Stat of the Month: Investments
The mortgage crisis and fluctuations in the stock market are perhaps already visible in the direct mail sent out by the investments sector. No, not necessarily in less mail but, rather, in more inventive efforts to keep response steady and slimmer packages to keep costs down.
Since we have recorded data through December 2007 in our Who’s Mailing What! Archive, we’ll take an in-depth look at the last four complete years for the investment sector. In 2007, investments took up 1.2 percent of the mailstream, which is consistent with the previous three years; the lowest percentage was 1 percent, in 2004.
The first sign of more tests, creative and formats is the percentage of repeat mail—less repeat mail means more inventive efforts and fewer controls doing the circuit. And 2007 saw the fewest repeat mailing of any recent year, with only 15.6 percent representing efforts that we’ve seen before. Contrast that with 42.5 percent in 2005 and 31.7 percent in 2004. In other words, that’s a significant shift.
Meanwhile, offering premiums and using personalization in mailings have been a trend we’ve seen in almost every sector. Investments is no different, as premium usage climbed considerably from 7 percent in 2004 to 15.8 percent in both 2005 and 2006; it came down a little to 12.2 percent this past year. Personalization remained steady the last four years, fluctuating between 35 percent and 40 percent of all investment efforts.
Lastly, the self-mailer format continues to increase its popularity, perhaps because of the 2007 postal rate increase that encouraged slimmer packages. After registering between 41 percent and 44 percent from 2004 to 2006, self-mailers surged to 47 percent in 2007.