The first half of 2006 saw telecommunications companies use a number of different tactics to assert themselves in the mailstream. First on that list is self-mailer formats, which 51.9 percent of Q1 and Q2 telecom mailings used to stand out from the rest of the mailstream’s predominantly envelope—65 percent envelope, to be exact—crowd. Among these self-mailer efforts, 6" x 9" seems to be the size of choice; in June, for example, 40 percent of telecom self-mailers were 6" x 9" or a slight variation thereof. Among envelopes, on the other hand, the 6" x 9" is less popular, accounting for just 13.3 percent of June’s envelope efforts. As usual, when it comes to envelopes, the #10 is the most popular by far, at 60 percent. A slight variation on the #10, 4-1/4" x 9" was the second most popular size at 20 percent.
Personalization was another strong tactic for telecommunication mailers, showing up in 35.9 percent of their efforts in the first half of the year. The most popular use of this data work is driving prospects to their closest retail locations, either by providing the store’s contact information or a map to its location. Some 28 percent of June’s telecom mailings were aimed at upgrading, retaining or reenrolling customers, which also accounts for some of this personalization. Telecoms also have been putting premiums to work in 2006, offering freebies such as phones and phone accessories in about 30 percent of their efforts. In comparison, the general mailstream used these items in about 26 percent of its efforts so far this year. In contrast, the rest of the mailstream tends to make more use of freemiums than the telecom sector. In the first half of the year, the mailstream delivered up-front premiums in some 7 percent of its efforts, while telecom featured them in only 2.6 percent of its mailings, which makes sense considering the sector’s heavy use of self-mailers. Working Assets and Vonage were the only telecom mailers to send freemiums in the first two quarters of 2006, respectively mailing prospects address labels and CDs.