Delivery slips are the neglected corner of Liberal Democrat literature. Leaflets work at winning votes and delivery slips are the route to getting those leaflet out.
That makes delivery slips a crucial tool. They are a key communication with helpers, making it easy for them to help and keeping them informed. But far too often they are a poorly laid-out mishmash of minimalist content and third-rate layout.
So here are six tips to make your delivery slips more effective: more effective at keeping helpers happy, more effective at gathering in useful information and more effective at getting the right work done.
- Design the slips well: they are a communication between the party and our helpers. A badly designed slip which looks amateurish and does not provide much information gives the subliminal message that we don’t really care about our helpers. A well designed slip not only sends the right message, it can also bring other benefits and the following tips explain.
- Include a decent map and notes about hard to find properties: urban or rural, many delivery rounds have at least one hard to find letterbox. Giving tips encourages deliverers to be conscientious in hunting them all out – and in turn to let you know further tips to include for the future when it may be someone else doing the round.
- Ask for information: people out delivering spot all sorts of useful information – the person with “Doctor” on the name on their bell (a good clue they like their title to be used in target mail), the pothole near the school that really should get sorted or the house with a Labour poster. Make the reverse of the delivery slip a simple form people can use and post back to report these scraps of information. In particular it’s a great way of keeping on top of street-level casework in between residents’ surveys. As for encouraging people to return the slip…
- Make the delivery slips a prize draw entry: ask people to post back the delivery slip when done, with all returned slips entered into a prize draw (e.g. for a box of chocolates). Also report back the last winner and you have a simple little cycle that thanks deliverers, encourages them to get the delivery done and to return their slips – providing you with a way of spotting any problems with getting leaflets out to deliverers, such as when you see that no deliverers at all in one ward have returned any of their slips yet. Perhaps you need to give that wholesaler a call…
- Tell people when leaflets need delivering by: if you have a space which you can fill in with delivery details, you can give people a deadline – and an explanation, such as “Please delivery these by 10th as they mention a meeting taking place on the 11th”. That makes people more likely to deliver – and to deliver them soon.
- Have a space to include information about the next local party social event: getting your helpers to come to social events is a good way of making them feel involved in the party, have a bit of fun and increasing the turnout at them. Delivery slips are an easy additional way of publicising events to them – so why pass up on the change to use them in this way?
If you follow all of the above you’ll see that your delivering slips will vary quite frequently. However, if you set them up as templates in a computer program, it is then easy to drop in the relevant text to all of them (e.g. delivery deadline or latest local party social event).
A little bit of time getting the technical setup right, some thought on the design and layout – and then your delivery slips will become a tool that helps keep helpers happy, brings more people to events, gathers in more information – and gets the leaflets delivered.
This article first appeared in ALDC’s Campaigner magazine.