Get ready for a political advertising avalanche. Politicians and the groups that support them are expected to spend a whopping $12.3 billion this year on campaign advertising in an array of media –television, radio, digital, print, and direct mail.

The U.S. Postal Service wants to snag $1 billion of that revenue, nearly double its $525 million piece of the ad spend during the 2012 presidential election cycle. To reach that aggressive goal, the Postal Service has a comprehensive strategy that includes reaching out to political mailers earlier in the election cycle, assigning specific goals to Sales staff, and coordinating internal activities between the Sales and Operations teams. But the plan’s success could hinge on improving mail service.

Our recent advisory, Political Mail Strategy, found the Postal Service’s overall strategy to be sound and well-implemented. We determined the Postal Service has learned lessons from the 2012 election cycle and instituted some best practices to process and deliver political mail faster. We also noted the Postal Service’s solid plans around a dedicated sales staff and earlier outreach to political groups. (It’s so-called political strike team.)

However, mail delays and service quality could derail things. Some political mailers and service providers raised concerns about service issues they’ve experienced, especially during past fall mailing seasons. The bulk of political mail is sent in October close to the general elections in November, when the postal system is already stressed at its busiest time.

We recommended the Sales staff work even more closely with Operations to identify processing issues, coordinate corrective actions, and inform customers when problems are resolved.

Is political mail an effective tool for educating and persuading? What type of political advertising resonates most strongly with you? What other approaches could the Postal Service use to boost its share of the political advertising spend?

Comments (3)

  • anon

    I don't like to get mountains of the stuff but well-designed, informative campaigns help me to find out about issues and responses and I like to read them when they come through my door. Sure you can get information online but I often feel that more thought is put into creating an impactful message when it is on a mailing - obviously the message must be sent in a cost effective way and therefore more thought is put into it.

    May 13, 2016
  • anon

    I am at a loss to the parcel delivery and expedition of packages coming in and going out of Myrtle Beach, SC. I have now had three instances of packages, going out and coming in to Myrtle Beach mysteriously 'falling off the grid'. Tracking information is always incomplete, or completed yet not brought to fruition as stated on it's printouts. I fear there is some distortion in parcel delivery and expedition coming in and out of this office as the printouts they have on their tracking information available to the sender online at never match. I recently had a package take a month to get to New York State whilst two sent the same day to Europe and Australia arrived at their destinations in a lesser time frame. It took weeks of leg work and insistence on my part to track a simple package delivery to my granddaughters for Easter! After a month the package showed up after I filed a claim online that it dropped off the grid after it's acceptance at the Surfside, SC office. Apparently the main office in Myrtle Beach, SC had a different tracking record as to what was available to me online, even stating that the package had been delivered, when it indeed had not. I ma pretty sure this cannot be standard procedure of package delivery and gives the impression that who ever is being contracted to deliver these packages is not following through unless a complaint is lodged.

    Apr 23, 2016
  • anon

    (this is for Gary Reblin) Some of the most beautiful art in the world is found on our postage stamps. Just one problem - their size. Please consider making available as 'art purchases' - stamps in a 4 X 6 or 5 X 7 or 8 X 10 size - priced $25 each or five for $100. They should be identical to the original in terms of look & feel - just larger - with the perforations.

    Apr 22, 2016

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