Over the last year, association mailers have changed up a number of their mailing practices. (Note: In order to have statistically valid results, this section will look back over an entire year’s worth of association mailings instead of the usual monthly or quarterly reporting.)
For example, personalization use is way up. From April 2005 through March 2006, 55.6 percent of association efforts were personalized, a figure boosted by the personalization required for voucher-style mailings and temporary membership cards from AARP and address label freemiums from the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA). For April 2004 through March 2005, that number was a much lower 39 percent.
Envelope use also has been up, which makes sense since these efforts are containing more and more personal information. This past year tallied 94.4 percent envelope efforts, while the year prior featured 85.4 percent envelope efforts. Overall, association mailers tended to stay away from standard size envelopes, with 51 percent of envelopes coming in at miscellaneous sizes. Of the standards, #10 and 4-1/4” x 9” were the most popular sizes, at 17.6 percent and 15.7 percent respectively. The #9 also made a showing at 7.8 percent; while 9” x 12” and 6” x 9” each accounted for 3.9 percent of association efforts.
Premium use increased quite a bit this past year as well, at 20.4 percent compared to 12.1 percent in the year before. Some popular premiums included tote bags, from the National Association of Female Executives and the American Association of University Women, and ball caps, from Boat U.S. and the USTA. Freemiums also showed some legs among association mailers, with labels from USTA and Food and Wine Connoisseur Club; stickers from Boat U.S.; and a magnet from Promotional Products Association.
And all in all, it seems these upward trends aren’t just tests, as 68.8 percent of last year’s association mailings were received more than once, indicating possible control status. Comparatively, the year before logged a lower 51 percent possible controls.