Fran Green

The more things change on Target Marketing's Top 50 Mailers list, the more they stay the same. As I write this, mail volume continues to plummet; the U.S. Postal Service reported a drop just shy of another billion pieces for the third quarter of its 2010 fiscal year. So with increasingly less First-Class and Standard Mail in circulation, what do consumers find in their mailboxes these days?

Exaggerated predictions of direct mail's demise have come up again, the typical knee-jerk reaction to some harsh realities: Standard mail volume continues to shrink, for a total drop of 12 billion pieces so far this USPS fiscal year; direct mail spend is contracting while e-mail spend increases; and consumers' environmental concerns continue to pressure marketers to evaluate their media choices carefully.

What a difference a year makes. With the U.S. Postal Service reporting mail volume on the decline to the tune of billions of pieces, it comes as no surprise that the 2009 Top 50 Mailers list is greatly changed from its 2008 counterpart.

This month, Target Marketing publishes the results of our third listing of the foremost mailers by estimated volume-estimated because most companies tend not to disclose their annual mail volumes. Once again, we've joined forces with lists and data firm ALC to create this well-informed calculation of mailing quantity.

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