The Coronavirus pandemic has altered many things, including the way we campaign during election times. By now, all political parties will have been informed that door-to-door leafleting is to be paused until lockdown restrictions are lifted, meaning many local MPs are finding new avenues to reach out to voters.
While digital campaigning is a fantastic way to reach a large number of your constituency fairly easily and quickly, giving out tangible election materials like flyers and leaflets still remains the best way to ensure the message comes across loud and clear. Like in any kind of marketing, a dual approach is considered the best, with 36% of those under 30 claiming to look forward to checking the post each day (Sharp Cat).
By using both digital and print methods, you’ll not only be reaching the widest audience, but you’ll also be using the tried and tested technique of repetition, which is crucial for getting your message to stick in voters’ minds.
Although door-to-door leafleting is off the table for the time being, there are still ways to get your party’s materials into the hands of voters. We recommend planning a mail drop, which is where you print and send out a package of election material without going door to door. Here’s how to plan your own mail drop for the 2021 local elections, from picking your campaign materials to organising the print and delivery.
1. Choose the Right Materials
The types of election print you’d include in a mail drop are largely the same as the ones you’d hand out or send out in the post to voters usually. Here are a few of the most popular items to include and the benefits of these options.
Flyers are not only one of the cheapest forms of marketing, but they’re also highly effective. You can print thousands of them without breaking your bank, meaning you’ll have the potential to convey your message to loads of different people.
In our previous study, we found that flyers were perceived as the most informative source of information and the least intrusive, which is exactly what you want from your election print!
Adding your party logo to a letterhead and writing a letter from the MP is also a great way to give information to voters. 56% of people open their letters, compared to just 22.87% for emails (CMO Council). That can make a massive difference to your campaign efforts! And, by including important contact information, this shows voters how they can get in touch.
Want something a little different? Postcards can help you stand out because, although they provide the same function as a flyer, they’re not used nearly as much. This means they have the potential to really stand out from mailers sent by other political parties, which could make the difference on undecided voters on polling day.
‘I’m Voting’ Stickers
For an added bit of fun, why not send out stickers for voters to proudly declare who they’ll be voting for? Make sure to use stickers that are suitable for wearing on clothes – like these ones – and add your party colour to make it obvious even from a distance where this voter’s allegiance lies.
2. Write Your Message
Before you begin writing the copy to go on your campaign material you need to figure out the purpose of sending it in the first place. What do you want people to do after reading? Do you want them to get in touch? Join an online forum? Read more on your website? Or just pick up a pen and vote on polling day? This is known as your call to action – make sure that what you’re writing drives the reader to taking whatever action this is.
You’ll also need to think about who you’re writing from and pick a tone of voice that suits both the speaker and the audience. You should speak in a way that’s relatable to a general member of the public (e.g., no jargon or complicated words) but remains professional throughout.
When it comes to the messaging you’ll need to include, think about what your voters really value and what issues they will want you to tackle. This might be environmental issues, improving local facilities, helping small businesses or even creating better job opportunities.
3. Get a Design
Next up is your design. One of the most important aspects of this is using the right colour – we’ve listed all the HEX, RGB and CMYK codes for the main political parties right here. We recommend sticking to a maximum of three colours; generally, you’ll want your party colours, white for the background and black text.
For letters and flyers from an MP, you can add a personalised touch by including a picture of them to help voters feel like they’re getting to know them better.
If you’re printing any kind of election material, you’ll need to include an imprint. This includes certain details that show who is responsible for the creation of that material, including the promoter’s information and the printer’s information.
Not including an imprint on printed election materials is an offence under the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2020.
An example of an imprint is:
Promoted by Andy Smith, Parsonage Lane, Central Distric, A12 3BC
Printed by instantprint, Unit A, Brookfields Park, Manvers Way, Rotherham, S63 5DR
For single-sided materials, include the imprint on the front page. For multi-page documents, include the imprint on either the first or last page.
If you’re using a graphic design service (like ours) or freelancer to design your election materials, make sure you give them the information they’ll need for the imprint.
And of course, don’t forget to add your political party logo!
4. Gather Delivery Addresses
Before you can send your election mail drop to be printed and delivered, you’ll need to know where it’s going. Use the data collected from past elections to figure out where the voters you want to target are and compile a list of addresses, streets or postcodes in that general area.
Taking this step now will make it much easier to figure out a cost for your print job too as you’ll know exactly how many mailers you’ll be sending out.
5. Use a Printer that Delivers
Since volunteers aren’t able to deliver your printed election materials door-to-door like they usually would, finding a one-stop-shop for your election mail drop is essential. Here at instantprint, we’re happy to provide just that!
If you’d like to order election materials to printed AND delivered to a set of addresses, please get in touch with an account manager and we’ll get back to you with a quote. Or, if you’d like some more advice on printed products, including which stocks and finishes to choose, our account managers will also be happy to help.