Cover Story: Political Direct Marketing 2004
Still, the Bush campaign’s direct mail has been flowing through mailboxes at a heavy clip since January. Bush raised a total of $87 million with direct mail and telemarketing through June, pulling $11.5 million in the last month alone. Kerry brought in $45 million with direct mail and telemarketing since Super Tuesday, fetching $13.8 million in June and an overall average contribution of $72.
One Bush effort in particular arrived in a 93⁄4-inch-by-11-inch, inline-produced, kraft-colored envelope, and featured a four-color photo of George and Laura, with the adjoining copy:
“Mrs. [LAST NAME], thank you for your support and friendship as a Charter Member from New York. With your help we can make America stronger, safer and more prosperous.”
(The photo front-end premium must be working for the Bush camp. The Who’s Mailing What! Archive logged myriad pictures of Bush: on his horse at his ranch in Crawford, Texas; in the Oval Office; and on the campaign trail.) The package also included a three-page, personalized letter — interspersed with the person’s first name and last — and a full-page donor form, which featured a seven-level ask string starting at $1,000 and moving down to $25.
Another Bush effort took a slightly different approach: a No. 10 cream-colored outer envelope with a two-page letter, donor form, BRE and a one-page fact sheet. (Pictured on Page 59.) The fact sheet, dubbed “Strategic Update,” employed the use of faux-highlighting over critical lines of copy. For example, one bulleted paragraph read:
“Americans overwhelmingly trust the President over John Kerry on handling crises and securing the homeland. In a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, President Bush had a 17-point advantage on who “can be trusted in a crisis” and a 16-point advantage on making “the country safe and more secure.”
As noted by the Archive, for one winback solicitation, Bush-Cheney ‘04 employed a letter-copy technique long used by the Republican National Committee: