A Guide to Political Leaflets for Campaigns and Elections

What to do, what not to do and FAQ’s around campaign and election leafleting

Leaflet advertising is a great way to share your political party’s work both locally and nationally. It is also a proven way to boost voters within your constituencies, but there can be a lot of rules, regulations, and best practices to follow when using political campaign leaflets. 

As the leading leaflet distribution supplier in the UK, Leafletdrop has gathered some of the key questions surrounding political leaflet advertising and provided some essential answers to aid in your next leaflet campaign.

Are political leaflets junk mail?

Leaflet advertising, also known as Doordrop Media, has been used extensively by political parties, local MPs, and the public sector for many decades. Although leaflet advertising has been seen as junk mail by a small percentage of the population, studies show that the media is widely regarded as a reliable source of information when it comes to political communications.

A study by Royal Mail looked at what types of media assisted decision making during the 2017 and 2019 elections. The study showed leaflet advertising, or “doordrops”, as the 2nd most memorable channel with over 50% of those surveyed recalling seeing the media. That was next only to television advertising. 

Audiences are easier to access than ever before due to increased time spent at home. This means that the target market for your next political campaign is more likely to lay eyes on your leaflet than before.

Do people trust political leaflets?

The Royal Mail study also lists some of the key reasons as to why political leaflets and printed advertising are trusted, and why it is a preferred communication method for many election leafleting campaigns. Some of the main responses were:

  • A welcome break to their daily routine
  • More memorable
  • More tangible and permanent
  • Invites physical interaction
  • Less mentally taxing and less physically tiring on the eyes
  • Provokes a greater emotive response
  • Less intimidating
  • Feel ownership of print-based content

The rules for political leaflets?

As with any form of advertising, there are certain rules around political leaflets. The vast majority of these rules can be found in the ICO’s guide to political campaigning.

Below is a non comprehensive list of a few key rules to consider. For full details, please visit the link above. 

An organisation will need to comply with the principles of good information handling from the point at which it first collects personal information to the moment it is deleted. It will need to be aware of what it holds and why and it should routinely assess and amend the information to ensure that it is fit for purpose. Amongst other things this will require the organisation to:

  • be transparent about its use of the individual’s information and respect their preferences;
  • use it only in ways that are compatible with the purposes it or a third party provider has informed the individual of;
  • not collect any more information than it needs for the purpose it has told the individual about;
  • ensure that it does not keep the information for longer than necessary to fulfil those purposes;
  • keep the information secure and delete or securely destroy information when it has served its purpose;
  • respect individuals’ rights of access to information it holds about them and to object to the organisation using their information;
  • and only send the information outside the European Economic Area where it has taken steps to ensure it is protected.

(ICO guidance on politcal campaigning) 

Here at Leafletdrop, we support businesses of all sectors and would never pretend to be experts on the legislation surrounding the rules of political campaigning. We are, however, experts in leaflet advertising and understand that with any advertising campaign, there are a lot of rules surrounding GDPR and personal data.

The great news is that political leaflet advertising is completely GDPR compliant as you do not need any personal data whatsoever. We use a combination of data sources to target homes more likely to respond and engage with your political material, without using names, full addresses, or any other personal information.

Learn more about Leaflet distribution and the law

How to design a political leaflet for campaigns and elections

Leafletdrop guarantees that your leaflets will be delivered to your target homes, but what we can’t do is guarantee your leaflets will be read. So instead, we can provide some best-practice tips to help make sure your political leaflets stand out on the doormat:

  1. It is all about design!

It is of course important that your political campaign leaflets contain all the crucial information and messages you are trying to get across. It is even more important that they are actually read! You only get 3 seconds on average to capture a reader’s attention, so ensuring your leaflet looks great and reads well is essential. Here are our top 3 tips or read more on design tips here.

  • Don't overload your leaflet with text. Keep it short, sweet and eye catching
  • Make sure your call to action is clear and on all sides of your leaflet so it is not missed 
  • Keep your brand on all sides of your leaflet to maximise brand recognition and recall 
  1. Build trust

One of the best ways to build trust with leaflet advertising is to make the reader’s experience memorable. A leaflet with a wall of text telling them what you are going to do for their local community may not be as memorable as a picture of you, your name, and your key messages.

  1. Drive online

Leaflets are proven to drive readers onto the web. Don’t try to overload your political leaflets with too much information. Focus on some key points then use an online landing page, QR codes, or short URLs to drive the reader online to register their interest and find out more. Using links on your political flyers is also a great way to track their performance.

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