Lieberman Seeks Donations and 'Ambassadors'
After reading the letter enclosed in the direct mail piece created for the Senator Joe Lieberman 2004 campaign, you can't help but feel a sense of pride swell up inside. Why? Because the letter requests that readers become "ambassadors" for Lieberman; to go out there, interact with coworkers, friends, family or whomever will listen, and tell them why Lieberman is your man. It encourages readers to use their voices to influence what is the most voted-on election in the United States--the Presidential election. In sum, part of this mailing's call to action is a call for action.
"We wanted this mailing to inspire our supporters to get involved," says Cody Harris, San Francisco-based direct mail coordinator for the Lieberman campaign. "We said, 'Let's arm our supporters with something to do, let them get their blood pumping and be an active part of our campaign.'"
The entire package consists of an outer envelope with an oversized window displaying a Joe Lieberman bumper sticker and a letter calling on supporters to spread the good word about Lieberman's agenda through a "Joe 2004 Action Kit." The kit includes two referral postcards for the reader to send to family or friends, a reply card and a reply envelope.
While the letter is designed to get supporters excited and involved on a grass roots level, its primary goal is to solicit donations from previous donors. As such, the first test was mailed only to names on the house list. "We targeted people who have been following Lieberman for a while. We did not use this message for prospecting," says Harris. "However, we completed prospecting just prior to this mailing, and some new donors from that list received this package."
Harris adds that this was the first time the Lieberman camp has used this tactic, which was strategically sent late in the campaign. "This went out in early December 2003, just before the holidays," he says. "The timing was good, because that's when campaigns reach the boiling point... just before voting begins in places like New Hampshire."
Harris explains that the complete objective of this piece was to update donors about the campaign, ask them to share their ideas and energy, and to become active participants. "We sent out a survey before, but this time we wanted something more visual and more creative," says Harris.
As far as how this piece has fared in terms of response, he reports that as of the second week of January, it was doing very well, with the first major test scheduled for later that month.
Though he is not sure the same exact package would be used again, he is certain a similar mailing would go out eventually. "As the year goes on, it's important to have more people out there spreading the word through bumper stickers or other means," says Harris. "Through a package like this, donors are called on to demonstrate their pride and express to others that they believe in something."
-- Sharon R. Cole
Sharon R. Cole is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer serving the print industry.