Political Mail Best Practices

57% of surveyed voters said that direct mail was the most memorable form of political
advertising this past election cycle1. As we start to plan for the 2024 presidential election cycle,
here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when designing a political mail piece.

Authenticity First
We all have experience picking up a mail piece during an election cycle trying to evoke a
previous campaign, like Obama, but it just falls flat. “Imitation is never as strong as the original,”
says Aaron Evans of WRS Consulting. When working with candidates, he encourages them to
be themselves. If the photo isn’t natural to the candidate themselves, voters will pick up on that.
Show Don’t Tell. According to Chris D’Anielli, of Axiom Strategies, having a candidate
demonstrate an attribute rather than having to spell it out, resonates with voters.

Speak to Your Demographic
Multilingual pieces are a key ingredient to connect voters from multilingual communities to a
candidate running for office. There’s a lack of representation in minority communities in general,
says Alicia Sisneros of Sisneros Strategies. She encourages her clients to lean into narratives
that are relevant to that particular demographic in order to build a sense of inclusion.

Clear CTA and Messaging
Keeping the message concise and to the point will win votes. What’s the mission? Will the
messaging get you more votes? The CTA should be front and center, not small and on the
corner of the piece.

Drive Multi-Channel Engagement
Since the onset of the pandemic, people of all ages and backgrounds have become
accustomed to opening up their phone and scanning a QR code to open a menu at a restaurant.
Adding a QR code to your DM piece is a great way to drive voters to the candidate’s website to
learn more. Similarly, the Informed Delivery feature that the USPS offers allows marketers to
upload a campaign image and link to a URL site. This gives the voter the ability to preview and
interact with their mail on their devices. Testing text messaging to reinforce the CTA from a mail
piece is also a popular way to communicate with voters.

Robert Arnow, founder and creative director of Incitement Design recommends harnessing a
less traditional color palette at times instead of staying inside the traditional red, white and blue
box. Harnessing colors like dominant blue and orange or dominant blue and teal can work well
to set yourself apart but not going overboard into neons. He continues to strike a balance
between a safe font with a color palette that extends a little outside of the ordinary.

Mail Drop Cadence
Higher frequency of mail drops is critical, especially in the final stages of the election cycle. It’s
also important to make sure the mailers get out in a timely fashion to avoid a 2-3 piece pile up in
mailboxes. People want to see fresh content and do not want to be bombarded by multiple
pieces from the same candidate in one day.

Please reach out to our team for support on your next political mail campaign. We would be
thrilled for the opportunity to provide our knowledge and services!

Written by: Laura Dolinsky


  1. https://www.deliverthewin.com/wp-content/pages/direct-mail/USPS_PoliticalMailWhitepaper2022_508c_5-12
    -22.pdf. pg 4
  2. https://campaignsandelections.com/videos/direct-mail-creative-and-design-approaches-for-2022/
  3. https://www.facebook.com/100064071812035/videos/5365897190193353?so=watchlist&rv=video