Browse F.A.Q. Topics
Campaign Compliance & Legal Stuff
WHAT IS THE CUT-OFF DAY FOR ORDERING MAIL OR COLLATERAL?
The last day SpeakEasy can accept an order for mailers related to a particular election is 12 days before that election. We will move your piece as fast as possible, but because we cannot control delivery once the piece is dropped off at the post office, SpeakEasy cannot guarantee that your mailers will be delivered before the election if we receive them after the cutoff.
WILL MY PIECE HAVE A UNION BUG?
Yes. We work with union printers, and a union bug will appear on your piece.
WHAT ELSE IS REQUIRED TO BE ON MY MAILER?
Content requirements for mailers are based on a variety of factors. You are responsible for the content of your piece. You are responsible for determining whether the mailers should contain a disclaimer and if so, confirming that your disclaimer complies with applicable laws. Please note that some elections and some parties have special rules. You are responsible for ensuring the text you include is factually accurate, and that you have the rights to use the photographs or other graphics you include. We recommend using a professional photographer and/or purchasing photos from an online vendor like Getty Images, iStock or Shutterstock. You may want to consult with your local elections agency and/or an attorney regarding campaign compliance, intellectual property laws and any other legal matters relevant to the content of your mailers.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE A DISCLAIMER? WHAT SHOULD IT SAY?
Almost every political communication is required to have a disclaimer, although there are some exceptions (union communications to members, etc.). The requirements are generally determined by local election boards and cover what size font your disclaimer must be, how you describe who is paying for the communication, and other factors. A good first step is visiting your county and state elections board websites, or calling them directly.
I NEED A SUBVENDOR REPORT TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW – HOW DO I GET ONE?
That’s no problem! If you email us at [email protected] with Report Request in the title, we will send you a subvendor report.
Placing an Order
DON’T SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?
These are the questions we hear the most – but if you don’t see what you need, send an email to [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible. Or call us at (415) 857-4067.
HOW DO I OPTIMIZE THE QUALITY OF MY PHOTOS?
We strongly encourage you to print out your digital proof to get a sense for how dark the photo will be and how well the colors will match what you see on screen. Keep in mind that an image on your computer screen has light shining through it on your monitor. That same image printed on paper is likely to appear a bit darker. Some colors that look great on your screen may not reproduce well with ink on paper. Very bright and intense colors, especially neons, will print with less detail than they had on your monitor. Although your home printer is not going to be an exact match for the printers we use, a printed version of your digital proof will give you a much better idea of what to expect.
WHAT RESOLUTION DO MY PHOTOS NEED TO BE?
The higher the photo resolution the better, and it should be no less than 300 DPI (dots per inch). The quality of your mailer will depend largely on the photographs, so we recommend using professional photography if at all possible.
WHAT IF I HAVE MY OWN LIST OF PEOPLE TO MAIL TO?
You can upload your list, which must include first name (Column A) , last name (Column B), mailing address (Column C), city (Column D) , State (Column E) and Zip (Column F) in an Excel file format. We cannot accept Word files, text files or any other formats.
IS THERE A MINIMUM NUMBER OF PIECES THAT MUST BE PRINTED?
Yes, a minimum of 500 mailers must be printed.
I WANT TO MAIL ANOTHER PIECE TO THE SAME LIST IF PEOPLE I MAILED TO EARLIER. DO I HAVE TO PAY THE COST AGAIN?
If you are using the voter targeting tool then yes – you will need to pay separately for each mailer sent to the voters you select, since the prices we negotiate assume that the voter data will be used only once. If you are using your own data, there is no fee, and you can upload the same list as many times as you like.
WHAT IF MY OPPONENT USES SPEAKEASY? COULD THE MAIL LOOK THE SAME?
In the unlikely event that your opponent uses SpeakEasy, even if he or she chooses the same template as you do, the headlines, text and photography will be different. Your piece will be unique because you made it.
CAN I ADD MYSELF TO THE LIST OF PEOPLE WHO WILL RECEIVE THE MAILER?
Yes, the name and billing address you provide when you submit your order will be automatically added to the mailing list and will receive a mailer so you can confirm the mailers in your order are being delivered.
CAN I HAVE THE LIST OF VOTERS I MAILED TO?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with the list of voters you selected for your order. We are only able to secure our very low prices on voter data because we use the data only for mailing. You can purchase voter data for other campaign activities, like making phone calls or knocking doors, from various data vendors or from your county clerk.
WHAT IF I MAKE A MISTAKE?
Take all the time you need to proof and fact check your order in advance – we recommend having two to three people besides yourself read the mailer for errors before you submit it. When you pay for your order, it is considered final and non-refundable. If you have paid for your order but want to stop delivery of the mailers, please call us as soon as you can at (415) 857-4067. We will do everything we can to stop delivery if it has not yet been received by the US Postal Service.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Depending on the size of the order, a SpeakEasy direct mail order costs from 42 cents to over one dollar per mailer, including postage, mail house charges and any applicable sales tax. Because SpeakEasy doesn’t charge for custom design, production or agency ‘board’ fees, our prices are about 25-40% less than what you would pay a political consultant for a similar order. For example, a 10,000 mailer order produced by a political consultant could take two weeks to write, design, produce and mail, at an average cost of $8,176. With SpeakEasy, a 10,000 mailer order can be created on your timeline and mailed for $5,532 (including California sales tax). That’s a savings of 32%. The calculator on our data page will give you a good idea of what your piece will cost – although final pricing can be subject to the density of postal routes and may vary slightly.
Shipping & Delivery
WHAT ARE MY MAILING SERVICE OPTIONS?
At this time, SpeakEasy only offers mailing through the US Postal Service.
HOW LONG FROM WHEN I PAY FOR MY PIECE UNTIL IT SHOWS UP IN MAILBOXES?
After you submit your order, it takes about five business days for the mailers to be printed and dropped off at a US Postal Service location. US Postal Service first-class mail service generally delivers within two to three business days, but in rural areas or around holidays or an Election Day it can take longer. To be safe, we recommend submitting your order seven to ten days before you would like the mailers to hit mailboxes. Once we confirm that the US Postal Service has received the mailers in your order, SpeakEasy is no longer in control of delivery.
WHAT IF MY MAILER DOESN’T SHOW UP?
US Postal Service first-class mail service generally delivers within two to three business days, but in rural areas or around holidays or an Election Day it can take longer. To be safe, we recommend submitting your order seven to ten days before you would like the mailers to hit mailboxes. Once we confirm that the US Postal Service has received the mailers in your order, SpeakEasy is no longer in control of delivery.
HOW DO I KNOW MY MAIL WAS SENT?
When your mailers are mailed through the US Postal Service, we receive a confirmation. We keep those confirmations on file and can provide them to you. Though US Postal Service first-class mail service generally delivers within two to three business days, it does not guarantee delivery by a certain date. Once we confirm that the US Postal Service has received the mailers in your order, SpeakEasy is no longer in control of delivery.