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Insights and best practices to craft a winning direct mail campaign  

Trust is a top concern for most voters today. This makes direct mail especially effective come election season. One study found that 63% of surveyed voters believe it is the most credible political advertising channel. To reap its full benefits, though, it’s important to understand what political mail is and design best practices.   

Political Mail vs. Election Mail  

Election mail is any item sent to or from authorized election officials. This could include ballot materials, voter registration cards, absentee ballot applications or polling place notifications.  

Political mail, on the other hand, is sent from a political candidate, campaign committee or political party. It’s aimed at promoting a candidate or cause.  

Who is Political Mail For?  

Nearly 80% of surveyed Gen Xers and Baby Boomers say they open political mail. More than half of them do so immediately after receiving it. Millennials are also quite receptive with 80% saying they prefer political ads by mail. Many use them to drive political discussions, as election day reminders and to perform additional research.   

Meanwhile, Gen Z voters report wishing they were better informed before recent elections. This indicates real opportunity for mailers, especially those who can successfully marry direct mail efforts with a digital strategy, since Gen Z is more frequently online.  

Political Mail Design Tips  

Research suggests that a direct mail campaign can resonate with voters across the board when following these design best practices:  

  • Keep it short and sweet with simple and clear messaging  
  • Use bold colors and imagery, but make sure they’re not distracting  
  • Use bolding, bulleted lists, high-contrast fonts and meaningful statistics to make key points stand out  
  • Make your mailpiece interactive through compelling design, engaging materials or by incorporating a digital element  
  • Include a clear call to action and, for younger voters in particular, encourage them to share information with family and friends  

As you mull over your design, explore different Tension products that can elevate your campaign, including:  

  • Peel and Reveal Mailpieces: Deliver the unexpected with these fun, interactive pieces that offer extreme customization and intrigue  
  • Self Mailers like postcards and bi- and tri-fold mailers: Self mailers offer real bang for your buck and can make an instant impression traveling sans envelope  
  • Continuous Forms: Create high volume, high impact forms to insert in your direct mail piece — you can even include a custom affixed card, magnet or label to keep your message in front of voters   

Following the 2022 election cycle, surveyed voters said they believe direct mail is informative, educational and persuasive. As we head into the highly anticipated 2024 election year, political players should think carefully about how direct mail can help them achieve their goals.  

Let Tension experts help you craft a winning direct mail campaign. Contact us today to get started.  

About Tension  

A global leader in envelope, printed products, packaging and packaging automation solutions, the Tension Corporation is a privately held and operated company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Tension manufactures billions of envelopes annually and its envelope and print division serves a variety of industries, including third-party billing, financial, insurance and direct marketing. The packaging and automation division of Tension provides software, consumables, automation, and service and support for fulfillment to the e-commerce and pharmacy industries