The 7 BIG Direct Mail Trends in 2011
Within our comprehensive database of direct mail, the Who's Mailing What Archive, we crunch the various numbers in order to find the current trends in the mailstream. Here's what we've seen so far in 2011.
1. More Controls in 2010-11 Compared to 2009
A control is a piece of mail that we've seen before in the Archive, and usually it's an indication of mail that works for certain company. Of course, it can also mean that a company is not spending the money on testing.
So far in 2011 (data is calculated until the end of June), 25 percent of all efforts are controls, which keeps pace with 2010, but represents a 25 percent increase from 2009.
2. Surge in Premiums — 1 in Every 5 Mail Pieces
What about premiums, those gifts that are promised to prospects once they buy or donate? Still a great tool to turn the prospect into a customer, mailers use them more than ever for prospects who seem to appreciate it more than ever.
In 2011, 19 percent of all efforts include a premium, so one out of every five mail pieces. That's the highest percentage we've seen in the last five years, and it represents a 7 percent increase from 2010.
3. Major Uptick in VDP & Personalization
With more competition for the prospect's time, it only makes sense to leverage the data, right? No doubt, we're seeing a major increase in VDP and personalization on mail pieces in 2011.
By far, this year represents the highest percentage of personalized mail than ever before, with 38 percent of all mail. That's 13 percent more than 2010 and 36 percent more than 2009, 2008 and 2007!
4. Surprising Increase in Larger Formats
Comparing the last 12 months to the previous 12 months, with direct mail budgets generally being downsized a bit, you'd expect to see a literal downsizing of the mail as well ... but that's not what happened.