So, you’re ready to run for public office. No matter the size of the campaign, winning an election is a sizable challenge that will take time, money and spirit for democracy. Understanding when and why to use all the tools at your disposal will make the difference between winning and losing.
Promotional products are one of the most powerful tools you’ll use when running for office. Using postcards, bumper stickers, door hangers and more will increase the campaign's visibility to voters and give you an edge over your competition.
Building a collection of promotional materials should be on the top of your list when you are ready to announce the campaign. We put together the Conquest Graphics Campaign Toolkit to guide you through the most useful products and bulk mail solutions for political campaigns.
Essential Promotional Products
Post cards, paired with direct mail, are extremely effective for any campaign. In today’s digital world, where technology has empowered consumers to choose what advertising they see and do not see, direct mail is one of the few advertising options that will assure your message reaches its target.
You may have heard that a bumper sticker is worth three to six votes, the fact is that bumper stickers are an effective way to get the word out about your campaign. You base will be proud to share their support for your campaign by displaying a campaign bumper sticker on their car for all to see.
The worst answer to “can I have your card?” is “I don’t have one.” The candidate, and all campaign staff, should have their own business cards with personal and campaign contact information. A business card will ensure that a networking contact, voter, business partner or contributor has the necessary information to make contact whenever they need.
Knocking on doors and speaking with voters directly is the most basic way to promote a campaign. But what if no one is home? Leaving a door hanger will let residents know that your campaign was in the neighborhood and took the time to stop by and say hello.
Brochures and Rack Cards
Communicating a message and explaining the campaign’s platform to voters is essential to winning any campaign. Brochures and rack cards are portable materials that can be handed out when introducing the campaign to voters. Handing them out whenever possible gives voters something to take with them and study the details of the campaign.
Banners are an extremely versatile product that can be used in any political campaign. Since they are reusable, banners can be taken to speeches, campaign rallies, and community events, or even used as temporary signage for a headquarters. Use a banner any time your campaign needs to make their presence known in a big way.
Since the dawn of American politics, posters have played a major role in every election. Posters can set the personality of a campaign and connect with voters like a piece of art. With the right design, a political poster can launch a campaign to a higher level.
Your strongest supporters and volunteers love yard signs. It's one way for them to announce their support for the campaign to everyone passing by their home or office. They can play a big role in your overall campaign strategy and help you build momentum by increasing campaign awareness.
There are many ways to connect with voters using bulk mail. The USPS offers several programs that are perfect for political campaigns.
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)
EDDM is a program offered by the USPS focused on simplicity and affordability. Unlike other bulk mailing options, EDDM does not require the purchase of a mailing list or bulk mailing permit. Simply choose your carrier routes and your mail will be delivered to every resident in your district. EDDM mail-pieces are addressed to “Postal Customer” rather than a named occupant like "Jack Clark" or "Nancy Smith."
The cost, in comparison to other mailing options, is considerably lower because you or your EDDM provider handle some of the mail sorting and bundling. Since the price is so low you can send out multiple campaigns throughout the election season, increasing your exposure to voters and thus increasing your chances of winning.
In cases where EDDM is too restrictive or you wish to address mail-pieces to named occupants, saturation mail is a good option. Saturation mail does require you to obtain/purchase a list and acquire a bulk mailing permit. After purchasing your mailing list, you will need to have your mail-pieces sorted according to the walk-sequence numbers defined by that list. It is highly recommended that you partner with a mail-house when using Saturation Mail, since list acquisition, permit-handling, and sorting can be a lot of work.
You can learn more about EDDM and Saturation by checking out our other blog posts: What is Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) and EDDM Vs. Saturation Mail.
Red Tag Political Mail (Tag 57)
During the sorting and packaging process, mail-houses will label with a red tag indicating it is political election related mail and deserves special treatment. Qualified election mail is given special treatment by the USPS, its movement is expedited through the postal system.
Essentially, red tag mail is treated like first class mail and pushed to the head of the queue to ensure it is delivered before election day. It is vital that your mail qualifies for a red tag marker so be sure to discuss this with your printer/mail-house before setting your budget.
Learn More About EDDM