Direct Mail: Reaching 21st Century Voters

Direct Mail Marketing

There is a common assumption among the media that millennial voters communicate solely through electronic means, relying on Facebook for their news and texting their thoughts to their friends. Those in the political establishment know better, and a new study proves yet again that direct mail remains an effective way to reach young voters. 

A new survey conducted jointly by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) found that millennials were actually far more likely than their non-millennial counterparts to engage with direct mail in general and political mail in particular. 

That result flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but it is further proof of the effectiveness of direct mail advertising in the political arena. With millennial voters expected to play such a critical role in the 2016 election cycle, the importance of political direct mail is higher than ever before. 

Indeed, voters under the age of 30 are expected to make up some 20 percent of the electorate. A voting block that big is bound to have an impact on the outcome of the election, and millennials could well play a pivotal role. The new research conducted by the USPS and the AAPC provides a number of key insights into the effectiveness of direct mail advertising on this key voting demographic. 

The findings of the joint USPS and AAPC study are particularly intriguing for politicians, but there are some great takeaways even for non-political marketers. The findings of the new study include: 

  • At least 42 percent of millennials prefer political direct mail advertising to online ads. Another 38 percent have an equal preference for direct mail and online ads. Just 22 percent prefer online political advertising.
  • Millennials are more far more likely to read, talk about and use political mail. The differences are stark, with 40 percent of millennials saying they read and talk about political direct mail compared to just 18 percent of non-millennials.
  • Millennials are likely to take action based on the political mailings they receive. Some 66 percent of millennials saying they are likely to research a candidate based on a piece of direct mail, and another 54 percent saying they would visit the candidate’s website.

It is easy to assume that millennial voters are hanging out online and that politicians who want their votes should do the same. As the results of the new survey show, that is simply not the case. Even the most web-savvy politician cannot afford to dismiss the power of direct mail. Millennials are listening, and the time to act is now.