How many times have you heard someone complain about politics and state that they were going to write their congressman? Countless, I’m sure, as we’ve all been frustrated with the political landscape or a particular policy at one time or another – if not always. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to reach your representatives in Congress today: by phone, by email and/or contact form, by letter, and by postcard. Of those, postcards are my favorite methods for reaching out to state representatives and senators, particularly for organized causes such as nonprofit organizations that can attract hundreds of senders or more. Here are five reasons why you should send postcards to senators for political advocacy.
1. Visual response
One of the best things about postcards is the ability to include a striking image on the front. Such visuals often have far more impact than copy alone. One organization was recently launching a campaign to alert representatives about thick, green algal blooms in their lake. They sent postcards that depicted the problem: a disgusting green mess. That image told the entire story at a glance.
2. No need to open
Let’s face it: we don’t know what our representatives’ staffers do with the letters we send, but we can be pretty sure most of them never make it farther than the mail room. Phone calls and emails? Even easier to ignore. But postcards don’t need opened, so all a representative has to do is walk by to see stacks of postcards boasting highly visual motivation to learn more about a given cause.
3. Postcards are super-easy to sign
Handing postcards that need nothing more than a signature and dropped in the mail can vastly increase the number of people who actually contact Congress. The easier you make it for people to take action, the more people who will take action.
4. You’ll send higher volume than letters
A lot of letter petitions out there are single pieces of correspondence followed by a list of signatures, signed in-person or digitally. The number of signatures can certainly be impressive; however, having 1,000 signatures on 10 or 20 pieces of paper pales in comparison to the visual impact of 1,000 postcards. And, you can still send postcards that are digitally signed. Collect digital signatures, then print mailing labels with variable data or add them to a mailing list and have your printer inkjet them before sending a single mass mailing.
5. Postcards are cheap
Postcards are cheap to print and cheap to send. Plus, if you run a digitally-signed mass mailing, you’ll be able to get a cheaper, bulk rate. By printing postcards, you can flood your senators and representatives with thousands of postcards on a single day!
What do you think: are postcards good for political advocacy?