As only one of the 200 Who’s Mailing What! Archive categories, telecom has a relatively small presence in our mailstream. From January to April 2007, only 91 pieces of mail of the 4,108 mailings (or 2.2 percent) was telecom-related. Consequently, we decided to cast a wider net and will examine a four-month window, from January to April, of this year and previous years to get a more accurate picture of the trends.
Looking at repeat mailings, telecom clearly went with many more new packages in the first four months of this year than normal, as only 12.1 percent of telecom mail was repeat mail. Compare that to 27.8 percent of the entire mailstream that was repeat mail, or to previous January to May time frames for telecom, such as 44.7 percent in 2006, 54.4 percent in 2005, and 29.6 percent back in 2002.
Meanwhile, keeping up with the personalization trend in direct mail, 42.9 percent of telecom mail used personalization so far in 2007. In the entire mailstream, the figure is currently 29.3 percent, having inched up each year from 22.9 percent in 2002. The percentage of personalized telecom mail has followed a parallel ascent, from 28.9 percent in 1997 all the way up to its record high point of 58.3 percent in 2002, before settling in the 40s in recent years.
Similarly, once upon a time, self-mailers were not a big deal in direct mail. Ten years ago, the telecom sector saw only 22.4 percent of its efforts in the self-mailer format. Now, in the first five months of each of the last three years, that figure wavers from 44 to 50 percent—consistent with this year’s overall mailstream, of which 52.5 percent comes in the popular self-mailer format.
The last three years have also witnessed a growth of premium usage in the telecom sector. In 1997, only 11.8 percent of total telecom mail used premiums; in 2002, the figure was a lowly 6.1 percent. Yet in the first five months of 2005, 2006 and 2007, the percentage existed in the strong range of 27.2 to 34.4 percent.