Citracado Market Advisors

Direct Mail Weather Report

Reports & Analytics


Direct Mail In a Presidential Election Cycle

     Have you ever wondered how much mail is sent during a presidential election cycle?  If your business does not utilize direct mail as part of its advertising then probably not, but if you do then it's something you want to know.   As we draw closer to the election the amount of political mail in the US postal system will skyrocket but the question is how high and just what effect will this have on the rest of the direct mail response rates?  It's a difficult question to answer at best.    There are companies out there that claim to have a good handle on the amount of mail being sent out for various industries but they are statistical samples and extrapolated totals so the real answer is nobody knows for sure.

     The most pressing questions for our clients now and moving forward to the election is what, if any effect will the surplus mail have on response rates of existing campaigns?  Pinning a total on loss of response rate is a near impossible task; there are so many factors involved.  Registered voters tend to get more mail from the republican side; non-registered voters tend to get more mail from the Democratic side.  Each party will send absurd amounts of mail to their respective party affiliated registered voters.  

     It's a tough question but we do have some observations.  We have observed the effect on response rates is going to vary greatly by target demographic.    The high-end homeowner with mortgage a balance above 629k has shown a much larger drop in response rates than those with lower balances.   Response rates for debt offers to this point have largely been unaffected, where as the non-profit mail response rates have virtually come to a complete stop. 

                So to answer the question of how many pieces of political mail have been sent in this election cycle:  Our best guess based on our volume and industry feedback is north of 160 million as of September 17th.   How has that 160+ million pieces impacted the response rates on other mail?  Our best cumulative guess is about a 1/15th(.0015) of a percent.  We will have the overall data totals published in the September entry on our Direct Mail Weather Report so we may revisit this question again, but so far our observations have suggested the affect is minimal unless you are in the non-profit sector.  We will post more numbers as they become available and the election draws closer.  There are times when we advise clients not to mail.   We are in the direct mail business so advising clients to hold back is often a difficult and painful one but there are times when the best decision is not to do anything.  Thankfully now (as of 9-17-2012) is not one of those times unless you are a non-profit. 

      If you like what you have read here drop is a line and let us know.  We want our paying clients to have the advantage so we don't disclose everything on the website.  Let us help you with your next campaign