deadline to help influence any stragglers.

Demographics/Targeting

The demographics for mailing lists are very well developed. We can target recipients based on age, income, ethnicity, presence of children, home ownership (or not), credit score, debt/income ratio, and hundreds or other demographic or psychographic variables.

One thing that turned out to be important for our campaign, is that research from the state, showed that less than 25% of school district residents voted in the last major election. That told us that we didn’t need to reach every resident (or carrier route), we just needed to reach those who were most likely to vote. The County Clerk was able to generate a mailing list of all registered voters in the county – this type of list can also be ordered based on party affiliation when needed. This allowed our campaign to focus our message on those who would decide the outcome of the bond measure.

In Union County, Oregon, where this bond measure was offered to voters, school bonds are paid for using property tax proceeds. In this case, based on shrewd debt management by district administration, a pre-existing (2014) bond was refinanced at a much lower rate, reducing the debt service of the current bond. The district also secured a matching grant of $4 million from the state, which was contingent on voters approving the new bond measure. The net result is that the new bond would not cost voters more – although the district was asking voters to forego a slight decrease in tax rate per thousand.
Based on a combination census data and information from the consumer count estimates on Zairmail, we

Direct Mail Delivers for Candidates & Causes

When you are trying to sell your cause (business or political) there are lots of tools that you can use these days. You should definitely have a website, a FaceBook page, and some additional keyword rich content posted on both, that are is optimized for search results. You can/should post relevant videos, boost your FaceBook posts, and run some ads on FaceBook and/or Google.

This is just the baseline for digital media in the world we live in. Still, we can/should do much more.

In particular, we need to pay attention to the offline world – that is the world that people “live” in.

Working on a recent campaign for a school bond measure, we used a whole compliment of digital tools, just as described above. We also used (old school) yard signs, posters, public appearance, social events, and yes, direct mail. In fact, direct mail was one of our single largest budget items – it was also one of our most effective promotions we used.

Here is why direct mail is still such an effective tool in the digital age.

Reach/Deliverability

The mail can reach every household and business in America. We do not need to worry about firewalls or SPAM filters. If we have a valid address, and we send a message in the mail, it will get there.

Based on extensive customer experience at Zairmail (www.zairmail.com), delivery times for First-Class mail appear to be pretty consistent right now. We are seeing three day delivery anywhere in the US – sometimes faster. This gives us the opportunity to deliver messages exactly when they are required.

In Oregon, all elections are conducted securely by mail, as they have been for over 20 years now. The ability to predict and track delivery, allows campaigns to deliver a compelling message, in the same week voters receive their ballot in the mail. This allows us to influence even early voters who will not wait until election day to submit their ballot. We can also reach-out days before the deadline to help influence any stragglers.

Demographics/Targeting

The demographics for mailing lists are very well developed. We can target recipients based on age, income, ethnicity, presence of children, home ownership (or not), credit score, debt/income ratio, and hundreds or other demographic or psychographic variables.

One thing that turned out to be important for our campaign, is that research from the state, showed that less than 25% of school district residents voted in the last major election. That told us that we didn’t need to reach every resident (or carrier route), we just needed to reach those who were most likely to vote. The County Clerk was able to generate a mailing list of all registered voters in the county – this type of list can also be ordered based on party affiliation when needed. This allowed our campaign to focus our message on those who would decide the outcome of the bond measure.

In Union County, Oregon, where this bond measure was offered to voters, school bonds are paid for using property tax proceeds. In this case, based on shrewd debt management by district administration, a pre-existing (2014) bond was refinanced at a much lower rate, reducing the debt service of the current bond. The district also secured a matching grant of $4 million from the state, which was contingent on voters approving the new bond measure. The net result is that the new bond would not cost voters more – although the district was asking voters to forego a slight decrease in tax rate per thousand.

 

 

About the Author

Wilson Zehr is a Direct Mail Industry Expert, Direct Marketing Specialist, and CEO of Cendix (www.cendix.com), the leading provider of Web-to-print solutions that increase sales both online and offline. He is also the founder of Zairmail (www.zairmail.com), the company responsible for many "industry firsts" in direct mail.

 

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