Could dodgy DM tactics be the downfall of Cruz on Super Tuesday?
1st March 2016
The Trump effect means that across the pond, we’re more aware of the US election and its quite frankly bizarre path to the White House, than ever before. Ordinarily the Primaries make the international news pages, but this time around, they’re making front page news and I have to admit at Wilmington Millennium we’ve become hooked. It’s like watching a soap opera unfold.
Today is Super Tuesday one of the most important political dates in the US election calendar. It normally provides a firm indication of which candidates are going to make the cut. All eyes are of course on the Republican votes. As things stand polls have Trump ahead in all 11 states, but Texas, which is his closest competitor, Ted Cruz’s home State. In order to drum up support in advance of Super Tuesday Cruz has been spending big on direct mail. Direct mail is one of the mainstays of political campaigning and fundraising in the US. It is proven to be a legitimate and successful way to raise awareness and bolster campaign coffers and consequently the majority of candidates add it to their marketing mix. Unfortunately for Cruz, however, this proven marketing tactic may well prove to be his downfall as a result of dodgy DM practices.
For example one campaign he has recently sent out included the words “check (SIC) enclosed” on the envelope in a bid to increase open rates. There was of course no cheque, but instead a request for a donation. Yet another used scare tactics as a ruse to boost readership printing “vote violation” on the outside of the mail pack. However, perhaps the worst offense to date is his sloppy targeting. Direct mail is effective due to its nature of being a highly personal channel. It can be tailored to the recipient making it one of the most relevant marketing mediums available in the politician’s armoury. Cruz, however, has chosen to break the cardinal rule of targeting and carpet bombed potential supporters addressing the campaign not to individuals, but to ‘Dear Friend’. In today’s data rich environment this is unforgivable and is turning off potential supporters in their droves. If the polls are right he has a massive uphill battle on his hands so can he afford to alienate the voting populous with poor direct mail?