Association for Postal
1901 N. Fort Myer Dr., Ste 401 * Arlington, VA 22209-1609 * USA * Ph.: +1 703 524 0096 * Fax: +1 703 524 1871
Writing Effective E-mail to your Members of Congress
In order for your message to be effective and your voice heard on an issue, keep these key points
in mind when composing e-mail (or hardcopy mail, for that matter) to Members of
State from the outset that you are a constituent of the
Representative you are contacting.
If you are not, however, a constituent advise the member how
he may see an issue will have an impact on you and your business.
Include your mailing address at the end of the letter.
- Brevity! Keep
your correspondence to the point--use as few words as possible. Chances are one of his staff
knows the issue well. The old rule should apply as to length: an introductory paragraph (state the
point of the letter), three body paragraphs (your points), and an ending paragraph.
Time your e-mail so it arrives on Wednesday or Thursday.
Most Congressional mail arrives on Monday, Tuesday or Friday. E-mail which arrives on those
high-volume days has a better chance of getting short shrift.
If you know the Member or a staff aide, say so at the start of
your message. That may alert the aide reading the e-mail to give your message special attention.
Show an understanding of both the issue and the legislative
process. That way your message will be taken more seriously. For example, use bill numbers,
state the bill's current status, name the bill's sponsoring Member(s) of Congress, and/or whether
the bill is supported/opposed by the President.
Be both specific and practical. Relate the points of your
message to your experience and/or the Member's committee assignments and/or constituents'
Be polite. You'll catch more flies with honey......
Ask for a response that clearly states the Member's position on
Follow-up. If the Member does what you want, say thanks. If
he/she doesn't, e-mail your message of disappointment.