As we head into the heart of the final election push, campaigns have good reason to be concerned and confused about the reliability of direct mail. The media’s breathless reporting about the alleged removal of delivery boxes and sorting machines, combined with equally urgent assurances from the USPS that have everything under control, creates a murky picture at best. However, there are three simple things each campaign can do to avoid any disasters with their direct mail program.
- Mail Earlier:
If you’re worried about potential delays, the best thing to do is simply move up your mail plans by 1 to 2 weeks.Even if there were no reasons to be concerned about the efficacy of the USPS this election season, mailing earlier would still be the correct call. Several states are pushing their voters to take advantage of alternative voting methods, like: early voting and vote-by-mail.
Additionally, the heightened political rhetoric, civil unrest, and unprecedented social conditions have made voters pay attention to this election much earlier than normal, so they’re making up their minds earlier too. You need to reach them now.
- Increase Mail Spread:
If USPS does, indeed, experience greater mail processing difficulties and delays this year, then there’s a heightened risk that your mail will arrive too late or out of order, and you may even have multiple pieces hit the same day.The best way to avoid this is to increase the number of mailing days between each mailer. For example, if you were planning a mail spree at the end where you’d mail every other day or every two days, consider expanding that out to mailing every 3 to 4 days.
This may not be ideal for your messaging plan, but it could save you serious headaches in the end. Of course, one of the best ways to enable your campaign to increase mail spread is to follow tip number 1: Mailer Earlier.
- Adjust Your Sizing:
The USPS encourages campaigns to stick to certain guidelines when designing mail. Mailers that meet these recommended specifications for dimension and paper weight will be processed more quickly and efficiently by the post offices.So, if you’re thinking of using unique design dimensions, or want to rely on non-machinable mail sizes and Flats, you will want to put those earlier in your plan.
This does present campaigns with a dilemma. Non-traditional and larger mailers are more likely to stand out amongst the deluge of campaign mail that voters will be sifting through, especially in the latter days of the election. Still, voters can’t notice mail that never arrives.
The Bottom Line:
Direct mail is still a key element of modern campaigns, and might be even more important when people are spending more time at home than they have in years. However, mail always presents unique challenges to campaigns and this year is no different. So, if your campaign wants to avoid embarrassing and damaging mistakes, mail early, increase your mail spread, and be deliberate with the specifications of each mailer.
Have questions about direct mail? Not sure where to get started? Don’t wait! Victory Enterprises is ready to help you with your direct mail effort today. No campaign is too large or too small, and you won’t see any cookie-cutter designs from our staff. Each mailer will be a bespoke design tailored to your particular needs. Contact us now!