Election Mail 101

Many Australians like to receive important election information through the mailbox –now it is time to start planning how to best utilise mail for the upcoming election. Australia Post Account Manager – Federal Government Christine Groh shares tips to help your team get the most out of this valuable channel.

Key points

  • How to target your electorate using mail products.
  • Australia Post can help set up your account to make booking simple.
  • Introduce us to your team for a smooth transition into the election period.

When it comes to election news and updates, many Australians prefer to hear from government officials via the mailbox.

According to Bastion Insights’ 2020 research report The Effectiveness of Mail for Government, around two-thirds of survey respondents would read or skim through addressed mail sent by an election candidate or political party.1  More than half said such mail would introduce them to candidates they may not have heard of, while 41% said it would help inform their voting choices.1 And 90% of respondents said they would read or skim through addressed mail from the federal government.1

“Mail reading rates are on the increase, as people actually receive fewer items in their letterbox,” Australia Post Account Manager – Federal Government Christine Groh says.

What’s more, Christine says, mail is a very cost-effective way to reach the entire electorate.

“Mail is enormously popular throughout the year, but even more so in the lead up to elections.”

In the Bastion Insights’ report, nearly 60% of respondents say they prefer to receive upcoming election information in their letterbox – including mail addressed to the householder (22%), personally addressed mail (19%) and catalogues, postcards and flyers (17%).1

It’s clear there’s an appetite for receiving Government correspondence via the mailbox.

So how can the Australia Post Government team assist ahead of the next Federal or State election?

First, you need to know the ins and outs of election mail management. Christine shares the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions – and what you can do to be ready ahead of peak election mailing periods.

How many people are in my electorate?

To assist with budget planning, you might want to know how many homes or businesses we can reach in your electorate. Australia Post has each electorate mapped out, so we can provide a count of how many pieces of mail you’ll need to send to reach all constituents.

“Our database includes private homes, businesses, PO Boxes, roadside letterboxes in rural and regional areas and other mailing locations. Customers can choose to target some or all of those locations with their campaign,” Christine says. “We continuously update that data as people move in and out of electorates. We’ll confirm the exact number when booking a mail-out, but we can provide an initial estimate to help with budgeting and planning.”

How much does a mail-out cost?

Several factors impact mail-out costs, including the number of delivery points in your electorate, the size and weight of the item you’re sending and the speed of delivery.

Whether it’s a flyer, pamphlet or letter, the key is to keep the weight under 50 grams and the size under a DL envelope (110mm x 220mm) to help make your campaign as cost-effective as possible.

Another factor is choosing between addressed or unaddressed mail. Unaddressed Mail is always more cost-effective than addressed mail. However, Addressed Mail will be quicker to deliver and personalised to each constituent.

If your printer has the software to apply barcodes to addressed letters, this will also reduce the delivery cost, as the mail can be sorted more quickly by our machines. Unbarcoded letters are more expensive.

Your Account Manager can walk you through different costing options, so you’re quoted the correct government mailing rates for each product.

How do I organise a mail-out?

This depends on the type of mail you’re sending. Christine suggests discussing options with your Account Manager early on so you can get personalised assistance – and make sure you’re prepared for peak campaign periods.

“Now is a great time to talk to us about your plan for upcoming election mail,” Christine says. “Whether you’re using Addressed or Unaddressed Mail, with barcodes or without, we can talk you through how to set those up, as it’s quite different for every product.

“I think that’s what catches people out during elections. Customers would like to quickly send large volumes of letters and sometimes don’t realise what’s involved – like including the mail tray sorting and the right barcoding system at the printer.”

This is especially important if you want to book your first Unaddressed Mail campaign.

“There’s a few things to learn about the booking process,” Christine says. “I like to call those who are new to Unaddressed Mail and personally walk them through filling out the forms for their first booking.”

What does my printer need to do?

Your printer is an essential partner in the mail campaign process, and Christine says it’s helpful to introduce them to Australia Post so we can ensure they have our support if required.

“We can link your printer directly to your Australia Post account via our online booking system to ensure you receive the correct government mailing rates. Political Mail has the added benefit of gaining access to all addresses in your electorate – including the ‘no advertising’ mailboxes. Linking your printer to your account allows them to book the mail-out on your behalf and therefore gain access to all delivery points.

“Most printers have experience in sorting and lodging mail for their customers,” Christine says. “But when customers are time poor and haven’t been talked through the correct process, it can be stressful for them. Ideally, I’d like to make sure all customers are aware of our processes before it gets really busy.”

Would you like to hear more about Election Mail?

In the coming months, Australia Post will send you emails with relevant election information. If you’re not hearing from us directly, please let us know as soon as possible.

“We want to make sure your whole team is ready for upcoming elections,” Christine says. “If you’re not getting regular communications from us, or if you want other members of your team to be added to the mailing list, please let me know.”

The mailbox is an always-on communication channel that can provide a quick and easy way to tangibly reach your entire electorate. Australia Post is ready to partner with your organisation to help inform voters about your policies as well as important information for the next election. Get in touch with your Account Manager today to start planning your next mail-out.

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This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for your organisation’s needs.

1 Effectiveness of Mail for Government, Bastion Insights prepared for Australia Post, 24 Jan 2020 n= 2020