Direct Mail Samples: What Am I Looking For?
Using a Consultant’s Direct Mail Samples to Help in Hiring Decisions
The hiring process for a Democratic direct mail firm generally involves a set of the firm’s direct mail samples from past campaigns. Obviously, it’s important to review a mail firm’s proposal carefully, but it’s also important to take a close look at their direct mail samples. The direct mail they actually produce can tell you a lot. Here are a few questions you should run through as you review any direct mail samples:
1.Does the mail catch your eye?
This is a fairly straightforward piece of the puzzle. There’s a lot of political direct mail out there, and much of it can immediately cause your eyes to glaze over. Does the sample pique your interest? Does it look like the direct mail firm that produced it took the time to customize it, or could it be any candidate or cause in any state?
2. What does the paper stock feel like?
There are copious paper options out there, and the cheapest often feel that way. While you don’t need the most expensive paper, a cheap, flimsy paper won’t hold up well in the mail, and your print work won’t look as good on it. A good Democratic mail firm will pay attention to paper stock, and you should too.
3. Do the colors look vibrant?
The colors are another indicator of quality when it comes to political direct mail. If sample mailers look muted and flat, you should think twice about hiring the firm that produced them. You’ve only got a few seconds to catch someone’s attention at the mailbox, and poor color management in the printing process will leave you at a disadvantage.
4. Do the photos look original?
Even if your political direct mail will rely on stock photography, this should be something you look out for. Not all stock photography is created equal. The images in your political direct mail will be a reader’s first impressions, and if they scream “generic stock,” you immediately provide a reason for skepticism. Photos are important, and a direct mail firm’s choices should reflect that fact.
5. Is the text readable?
Last, but not least, the mail needs to be readable. This means there should be plenty of white space on the page, body copy should only be a few sentences long, and the message should be apparent with just a quick glance. It also means that the font sizes should be large enough for an older voter to read. And of course, the mailer should be typo-free.
Political direct mail is an incredibly useful voter communication tactic, so it’s important to put your best foot forward. Hiring a direct mail consultant involves many factors, but you should always make sure that their work product is up to scratch.