Cover Story : The Top 50 Mailers of 2012
The seventh annual listing of top mailers as measured by volumeSeptember 2012
Big companies have ramped up their mailing in 2012. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Sprint/Nextel, Dish Network and Discover Financial Services are all on the list after none of them appeared in 2011 or 2010. In fact, according to our data JPMorgan Chase hasn't mailed this heavily in five years—since 2007 when the company reported a mere $99.9 billion in revenue.
The 2012 Top 50 Mailers list was compiled with the help of ALC and the Who's Mailing What? Archive, with additional research assistance from Hoovers' and SRDS. The ranking is not based on total mail volume (because that is generally not reported by direct mailers) but on sales, revenue and fundraising data gathered from Hoovers, Charity Navigator and other public sources.
Several mailers dropped off the Top 50 list from 2011 to 2012. DirecTV, Habitat for Humanity and Suarez Corp. are a few of the marketers who appear to have simply mailed less and did not make the Top 50 (although they may have made a Top 100). Publisher Rodale appears to have mailed much less this year and did not appear anywhere in our research. Fellow publisher Hachette Fillipachi, however, was bought by Hearst Magazines, which you can see is still mailing at a Top 50 clip.
There are 14 new mailers on the list this year—a slight increase from the 12 new mailers in 2011. Of last year's 12 new mailers, only five remain in 2012: GEICO, Bose Corp., National Rifle Association, The Bradford Group and Premier Bathrooms.
Half of the mailers on the list for 2012 are nonprofits, which continues a trend in our Top 50 Mailers list. This year, the nonprofits appear in even greater numbers thanks to the upcoming presidential and congressional elections, which brought the total up from 23 last year to 25. Media was the second heaviest mailing industry, comprising 26 percent of the list—with two mailers overlapping into the nonprofit world: National Geographic Society and Consumers Union. Merchandise and financial services each accounted for 6 percent of the remaining list.
This year for the first time we examined catalogers as part of our Top Mailers research. In the past, we have excluded these mailers because we thought they would dominate the list. Now, as mail and catalogs are becoming more integrated with digital technologies, that no longer makes sense. Plus, there would still be fewer catalogers on the 2012 Top 50 than nonprofits.