Cover Story: The Top 50 Mailers

The sixth annual 
listing of top mailers as measured by volume

It’s been the year of integrated marketing, and nothing proves that more than GEICO’s appearance on our annual list of the top 50 direct mailers. You’ve probably seen so much of GEICO’s gecko, cavemen and the googly-eyed stack of money that you’re not surprised to see it anywhere now. But it’s been five years and about $5 billion in revenue since the TV-slick and Web-savvy insurer last mailed enough to make the list.

GEICO may be a top 50 mailer for the first time in years, but many of the other names are familiar. Citigroup made its first appearance last year, but hangs on as the mailer with the most revenue for the second year in a row. Of the 12 new companies that appeared on the list in 2010, five remain top mailers in 2011 (Citigroup, Disabled American Veterans, United Service Organization, Sierra Club and The Arbor Day Foundation). The churn stayed steady at about 25 percent again this year, with 12 new companies for 2011 (denoted by check marks).

“We really see the mail quantities up across the board,” says Moira Boyle, account director for ALC. “Marketers who had cut back on direct marketing for the past several years are returning because they need new orders, and direct mail is the most proven, reliable source. … The shift to market through social media and online is still very new, and not generating the volume companies need.”

Once again, nearly half of the list is made up of nonprofits
—46 percent, which is down a little from 52 percent in 2010. Media companies, all publishers, held steady at 30 percent of the list. Merchandisers have surged from just 2 percent to 10 percent this year, and that could be even higher if you include Omaha Steaks, which technically markets food, but with a decidedly merchandise mentality.

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.
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