You may be inclined to conclude the rise and pervasive use of email long ago has relegated good old U.S. Mail to “has been” status.

Not so fast. 

This edition of Tactics Toolbox will focus on the use of conventional mail and why it needs to continue to be a component of your advocacy campaign. As digital as our world is today, direct mail is a very valuable option to help you connect with and activate supporters.  

As shared in the two earlier Tactics Toolbox posts, consider direct mail as another component of the larger strategy to build support for your issue or project. Let’s look at how Velocity Public Affairs used conventional mail as an effective tool to build advocacy for a major project for a public utilities company. 

Velocity has effectively used mail as part of an advocacy outreach along with other components that included data management, telephone, canvassing and digital outreach. Various mail pieces were created and sent to the evolving database of supporters. Some pieces were intended to encourage people to attend an event, others included tear-off comment cards people could mail to their legislators or be sent in to regulators as official comments as part of the review process. The messages and information used in the mail pieces were coordinated with other information channels and were intended to continue to build awareness with the target audience. 

The mail program also created a way for the company to measure the level of engagement within the target audience as well as produce other results. For example, about 25,000 petition cards were sent; 800 were returned – a response rate of 3.2 percent – well above what is normally expected. The postcards were then used in media-focused events to counter efforts by opponents and allowed the company to have a fast and effective response. 

Remember, too, that conventional mail gets attention because it rises above email inbox clutter. It also provides outreach opportunities not available otherwise, because it gives the recipient something they can see and hold in their hands rather than requiring they click on a link or open a page. You can use traditional mail to send them something unique they may want or be willing to use (e.g., a bumper sticker that supports your project), or you could include a booklet that visually presents your project and establishes why it’s beneficial. Someone is more likely to page through a hard copy of a brochure than click on a link to it they might see in an email. (To read what 12 communications executives from the Forbes Communications Council have to say about it, click here.) 

If you’d like to know more about how to use mail in your advocacy program, particularly as part of a bigger strategy, contact Velocity.