Stat of the Month: Join/Attend/Be Listed
Since I last examined the join/attend/be listed category, the economy has undergone a serious recession that's impacted every corner of the direct mail landscape. So how would this sector (which concerns donors or customers who've "opted in" in some way—such as having joined an organization as a member or previously having made a purchase from a company) fare, especially since organizations had to hold onto existing donors/customers since getting new ones was not going to be easy?
This sector encompass clubs and associations, seminars and conferences, cultural organizations like museums and zoos, the performing arts, cable/satellite TV/radio, and sports teams and events—and none are recession-proof, that's for sure. So how did their direct mail efforts change in the past year?
Comparing data from the Who's Mailing What! Archive that goes to July of this year to similar periods over the previous years, the answer is pretty darn well. The join/attend/be listed category certainly didn't stop mailing, as communicating with their customers obviously was key to retaining their business/donations. While taking up a good percentage, between 5.3 percent and 5.8 percent, of the Who's Mailing What! Archive over the past three years, that share climbed by 21 percent from last year alone.
Consistent with the apparent efforts to keep existing customers and donors involved, contributing and happy, both premium and personalization usage was up in 2009 compared to 2008. Personalization skyrocketed, actually, from 14.3 percent in 2008, 15.1 percent in 2007 and 11.9 percent in 2006 to 22.6 percent so far this year. That's a 36.7 percent gain in one year!
Premium usage didn't zoom up as much but still posted the highest percentage in the last four years, at 9.8 percent of all join/attend/be listed efforts.
Meanwhile, both repeat mail and self-mailer format usage were down from previous years. Since an audience of opt-in customers need to be moved along in the conversation, rather than be sent the same kind of mailing repeatedly, the fact that there's less repeat mail makes perfect sense this year. Only 9.8 percent of join/attend/be listed were controls, so 90 percent of this category was new efforts.