marketing during election season


It’s that time again: the time when political candidates use any and all marketing techniques at their disposal to gain greater exposure and spread their message as far as possible.

In the past, elections brought to mind yard signs and rallies. Now, much of the marketing is done in a more personal and yet entirely public way. That is to say: digital marketing.

Now, President Obama was not the first to use digital marketing for an election campaign, but it’s fair to say he’s been the most successful to date. It’s important to note, however, that Mr. Obama’s success came from a younger crowd. Studies show that, though Baby Boomers are becoming more comfortable with technology, it’s the Generation Xers and Millennials using social media the most often.

If a candidate wants voters of all ages to hear his or her platform issues, what’s the safest way? A combination of direct mail and digital marketing should hit the spot. Believe it or not, your direct mail efforts won’t just strike a chord with older voters. Studies show 90% of adults aged 25-34 find direct mail more reliable than other forms of marketing. So, now you know how to reach voters and how to encourage their trust. Where should you go now?

Direct Mail for Introductions

While email is certainly a less expensive way to reach your entire voting constituency, there’s a very good chance your message will be deleted without being opened first. If recipients don’t recognize the “from” address, they’re likely to consider the email spam.

A direct mail introduction is much more likely to reach voters’ eyes. Even if the postcard or flier is immediately discarded, the recipient can’t help but see the candidate’s name.

Share Social Media Information

Some of the recipients of political direct mail marketing will be excited to follow their favorite candidates on social media. It’s important to know who you’ll talk to when marketing through social platforms, though. While 65% of adults use social media now, they’re not all in the same age bracket or demographics. For instance, 68% of women using social media while only 62% of men do. And though 90% of young adults are on social networks, only 35% of Americans over the age of 65 can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

When you connect with voters through social media, knowing your audience helps you craft your message. Knowing which social networks your audience uses makes that message more powerful. Facebook is takes the stop spot, with almost all demographics represented in force. Twitter users are often younger--mostly millennials and Generation Xers. Instagram boasts the youngest of all audiences, with teens and young adults spending most of their time on the photo-sharing site.

Honing Message

Learning from the voters is the biggest benefit to both types of marketing. While you could buy television and radio ads all day long, you’d never have the ability to gauge watchers’ thoughts, feelings, and conclusions. With direct mail and digital marketing, you can learn about the voters as you market.

Direct mail that includes URLs to landing pages on candidates’ websites help track who’s receiving, opening, and interacting with your mail. Pages visited once a voter lands on the website help campaigns track the issues most important to constituents. You may consider implementing a poll on your personalized landing pages, too. Promote the poll through your direct mail and see which of your recipients respond. Those issues help campaigners and candidates craft messages for release through direct mail, email, and social media platforms. All data is important and can help ensure messages hit the target every time.

If you’d like to learn more about using direct mail and digital marketing strategies for campaigning and elections, reach out. We’d love to walk you through various techniques that will help you reach your voters.