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The Criticality of Political Mail

August 04, 2020

During this unprecedented time in history, many businesses and industries have been forced to rapidly adapt to the “new normal” caused by COVID-19. Amid all the adjusting, election season is getting into full swing. At BCC Software, we have discussed the important of election season mailings and how to best leverage them for your business, and we published an eBook on the topic back in January called Guide to Election Mail.

The coronavirus has created some challenges that all mailing operations have had to tackle, and election season mailings are no exception. However, as we enter one of the most contentious election cycles in modern history, political mail has an especially relevant role to play – and it can be a great way for mailing operations to bolster their businesses in the wake of the pandemic, especially as mail volume slowly begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

In this article, we will explore the important differences between political mail and election mail and discuss how mail service providers can augment their operations with political mail capabilities, or further enhance the capabilities they already have in place.

Political Mail vs. Election Mail

Election mail is a highly specific class of mail that is used solely for information on the election process; it is not for individual campaign information or information about a political candidate. It covers voting information, voter registration, absentee ballots and applications, and other related materials. The margin of error for these mailings is zero, and they require specialized mailing operations to complete them accurately.

In contrast, Political mail is a type of mailing sent from a specific candidate, a political party, or a committee. These mailings can range from anything from endorsements, information on a specific candidate to push for certain initiatives, or registration information for a political party. Generally, these mailings cover most political mail individuals will see during an election season. A much more accessible class of mail than election mail, political mail is a great avenue for mail service providers to explore.

Because traditional political conferences and conventions are not possible due to the pandemic, political mail is exceedingly relevant. Instead of being able to attend large political gatherings, individuals are stuck at home – but home is where they can receive political mailings! And of course, the importance of the mail moment should not be forgotten. Physical touch and interaction with a mailpiece is part of what makes these mailings so effective.

Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®)

EDDM is a great tool for mailers looking to start or enhance their political mail capabilities. Specifically designed with the mail campaigns of small businesses, restaurants, realtors, and local political campaigns in mind, EDDM enables users to send at least 200 and up to 5,000 pieces per day per ZIP Code™ – no special mailing permit is required. Even better, to encourage more saturation mail the USPS® has proposed a summer sale of a 10% discount for EDDM mailings. Overall, EDDM can be utilized like a training ground for political mailing. Once you fully understand the capabilities of EDDM you are ready to branch into political mail.

DSF2® Processing

Once EDDM has been utilized, astute mailers can leverage it to go to the next level of political mailings – this is where DSF2 comes into play. DSFProcessing enables mailers to maximize postal discount qualifications and better target marketing and saturation mail efforts. It identifies whether a Zip+ 4 coded address is currently represented in the USPS delivery sequence file as a known address record, and it identifies if an address is delivered to a curb-side mailbox or by a door-slot. This information allows for more targeted mailings. While it is more of a broader concept than EDDM, it enables mailers to have more control over the sequencing of a list – which in turn can provide better, more deliverable mailings for political campaigns and politicians.

A Trusted Industry Leader

When it comes to navigating these uncertain times, partnering with a trusted industry leader can help ensure the effectiveness of your mailings. Look for software that is already enabled with EDDM capabilities, with room to evolve into additional services such as DSF2 and mail tracking, such as BCC Mail Manager™. Visit bccsoftware.com today to learn more!

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