Direct Mail Benchmarks From DMA
May 20, 2013

In my years following the direct marketing field, one of the resources I've most appreciated is the Direct Marketing Association's annual roundup of direct and interactive marketing statistics, the DMA Statistical Fact Book. Each year, this compilation of research studies—this year, 40 prominent sources—offers benchmarks and other metrics related to nearly a dozen categories. Examining direct mail-related data, here are a few stats from this year's edition that jump out at me. Did you know

Direct Mail and Subprime Borrowers: Psst. Need a Credit Card?
January 5, 2012

As the nation’s banks and financial firms emerge from the wreckage of the financial crisis, they are working out how best to lend to people with tarnished credit. Overall, credit-card issuers sent 418 million pitches to U.S. subprime borrowers in the first nine months of this year, double the year-earlier volume of 207 million, according to research firm Synovate, a unit of Ipsos. Despite the surge, direct-mail solicitations remain far below pre-crisis levels. (Synovate doesn’t track balance-transfer offers.)

Debit or Credit? Citi Places Its Bet
September 20, 2011

Making an aggressive push to rebuild a flagging business, Citigroup Inc. is stuffing America's mailboxes with credit-card solicitations. One in three credit-card offers that landed in consumers' mailboxes last month came from Citi, Mail Monitor estimates.

Researching the Mobile Marketing Opportunity
August 12, 2010

Mobile marketing is a case in point: A forthcoming Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) survey of U.S. advertisers and agencies shows strong confidence in mobile marketing’s reach and effectiveness — so much so that they plan to increase their spending 124 percent, to more than $5.4 billion by the end of 2011. This projected increase reflects advertiser and agency plans to shift their budgets out of media such as print and outdoor advertising and into the mobile channel.

29 Percent Increase in US Credit Card Offers Year on Year
May 10, 2010

During 2009, the worst recession seen in years, the economy and legislative pressure caused issuers to dramatically pull back on offers, and annual mail volume dropped to its lowest levels since 1993. However, during Q1 2010 US households received 481.3 million credit card offers, a 29 percent increase versus the 372.4 million offers mailed during the same time a year ago, according Synovate Mail Monitor, the direct mail tracking service from global market research firm Synovate.

Who’s Looking After Momma?
March 20, 2008

Bear Stearns strayed from its core business. Powered by greed, the firm got into creating indecipherably complex investment funds designed to cover the tracks of indecipherably complex consumer home loan contracts. Nobody understood this stuff. Not Bear Stearns’ managing directors, not the sales people hawking this fatuous crap. Not the greedy investors that saw obscene returns. Not the original mortgage lenders. And certainly not the dodos who got way in over their heads borrowing to buy homes by signing adjustable rate mortgage contracts that sucked them dry. But hey, if I was a renter and was offered a $220,000 loan to buy a

Nuts & Bolts: Global Update
March 1, 2007

European Internet users have fully made the transition from online window shopping to online buying, according to new research published by the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA). The EIAA Mediascope Europe 2006 Study, managed by SPA and conducted by Synovate, finds 78 percent of European Internet users shop online, and within a six-month period spend an average of 750 euros, and buy an average of 10 items online—an increase of 11 percent from 2005 to 2006. Online shoppers in the United Kingdom lead the pack in buying the most goods online, while Norwegian shoppers spend the most money. The chart at right shows how the

The Decline and Fall of Competent Direct Mail Why credit card mailings are bombing
August 1, 2006

I’ve been reading obituaries since the age of 12, fascinated to see how entire lives have been summed up in a few paragraphs. Last week a The New York Times headline about the passing of George Wetherill, 80, described him as an “Expert on Dating of Rocks.” Did dating of rocks mean determining their age? Or did he study people who liked to take rocks out to dinner and a movie? Either way, I wasn’t interested enough in his life and career to read on. Nor am I real interested in people who spend their lives in the credit card business—the delivery of financial nicotine to

New Bar Code Still a Mystery
December 1, 2003

Nearly two years ago, Inside Direct Mail reported on a new bar code that surfaced in a mailing from Capital One Financial Corp. ("A New Code in Town," IDM February 2002), and its function is stumping industry experts even still. We've all seen Postnet codes, required by the U.S. Postal Service on bulk mailings and necessary for receiving postal discounts, and to a lesser degree the newer PLANET Codes, which track mailings en route through the postal system. But the bar code first seen on Capital One mailings, and now on those for Fleet National Bank (544FLEBAN0903), Advanta Bank Corp. (544ADVANT0903) and Children

Credit Card Marketers Try Hand at Freemiums
October 1, 2003

Ask a random sample of consumers what type of direct mail they receive most often, and credit card mailings likely would be the top answer. According to Synovate, a market research firm that offers mail-tracking services for the credit card industry out of its Tarrytown, NY, office, credit card mail volume slowed its upward trend in 2002, tallying 4.89 billion efforts; but while that's a drop from the record high of 5.01 billion efforts in 2001, it's still enough mail to inundate the more than 291 million U.S. citizens—especially if you discount children. Given that credit card marketers have their work cut out for