Campaign budgets always vary, so it is common for candidates to wonder how much money ought to be spent on paid messaging. As a general rule – taking into account variables like raising money and other expenses like collateral, staffing, compliance and office needs – we typically advise candidates to allocate around 80% of their budget to paid marketing.

Here are a few tips for each marketing type that might help determine where you should be spending your funds.

Direct Mail – Direct mail should be sent in nearly every political campaign because it consistently shows one of the highest response rates and is guaranteed message deliverance to potential voters. You don’t want to neglect other forms of marketing in favor of Direct Mail, but if there are issues with other advertisers, Direct Mail can pick up much of the slack. For example, if the television market you’re in can only play your commercial mostly in a different district, your money would be better spent in direct mail – where you can use better targeting and tracking methods to get the most for your money.

Newspaper – This first letter will go to family and friends, who may be the most amicable audience you contact over the course of your campaign. Utilize church directories, and Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Future letters will be sent to the mailing lists you acquire through house or via other sources. This “family and friends” fundraising letter is only your first attempt at gaining funds.

Digital – Like any other form of marketing, digital depends on the type and size of campaign you plan to run. As a general goal, assuming there is also TV spending, then candidates should aim to spend approximately 10% the value of their TV budget on digital advertising. With digital advertising your dollars stretches a little further, and benefits from the extensive evaluation metrics unique to digital advertising.

Radio – Like in direct mail, radio is a great way to supplement advertising strategy when television advertising is weighed down by high costs or waste. Otherwise, should still plan to spend enough for market saturation and don’t let the ads stop until after election day.

Television – Television advertising needs to reach market saturation levels. It is important the consumers see advertisements multiple times in order to remember their content, and they should play up until the end of the election. There may be extra cost barriers depending on the popularity and geography of the stations, but larger campaigns will spend the extra money to get on TV.

While not every marketing type applies to every candidate, our talented campaign consultants will help you determine and balance the best mix of paid advertising to meet your messaging needs.

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