ANALYSIS: Fundraising Letters From GOP ’08 Candidates

(A really INTELLIGENT look at Campaign Letters! – promoted by Peter Porcupine)

A few weeks ago, I received fundraising letters from presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani, John McCain & Mitt Romney. To date, I haven’t received similar letters from the other GOP candidates.

I’m not supporting any candidate at this time but I found the respective pitches from Giuliani, McCain & Romney interesting in both style & content – the subtle things which influence voters. For example:

1) The Giuliani & Romney letters are dated while McCain’s letter is undated.

2) Giuliani’s request is two pages long while McCain & Romney use four pages to pitch woo.

3) Ronald Reagan is evoked twice by Giuliani & four times by Romney while McCain never once mentions the Gipper. Bush (II) is acknowledged once & only by Romney.

4) Giuliani & McCain provided self-addressed/stamped envelopes while the upper right-hand corner of Romney’s self-addressed envelope was blank. Only McCain had a color-coded return envelope.

5) Giuliani & Romney each had at least one flattering photo of themselves in their respective letters while McCain’s mailer had no photo of himself. Romney’s photos subtly complement his text.

6) All three candidates provide decent mini-biographies, ask for money utilizing the same “humble” approach & list their respective websites (with Giuliani pushing it the hardest).

7) Giuliani adheres to speaking in generalities and addresses only the “War on Terror” as an important issue while McCain & Romney cite an array of specific issues that provide an overall “theme” which effectively “brands” their respective campaigns.

8) Only McCain’s letter had a variety of print styles (bold, underlined) which emphasized certain points & made reading the letter an easy task & not a burdensome bore. Romney was a close second in that regard. Giuliani’s text was slightly smaller & offered no stylistic variety.

9) All three candidates had an extra insertion within their respective letters – Giuliani displayed a series of national/state polls that underlined his 1st or 2nd place status in the race; McCain had enclosed a six page survey designed to get from the GOP activists their “honest feedback” on a variety of issues; Romney had a one page, two colored “issues” paper done bullet-point style.

Of the three candidates, I was most impressed with Romney’s material in that it provided enough details on the man & his platform to whet one’s appetite without putting the targeted reader to sleep. It was slickly packaged with the obvious aim of seducing its desired audience into believing that Romney is the “best” choice of the GOP pack to be the party’s standard bearer in 2008.

Giuliani & McCain had respectable material but should upgrade their future pitches. Neither candidate have as yet created the type of fundraising locomotive that Romney has utilized to massive effect in the first quarter of this year. However, Giuliani & McCain still have plenty of time to fine tune their respective messages & organizations. I look forward to the next series of campaign literature from them as well as similar literature from the other serious GOP candidates.

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