An election campaign letter should be cordial, concise and motivating. Since for many constituents the campaign letter is the first "meeting" with the candidate, its content is crucial. The basic structure of an effective election campaign letter consists of an introduction, followed by a very brief summary of existing issues and proposed solutions, an announcement of candidacy, and a request for financial or other support.

Introduction

Personalize your salutation; it should be "Dear Mrs. Smith," not "Dear Voter." Start the body of your letter by introducing yourself and your ties to the constituency. If you are currently involved in civic organizations or public service, note it and indicate your tenure. Emphasize your desire to bring (or continue) positive change and briefly state how your election could have a concrete beneficial effect. Your introduction's tone should be engaging and friendly, so that the reader wants to continue, but not too familiar.

Platform

Cite two or three specific issues on which you plan to focus your campaign. If possible, show how your previous experience (personal and professional) has given you a close-up look at the issues and why you are the candidate who can successfully take them on. Very briefly, state possible solutions or ways of more effectively addressing the issues. Your platform should reflect careful thought and a clear understanding of the issues. Do not just choose what you think is most important to voters; focus on where you can offer the most expertise.

Candidacy Announcement

State formally that you intend to run for public office. Indicate exactly which office, the district or seat number, and note the date of the election. Briefly express your enthusiasm for the job and excitement at the opportunity. Avoid false modesty or bravado. Stick to the facts and be sincere. If you can do it concisely, say exactly why you want to run, particularly if the reason is somewhat emotional. For example, perhaps your father was an elected official and died before he could finish his work, but you inherited his passion for animal rights.

Request for Support

End your letter by expressing an urgent need for the reader's support. State specifically what kind of support you need, how much of it and why. For example, you might need to raise $10,000 to staff your campaign headquarters and are asking each of your 200 letter recipients to give $50 to help you reach your goal. Give a sense of urgency to the request by stating a deadline. To avoid the implication that money is all you need, encourage the reader to get involved in your campaign. Provide contact information, campaign office hours and your website address. Sign off professionally and include a self-addressed stamped envelope.