Blake Dowling: Election Day 2022 is here — so are the direct mailers
Many advertising leaflets are hanging from an overloaded letterbox. Spam concept.

Mail boxes filled of leaflets
In Florida, it’s a wild ride on all sides.

Election Day 2022 is knocking on the door.

If you were from another planet, observing humanity and the campaign process — specifically all the mailers — you might wonder why so many extremist and evil people run for office.

Lots of extreme messaging is coming from both sides this year.

By this point in the campaign, you have seen 789 TV ads, 435 print pieces, 50 texts, and over 650 campaign emails. Data was compiled and fabricated by the BDCFG Inc. (Blake Dowling Center for Guessing) and the compiled data does not include radio, billboard or phone calls.

I may be joking, but my faux math is probably not far off.

Personally, I like the mailers; everything else is useless.

There was an ad for a Utah congressional race during football Saturday. Really? Go away. Leave me be.

As candidates fight to the finish line, there is one thing certain in Florida elections, there will be a surprise. Way back when Bush v. Gore propelled Katherine Harris into the headlines. More recently, when Republican nominee Ron DeSantis faced Democrat Andrew Gillum, the out-of-nowhere left-wing star almost became our Governor.

In Florida, it’s a wild ride on all sides.

When did direct mail become one of the big tools of campaigns and part of the political campaign ride?

Experts point to the early 1970s — the McGovern for President campaign — for some of the most effective and early widespread usage of mailers (although he lost, the fundraising worked).

I dove into an article from 1972 that goes into the detail of direct mailings of the time. If you are a fan of political science and history check it out, even a young Gary Hart gets a mention.

These early pioneers provide some amazing insight into how we got to where we are today with mailers. In another historical piece from NPR, Richard Viguerie (a conservative legend in mailers, donor lists, etc.) weighs in.

Here’s part of that conversation with NPR:

“The main reason they stood out in the mail in those days was because that was the only political mail they received. Nobody was really using direct mail politically, ideologically.

“And most money was raised with fundraising dinners, receptions, the proverbial backroom, smoke-filled room.

“People would, you know, write large checks. And when a political letter arrived in the mail, that was the only one they had gotten that day, that week, that month, and so it stood out.”

Today, there are firms all over the U.S. that will be happy to put together mailers using the latest tech to reach your audience. This one, SpeakEasy Political, caters just to Democrats. They will help you make sure no one gets “left” out from receiving direct mail pieces.

Grit Creative caters to Republicans and they can help you make sure you are getting the “right” message to voters.

Seems like you would want to work with both parties as far as a business model goes for a company, so I reached out to one in Florida, Target Print and Mail, which does just that.

Jeremy Cohen of Target Print and Mail says:

“Direct mail continues to be a strong way to stay in front of likely voters. The key there is ‘likely’ voters. Candidates love to advertise everywhere from social media to billboards to TV if they can afford it; however, the power of direct mail is in the targeting.

“I work with candidates from all sides who want to focus their dollars on getting in front of the registered voters who are the most likely to show up at the polls, and who match the political party or the demographics of the voter they need to persuade.

“It’s the sniper approach vs. the shotgun approach of other media channels.”

Thank you, Jeremy.

Since we are just four days away from the election, I thought we could head into the war room with a candidate running for Mayor here in Tallahassee.

I phoned Kristin Dozier, candidate for Tallahassee Mayor, this week for some perspective live from the campaign trail.

Leon County Commissioner Dozier gave her thoughts on mailers:

“You have 3-4 seconds to capture someone’s attention before that message gets put in the recycling bin, so you need to make sure it is impactful.

“I prefer a tone of contrast to criticism in our campaign. What we are seeing in the local races in this election cycle looks more like what you would see with a state race.

“Our goal is to make sure our mail stands out and is focused on the issues that matter to Tallahassee residents.”

Thank you, Kristin.

Mailers are here to stay, as long as the post office keeps functioning (the jury is still out on that) and best of luck to all those involved in the campaign process.

We will find out on Nov. 8 what surprises are in store for Florida.

See you at the polls.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at [email protected].

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at [email protected] or at


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