First Up: Political Fundraising
Marketers and fundraisers still are talking about all of the new ways that the Obama campaign used online channels to net new, young constituents. While e-mail and Web 2.0 methods are valid avenues to pursue, direct mail remains an integral channel, with response rates that are much higher than those of e-mail.
Looking back through the 2008 election mail, any marketer can learn from the old and new direct mail tactics that raked in millions of dollars for candidates of both parties.
One new tactic in campaign mail last year was a brochure enclosed in many of the Obama for America acquisition mailings, featuring lengthy excerpts from the candidate's speeches on varied topics. The "In His Own Words" insert was a good way to add pizazz to an otherwise standard #10 letter appeal, especially for a candidate known for his rhetorical command. The brochures also show images of Obama interacting with his constituency (Archive code #608-710235-0708). It is easy to imagine this method enhancing a plain letter package in another sector, with an added buckslip featuring a photograph and comments from a company CEO or customer service representative.
Another fresh approach in the political fundraising direct mailstream from the Obama for America organization was an effort sent in September, most likely to previous donors, with two letters: one from Barack Obama and a second from Joe Biden. Both candidates names appear on the upper left-hand corner of the outer, and upon opening the mailing, the Biden letter is folded on top of the Obama letter, with both letterheads showing their names. Each letter has its own voice and makes a call to action to donate using the enclosed reply, which has a picture of the two candidates together. (Archive code #608-710235-0810D).
A Picture's Worth ... Another Donation?
John McCain 2008 used one of the best-tested methods in political fundraising mail-sending a 9" x 12" outer marked "Do Not Bend Photo Enclosed," with a glossy, signed 8-1/2" x 11" photograph of the candidate and his wife as a thank-you to a recent donor. Sent in March, the mailing also includes a thank-you letter and a "Photo Receipt Confirmation," which allowed the donor to give again and even request another photograph if hers was delivered damaged (Archive code# 608-709966-0803A). This format suggests to other fundraisers and marketers that every customer touch, even a thank-you, should still include a call to action.