Archive for Direct Mail

Direct Mail and Marketing Response Numbers

We have shared many statistics the past year about response numbers. We think we should review some of them.

More than 70% of Gen Yers (born 1977-1994) and Gen Xers (born 1965-1976) sort their mail immediately.

76% of internet users were directly influenced to buy an item or service thanks to direct mail.

78% of email recipients do not open the message, so that means that 94.1% of email recipients are not clicking through to your landing page.

55% of survey respondents cannot effectively measure marketing ROI of mobile, social media and video.

65% of companies had not increased revenue or profited using social media.

79% of all households read or scan the advertising mail sent to their home.

To-Do List Management

BNET recently interviewed David Allen abut 3 Reasons Your To-Do List Keeps Getting Longer.

  1. Personal organization tools don’t get you organized.
  2. Technology won’t help, it is making things worse.
  3. It’s not about managing time, it’s about managing your attention and focus.

So thinking about your customers, how can you help them? Present your information in a way that allows them to give it attention and focus. Direct mail is a great way to do that. The Mail Moment study gave us: “Right now – in a market you want to reach – your ideal prospect is just waiting for the moment. She’s eager to invite you in to see what your message can bring to her life. She’s even willing to set aside time to focus solely on what you have to say.”

Do It Yourself?

CBS Money Watch posted an article about some instances when it might be less expensive to pay a professional. Their list included: changing the oil in a car, formal printing jobs, selling valuable personal items and taxes. There is even a website called that helps to calculate if it is worth the money savings to attempt a home improvement project by yourself.

To expand on the explanation of asking a professional to print invitations, posters or other materials, the Money Watch team discussed the costs of ink cartridges, time and frustration.

Mailing is very similar to printing. Using a professional mailer can definitely save you time and frustration. A professional mailer can also update your mailing list by checking for changes of address and identify undeliverable addresses that may only need a small correction.

Mailings can qualify for the discounted presorted rates with quantities as small as 200 items. The postage savings will start to save you money and pay for the services of a professional at surprisingly low quantities.

An “Edu-Mail-Cation”?

We recently received an email from a customer that read “Thanks for my edu-mail-cation!”

It is a great play on words and such a part of what we do that we thought it would be fun to share it.

Are you wondering what some of the newest acronyms mean? Or if some new technology is really going to help you or save you money? Have you always wondered if there was more than one way to define your customers? Give us a call or send us an email, we would be honored to share what we know.

Direct Mailing Trends

Target Marketing Magazine examined the last year and a half of the Who’s Mailing What Archive and concluded a few trends.


Repeat mail was up 12 percent in 2010. It now represents a full quarter of all direct mail. The reasons include mailers being budget-conscious and staying with efforts that are clearly working.


Mailing premiums has increased by over 6 percent so far this year compared to 2009. Now nearly 20 percent of all direct mail includes a premium offer. “According to Archive Director Paul Bobnak , among nonprofits, incentives have taken on greater importance. Usage doesn’t seem to have increased. Instead of one tote bag or aluminum bottle, they’ll offer two or three as a premium. And tote bags and blankets (which have been good premiums) have begun to show up as ‘freemiums’ being mailed to prospects.”


Personalization is also used more, a 19 percent increase from last year. Used in 35 percent of direct mail, help make mail relevant for the recipient.

Financial Services Offers Are In The Mail Again

Major credit card issuers are adjusting to new credit card marketing regulations and are mailing offers. Some have launched new products. The best example of this is Chase with their multiple new cards.

Social Media

Mailers are increasingly promoting social media connections (Facebook, Twitter, …) in direct mail, particularly retailers. QR codes have been popping up too, although without much attention being called to them.

Self Mailers Declining

The one trend that is going in the opposite direction is the usage of the self-mailer. It is down 15 percent from 2009, in part because of production cost. It’s still used in 43 percent of all direct mail.

Paper Beats Digital For Emotion

According to a study by branding agency Millward Brown retold in a Neuromarketing blog post, physical media left a “deeper footprint” in the brain, even after for controlling for the increase in sensory processing for tangible items.

Images comparing Brain Scans of Paper vs Digital

Images comparing Brain Scans of Paper vs Digital

The study concluded:

  • Material shown on cards generated more activity within the area of the brain associated with the integration of visual and spatial information.
  • Physical material is more “real” to the brain. It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with its spatial memory networks.
  • More processing is taking place in the right retrosplenial cortex when physical material is presented. This is involved in the processing of emotionally powerful stimuli and memory, which would suggest that the physical presentation may be generating more emotionally vivid memories.
  • Physical activity generates increased activity in the cerebellum, which is associated with spatial and emotional processing (as well as motor activity) and is likely to be further evidence of enhanced emotional processing.

Paper has advantages over digital media. To maximize these concepts:

  • Think about the touch and feel of the piece. Heavier stock and a textured finish could emphasize the “tangibility” of the mailed item.
  • Seize the advantage of the brain’s emotional engagement with tangible media and craft a message that will make an emotional connection.
  • Find ways to maximize your brand imagery and perhaps feel, brand recall may be enhanced by the paper medium.

We talked about the power of touch and how that can increase how likely people are to purchase an item because of the increased connection.

The 40-40-20 Rule

Ed Mayer is credited with stating the idea that direct marketing success is attributed to:

40% List

40% Offer

20% Everything Else

As we all optimistically look forward and consider fresh marketing approaches, how can we help you?

  • Is it time to append your customer list with more details that will give you more accurate information to select new prospective customers?
  • Can we do some research for you to help you select the best possible list to meet your needs?
  • Do you have a new idea about an offer and want to ask for another opinion?
  • Are all the details for your offer and everything else clear?

Wow Numbers Mean Direct Mail Success

As a follow up to our post about “WOW” numbers:

According to the USPS Household Diary Study, 79% of all households read or scan the advertising mail sent to their home.

ATG’s Cross-Channel Commerce: The Consumer View report found that 78% of consumers are using multiple channels to research, shop, and ultimately complete purchases. Consumers browse and research online, then make the purchase in the store–39% went to the store to touch/feel the products; 36% visited the store to compare brands; 22% visited the store because they needed the product immediately

76% of Internet users said they were directly influenced by direct mail; 67% were influenced by TV; and 58% of email users were influenced according to Exact Target’s Channel Preference Study. Additionally, 75% of 25-34 year-olds have made a purchase as a result of direct mail and 62% of 18-24 year olds purchased due to direct mail.

R2integrated, an integrated marketing and technology company found that 65% of companies had not increased revenue or profited using social media.

Public Television stations have reversed their decline in acquiring new donors through direct mail campaigns. DMW Direct analyzed 700 campaigns representing 34 million pieces mailed and found that $295.32 was raised per thousand pieces mailed in 2009, up 16.3% from 2008 and the average gift was $42.10 up from $41.64.

USPS January 2011 Price Increases

The United Postal Service (USPS) will increase prices on January 2, 2011. The most noticeable will be the increase in the price of a first class stamp from $0.44 to $0.46. The post office is doing many things to help. They are releasing some new forever stamps in October. The stamps, featuring evergreen trees, can be purchased for $0.44 and used “forever” to mail first class letters.

Prices for Standard Mail and Periodicals will also go up about 5.6%. Knowing the facts in advance can help in planning for end of the year advertising and direct mail.

Direct Mail is Adapting

In the August issue of Deliver Magazine, the editors make a case for Direct Mail’s future.

Direct mail is entering a new age. Long an effective marketing device, mail is now being linked with new technologies in astounding ways that improve its effectiveness and bring a new engagement. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Emerging technologies were expected to take what direct had done, and do it better, faster and cheaper. Consider the irony then that far from killing it off, digital is helping usher in this new era of direct mail.

Of course direct mail and digital have always been buddies. Mail was the primary way most of us learned about the Internet. (Remember those ubiquitous disks from a major online company?)

Catalogers have always known that mail can drive additional sales and online visits, and many digital entrepreneurs have turned to the mailbox to drive people to the inbox. The difference today is that marketers are now finding methods for combining digital technology with mail to increase the power of the message. Mail is no longer the carrier, the device you use to drive someone online. It’s the beginning of a conversation that carries on once the customer logs on.

Clearly, the efficiencies of mail — its laser-like ability to target customers, paired with a way to expand that message — is making marketers rethink their opinion of what many regarded as an “old” advertising vehicle.

It’s about the convergence of traditional and digital, yes, but that’s just the start. What we’re witnessing is a revolution that will launch mail into the next generation and beyond. It’s another lesson in the amazing adaptability of mail.

Marketers would be smart to take full advantage of this flexibility. And smart marketers do.