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POLITICAL DOOR HANGERS: BRINGING IN VOTES ON A BUDGET

Political door hangers are one of the most cost efficient forms of advertising, especially for candidate looking to launch a political campaign.

Political door hangers are one of the political mailing buttressing tactics that could and should be used, but we don’t see many people use them effectively.  Here are some street-smart do-it-yourself tips and tricks to help guide you through doing it right, while using the most precious resource of all:  your mental energy.

GET-TO-THE-POINT POLITICAL DOOR HANGER DESIGNS

If you have a lot to say, then put it on your website or, as a fallback, on your Facebook page.  Your design should have your picture on both sides; you need to look and be happy, professional and engaged.  At large, people won’t read your door hanger in full, but they will create an immediate impression of whether they like you or not.  Of course, it is essential to be likable.  For more on this, check out Cornerstone’s Tuesday Tip on creating an immaculate design.

POLITICAL DOOR HANGERS AND YOUR WEBSITE 

The war for winning a race is won on doorsteps, at the polls and online as well.  If you (or we) design your door hanger correctly, you are going to be boosting awareness not only in the minds and hearts of potential voters but also in the analytic eyes of Google. You win through awareness, and the awareness you build online matters much more now than it did even 5 years ago.  If possible, don’t drive people to your Facebook Page… you are just helping Facebook’s site, not yours.  You want to drive people to your own website which should be designed consciously with at least with mild SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consideration. Take a look at Cornerstone’s website design services to learn more.

GET CLEAR ON THE OUTCOME

Before you do anything, ask yourself “what is going to be my outcome here?” or “what is the door hanger goal?”  Are you simply trying to reach everyone? Or, are you trying to reach “the middle” (i.e. we define the middle contingent of voters as No Party Listed, Unenrolled, or Independence Party voters)?  Is your goal to actually meet voters and the door hangers are the fallback for when you don’t meet them?  Or, is your goal mere awareness?  You will get better budgetary results and make better use of your time with a clear statement in advance, of what is the prime directive for the activity. Having a clear statement of the outcome will naturally lead you and your team to follow the most budget-efficient path to achieve the outcome you desire.

Here’s a nifty link using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NPL) to help you clarify and reach your outcome goal(s) for door hanger distribution.

SET A GOAL

Let’s say you ordered 2,500 door hangers.  You and your team might want to set a goal of giving out at least 500 hangers to select homes of “low prime” and above voter households (i.e. we define “low prime” as voter households having voted at least 1 time in past 3 years) on a first weekend.  If you have three people, that’s around 150 to 175 per person.  Have each person, including yourself, commit to the goal and don’t fall back on that set goal.  Budget your time and figure out how many houses you can actually reach on your “time budget.”  You will see a better outcome and better success, and you may even find more energy in knowing where you need to be.  It is way more fun to reach a goal than to work a grind of going house-to-house with no set goal-in-mind.

BUDGET YOUR TIME

When your time is limited, you must budget your time when talking to people about issues. So, if you have to work a city street, for example, just go up to the doors and place the door hangers on the door handle.  Take a Sharpie and write a quick note such as “Missed You! – Barb”.  If you were to knock on every door, you won’t make it more than a couple streets and you will not reach as many people as you may have liked to.  By leaving a political door hanger with a quick handwritten note, you will still get sufficient credit for having made a personalized effort!

Another thing to note when budgeting your time, is thinking ahead about when is the right time to knock. We grant you that more people are at home in the evening, and you need to maximize your sweet time with your bootstrap mindset.  We recommend just take the day off of work and “work the day.” Start at 9:00 am and go straight to 5:00 pm.  You’ll reach more homes and feel that you made a real effort.

VOLUNTEERS & POLITICAL DOOR HANGERS

Another bootstrap tactic that we’ve seen work, aside from setting goals and knowing your outcome, is getting friends and family to hop on board and help you out. If you are lucky enough to rope in friends and family to help volunteer, and they have time to knock on doors, arm them with pre-personalized “Sorry I missed you! –MK” door hangers. If someone is not home, then your team of friends and family volunteers can leave a card for you.  No harm, no foul!

SELECTING THE RIGHT DOORS

In most general election races, you are vying for the middle set of voters.  Perhaps 1/3 of the people in your party already like you, so you don’t need to re-sell them (i.e. re-educate them) on you. 1/3 of the voters statistically will not vote for you (for reasons that may have very little to do with you) and, this leaves you with the middle.  So, don’t waste time – go to the homes where you have the statistical best shot at getting a “plus one” or “plus two” vote(s).

If you really have very limited time, then only focus on homes with two or more adults in the house.  However, this approach generally would require door knocking and engaging in conversation.

ALL DOORS ARE DOORS

If you are trying to be creative, and, you’re trying to use up door hangers, here are some other doors (other than front doors) that you can use:  car doors, garage doors, back doors, screen doors, porch doors, fence gates, pool gates, or even hanging flower pots. Get creative!  Now, not everyone is going to like this, but our feeling is that for every potential complainer, you purchased valuable awareness for many others.  Use your best judgement, but in this case, we would rather you ask for forgiveness than for permission.

MAILBOXES ARE A NO-FLYER ZONE

Since our website is called PoliticalMailing.com, we ought to remind you that the USPS DMM (Domestic Mail Manual) specifically cites limitations on what is allowed to be hung from the outside of a mailbox.  Here are a couple experiential write-ups from other candidates around the U.S.:

Putting flyers on mailboxes …. Every day a lesson learned

Post Service controls the outside of your mailbox, too: Money Matters

In case you want to read the boring stuff that we need to know from the DMM (Domestic Mail Manual), here is the technical link and ruling as described via the U. S. Postal Services’ online guide called “Postal Explorer.”  The regulation is detailed at DMM 508 subsection 3.1.3 “Use for Mail”

So, yes, you’d be in big trouble for putting political door hangers on mailbox flags.  Please be sure to advise your team and find a garage door handle instead.

USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT

At the end of your campaign, you shouldn’t have extra political door hangers left over. That is, of course, unless you want to hold on to some for sentimental values. Use up the door hangers you have for the best ROI (return on your investment.)

HERE’S THE BOTTOM LINE

When it comes to effectively using political door hangers for you campaign, it’s really quite simple.

1 -Make sure you have a clean and clear design.

2- Drive people to your website to gain more traffic and raise more awareness in detail.

3- Set a clear goal to reach your intended outcome.

4- Budget your time. Think about what doors you should and shouldn’t be knocking on, and when you should be knocking.

5- Don’t be shy, let your friends and family get involved and volunteer for your campaign.

6- No door is off limits, get creative, just steer clear of hanging anything on mailboxes.

7- Use up what you have. Don’t leave any political door hanger left unhung.

 

If you do need extra political door hangers, you could always get them made on demand in limited quantity if you really need more in 48 hours – just ask us how:  info@crst.net or Crst.net or call 845-255-5722.

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