The Secret of Winning Elections: Direct Mail
The cards were keyed, so we were able to count results.
They concentrated on high taxes, inflation, big government interfering with the little voter's rights and privileges, and government waste dipping into the voter's pocketbook.
In reviewing the 10 letters we put out, I did not particularly expect the foreign policy letter to be the big winner.
But that's what testing is all about; it replaces guesses with facts!
Nine out of the 10 letters pulled almost exactly the same. The tenth letter, "Coddling the Russians," talked about Korea, and the seemingly never-ending war in which America had gotten embroiled. It pulled 2.5 times as well as any of the other letters.
It was striking, clear-cut proof that the war in Korea outweighed every other political appeal Eisenhower could make.
The results were so conclusive that we put together a report, and Walter Williams, Chairman of the Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon Committee, got on a plane and hurried out west, where Eisenhower was campaigning, and showed him these results.
A few days later, Eisenhower made his famous "I shall go to Korea" speech, and suddenly his campaign was off and running.
We mailed out some 10 million letters based on the Korean issue. And the interesting thing is that, in addition to getting 10 million messages out to voters, we were able to get some 300,000 voters to send us a contribution. These were 300,000 votes that we could pretty well count on.
The contributions were small. They averaged only $5 or so. But the $1.5 million that they represented easily paid the cost of our 10 million campaign. Thus, we had harnessed a powerful self-financing force.
And equally important, we had that most precious of all mail order and political properties—a list of Eisenhower supporters—people who had voted for Eisenhower with their pocketbooks. We had their names and addresses. We could go back to them again for future contributions, for campaign activities, for vote getting and voting.