Studies Show Direct Mail Healthier than Expected
It's that time of year when us lucky editors get a press copy of the mammoth DMA Statistical Fact Book. The 2010 version ($470 listed price; $260 for DMA members) contains 196 pages of data painstakingly put together by Anna Chernis, project manager for DMA. Numerous studies are compiled about direct marketing in general and the many channels now employed by marketers, including a substantial chapter devoted to direct mail.
Frankly, after the last big study about direct mail that I carefully perused (Winterberry's "A Channel in Transformation: Vertical Market Trends in Direct Mail 2009"), I didn't expect to be cheered at all by direct mail stats. Instead, the reverse occurred: I was encouraged. I also had these thoughts as I read through the findings, many of which came from Unisfair, 2009 and USPS Household Diary Study from 2009.
Who were the other 4?
"Six in 10 marketers said acquiring new customers would be critical in 2010." Seems to be that all marketers should always be trying to acquire new customers, no? Clearly, "critical" is the key term here, as some marketers apparently view customer acquisition as less critical compared to other priorities such as customer retention and engagement (48 percent said this was the critical priority).
It's a coming.
75 percent of marketers plan to increase use of social media in their marketing activities. Fewer and fewer marketers are ignoring this cheap but important type of marketing work.
The average consumer receives 24.7 pieces of mail per week. That's the fourth straight year that shows a drop in volume, a 5.7 percent drop compared to the heydays of 2005 and 2006 (which registered 26.2 pieces of mail per week). Of course, this also means there's less of a crowd to stand out in.
Sign of the times.
People have less time; people don't read like they used to; people like color. Thus, among all mail formats, postcards are most likely to be read. In fact, 47.9 percent of household prospects "read" postcards in 2008, up from 41.5 percent in 2007.