Stickers and other campaign swag: Are they worth it?

Working in the digital field, we’re well versed in graphics, gifs, ribbons, Snapchat filters, the list

goes on. But what about tangible objects like stickers, t-shirts, and the classic yard sign? Are

they things of the past? What, if anything, do they have to do with digital?

If used wisely, stickers and other campaign swag can actually can be a nice enhancement to

your digital efforts. Here’s why:

 

Double the information

When a supporter requests a sticker or other campaign merchandise, they need to tell you

where to send it. So in addition to the usual ask of an email address, you also end up getting

their mailing address, which you can use to connect with them in the future through direct mail,

GOTV reminders, etc.


Low-bar ask

Campaign swag can be a creative way to refresh your upsell efforts. Throw in a line like “Hey,

thanks for signing up to receive a bumper sticker, will you chip in $5 to cover the cost of

shipping?” and your supporter will be hard-pressed to say no. Some people will feel generous

and chip in more, but even if they only chip in $5, you have a BRAND NEW DONOR! And

research tells us that folks who donate once are more likely to donate again.

 

Engage new audiences

My first “political contribution” was to buy a t-shirt from EMILY’s List. A friend of mine told me his

first-ever contribution was for a Bernie Sanders “Birdie” sticker. And Hillary Clinton raised over

$2 million with her “woman cards.” Young people typically aren’t thought of as campaign donors,

but the art of campaign swag as a fundraising tactic — first popularized by the Obama

presidential campaign — is changing that.

 

FREE advertising

Walk into a coffee shop and I guarantee you will see a plethora of 20-somethings on their

laptops (free WiFi!). And what will you see on those laptops? STICKERS. Congratulations: Your

campaign just scored a personal endorsement and a mini-billboard, all for the price of shipping

and handling.

 

So if you’re looking for a way to switch up your fundraising tactics and bring in new donors, or

you just happen to have thousands of bumper stickers laying around — you might want to try

using some of that swag for your next digital ask.