direct mail

Traditional Direct Mail Statistics

Here’s a great article on direct mail statistics by Jean Grunert,  of Demand Media, some pertinent info for business mailings and some interesting stats.

comstock-gettyimagesAlthough all the attention in recent years seems to be on digital marketing, traditional direct mail remains a viable and profitable channel for many companies. Traditional direct mail offers a personalized method of communicating valuable offers to both businesses and consumers. Several direct mail statistics underscore its continued importance in the marketing mix.

Response Rates

A response rate refers to how many people responded to a direct mail offer. According to DM News, in 2012 the average response rate for direct mail was 4.4 percent for both business to business and business to consumer mailings, considerably higher than industry expectations. Envelope-sized direct mail letters achieve a 3.4 percent response rate when mailed to a house list, and a 1.28 percent response rate when mailed to a prospect list.

Amount Mailed Annually

According to the non-profit group 41 Pounds, in the United States the average adult receives 40 pounds or more of traditional direct mail each year. The average person receives 16 pieces of traditional direct mail per week. For every 16 pieces of direct mail marketing received, adults receive about 1 personal or business envelope. More than half of unsolicited direct mail is thrown out without being opened.

Cost Per Lead

The cost per lead is how much a company spends on a traditional direct mail program in order to achieve a lead or response. The 2012 Direct Marketing Association survey indicates that the average cost per lead across all channels is about the same. Traditional direct mail has an average cost per lead of $51.40 for a general mailing list and $54.10 for postcards. House lists lower the cost per lead to $19.35.

Production Statistics

Production statistics demonstrate the labor, time and expense in producing direct mail. The U.S. Postal Service website lists production costs as the cost to create, design, print and mail all aspects of traditional direct mail. The non-profit group 41 Pounds states that approximately 100 million trees are needed for the paper used in direct mail annually. Transportation costs for direct mail are approximately $500 million or more per year. The U.S. Postal Service estimates the costs of direct mail creative production at .20 cents per piece.”

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/traditional-direct-mail-statistics-21263.html

 

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USPS Delays 5 day Delivery Plan

The U.S. Postal Service says it will delay plans to cut Saturday mail delivery because Congress isn’t allowing the change.    

The U. S. Postal Service said in February that it would cut back to five-day-a-week deliveries in August,  for everything except packages, as a way to hold down losses.

But a statement  from the Board of Governors notes that Congress has passed a spending bill that will continue the long-time prohibition against reducing delivery days.

As a result, the Board says it believes that Congress “has left it with no choice but to delay implementation” of the five-day-a-week plan.

Statement From the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors:

“The Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service met April 9th and discussed the Continuing Resolution recently passed by Congress to fund government operations. By including restrictive language in the Continuing Resolution, Congress has prohibited implementation of a new national delivery schedule for mail and packages, which would consist of package delivery Monday through Saturday and mail delivery Monday through Friday, and which would have taken effect the week of August 5, 2013.

“Although disappointed with this Congressional action, the Board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule. The Board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time. The Board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and are able to adjust their business plans accordingly.

“The Board continues to support the transition to a new national delivery schedule. Such a transition will generate approximately $2 billion in annual cost savings and is a necessary part of a larger five-year business plan to restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability. According to numerous polls, this new delivery schedule is widely supported by the American public. Our new delivery schedule is also supported by the Administration and some members of Congress.

“To restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability, the Postal Service requires the flexibility to reduce costs and generate new revenues to close an ever widening budgetary gap. It is not possible for the Postal Service to meet significant cost reduction goals without changing its delivery schedule – any rational analysis of our current financial condition and business options leads to this conclusion. Delaying responsible changes to the Postal Service business model only increases the potential that the Postal Service may become a burden to the American taxpayer, which is avoidable.

“Given these extreme circumstances and the worsening financial condition of the Postal Service, the Board has directed management to seek a reopening of negotiations with the postal unions and consultations with management associations to lower total workforce costs, and to take administrative actions necessary to reduce costs. The Board has also asked management to evaluate further options to increase revenue, including an exigent rate increase to raise revenues across current Postal Service product categories and products not currently covering their costs.

“The Board continues to support the Postal Service’s five-year business plan and the legislative goals identified in that plan which will return the Postal Service to financial solvency. The Board additionally urges Congress to quickly pass comprehensive postal legislation, including provisions that would affirmatively provide the Postal Service with the ability to establish an appropriate national delivery schedule.”

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Congressional Inaction Heightens Postal Crisis

Statement from Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe:

Postmaster General, Patrick Donahue

Postmaster General, Patrick Donahue

“The 112th Congress adjourned without having passed postal legislation. Such legislation could quickly restore the Postal Service to profitability and put the organization on a stable, long-term financial footing. This lack of action is disappointing.

The Postal Service has worked closely with the Congress over the past two years to advance a framework for a viable business model that will allow us to quickly respond to the evolving needs of our customers.

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Intelligent Inserter Improves Invoice Processing

Improving invoice processing services helps maintain integrity and consistency

intelligent mailing servicesMaintaining the tradition of utilizing state-of-the-art technology for its direct mail and invoice processing, BMS Direct, Inc. has recently installed the Bell & Howell Forerunner 13, the latest intelligent inserter.  This investment of $250,000 will improve the overall efficiency of its statement processing service by increasing the speed and reliability, moving toward ”zero defect processing,” and reducing costs.

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US Mail Slows Down

It’s already called “snail-mail” but U.S. Postal Service will be slowing down even further. As more and more business is going online, US. Postal service faces bankruptcy.

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Move Update and Compliance Fundamentals

Learn more about the Factors that impact address quality for your mailings. Check out what impacts address quality, for example: 17% of errors require extra handling or carrier/local knowledge to deliver.

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Simplified Addressing Changes Effective 01-02-11

The USPS has eased the rules on simplified addressing effective Jan. 2, 2011. These changes are expected to help small businesses who have not used direct mail because of the cost. Simplified addressing enables business mailers to use mail delivery route information, instead of exact names and addresses, to reach target customer groups in specific geographic areas.

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6 Ways Direct Mail Thrive

“Don’t Call It a Comeback “

Six ways direct mail will thrive in the new year.

By Rod DeVar, Manager Direct Mail, USPS

happy to get mailMarketers are cost-conscious by nature. But last year’s economic meltdown forced them to look even harder for efficiencies, and it’s a mindset they’ll keep as the market recovers. But through it all, direct mail has been — and will continue to be — a viable, effective marketing tool.

Here’s why:

  1. It’s a strong acquisition tool. Marketers like paying lower prices to search for new customers online, but they’re often disappointed when these folks don’t stick around. That’s because targeting new acquisitions online is much less precise than sending a mail piece to prospects you know will likely be repeat purchasers.
  2. Technology continues to improve. Variable data printing is letting marketers acknowledge customers as individuals. Not only will more marketers take advantage of it, those already using it will get smarter about their applications by using customer data to better track relationships and tailor content as wants and needs change. That’s important because increased personalization makes direct mail more relevant to the end user.
  3. Newspapers are suffering. As newspaper circulation dwindles, it will spur a significant migration to the mail by those marketers (particularly retailers) that need to reach a high number of people in a very targeted geographic location.
  4. Content marketing is on the rise. Transpromotion and custom publishing are delivering marketing messages in more personal and relevant ways, with information woven right in the content — a plus for both marketers and recipients. Custom publishing continues strong growth because consumers like the quality, and with transpromotion the senders of statements and bills can include marketing messages that connect with how the customer is using their services.
  5. Clean lists are eco-friendly. As marketers continue to address list hygiene, they’ll be mailing more efficiently. Not only will that deliver a better return, it also is good for the planet because the number of wasteful pieces will decline.
  6. Mail will be even easier to track. More marketers will begin using the Intelligent Mail® barcode, a new Postal Service™ barcode used to sort and track letters and flats. With it, they’ll be receiving more detailed information than ever on how and when their direct mail is being delivered, as well as how customers are responding.

Before you kick off your 2010 efforts, know this:

The recession has created new norms for the marketing realm. Many tried-and-true formulas for evaluating media effectiveness and accountability won’t measure up to your heightened need to accomplish stronger results for less investment. But direct mail will continue to perform.

Rod DeVar is manager of direct mail at the United States Postal Service.®

USPS Deliver: a magazine for marketers. Click here for direct link.

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