Direct Mail Still Preferred

I’ve written extensively about the mindset of today’s marketers to overemphasize the consumer’s preference for digital media over traditional postal. Digital is soaring and grabbing more and more of the advertising budget.

However that’s not the consumer’s preference. A recent study was conducted and not surprising, to me, is the consumer’s preference for postal mail vs. digital, social and mobile channels. This study clearly shows that consumer desire for postal mail continues to be strong.

The new report, Channel Preferences for Both The Mobile and Non-Mobile Consumer, found that, despite a more digitally-focused world, a majority of consumers still prefer postal mail for a large portion of their multichannel communication. This was especially evident with regard to financial services communication, where 38 percent of the U.S. households surveyed preferred receiving postal mail compared to 17 percent desiring information over the internet and 7 percent via email. Only health related communication had a higher preference for postal mail, indicating the advantage of direct mail for communicating sensitive information. Continue reading “Direct Mail Still Preferred”


Demographics of New Movers

Because new mover mailing lists are so crucial to the direct mail industry, it’s important to understand more about these individuals.

GENDER – Women tend to stay put longer than men. For women the median time between moves is 5.6 years, for men it is 4.9 years.

AGE – The majority of new movers are between 21 and 39 years of age, plus a large group of children under age 20. Interestingly, people of all ages tend to move more during the summer, indicating that it isn’t tied solely to the school year. Older people do tend to move during September and October, after school has begun. The chart below details the age breakdowns of new movers. Continue reading “Demographics of New Movers”


Data is Money…Treat it Accordingly

Data is a marketer’s most important asset. It can tell you what new products and services are needed, which new markets to enter — or help you create new markets for your business.

In a recent post on The Economist Group’s Lean Back website, SAS CMO Jim Davis talks about what happens when organizations treat data like an asset. “When they invested wisely into managing and analyzing that asset, they found ways to add revenue to the business with data.” says Davis.

Consider these examples: Continue reading “Data is Money…Treat it Accordingly”


Creative with Strategy

Creative without strategy is called art. Creative with strategy is called marketing.

With over half a century of direct response experience, I’m frequently amazed by marketers who seem to lack a strategic plan. A good example of this is when direct marketers buy online-generated leads.

These marketers are the first to tell you how lousy the leads are, and that they convert at a very low percentage. Yet when their buying decision is questioned … they answer: “they’re cheap”. They believe this even though they might convert at 5%-10% of a direct mail or print response. Continue reading “Creative with Strategy”


Increase Your Sales with Deluxe Versions

Deluxe versions are not applicable to every product. But we have found they (a) increase the total number of orders (b) increase the average order.

The easiest way to offer a deluxe version is to change the packaging. If you’re selling a book for $19.95, a deluxe version might be a hard cover version for $24.95. Or a hard cover book in a sleeve. Or add a ribbon bookmark that’s attached to the binding.

The airlines have 2 or 3 sections of seats. First and Economy, or First, Business and Economy. They recently added a deluxe section in economy which offers more leg room. They have raised the average order significantly by offering a deluxe version of the simple coach seat. Continue reading “Increase Your Sales with Deluxe Versions”


Comparing Pre-Move Mailing Lists and Pending Mailing Lists

Depending on the season, between 350,000 and 550,000 homes are listed for sale. We call those pre-movers.

At some point a buyer makes an offer to the seller and they reach an agreement. A contract is signed and the buyer makes a good faith deposit. PENDING is what we call the period of time between when the contract is signed and the purchase is finalized. In 33 states “escrow” is opened – in the remaining states this period is called “contingency”.

The period of time is usually 30-45 days. During this period the buyer will have the home examined and if there are problems the seller has to fix them or make some arrangement with the buyer. The seller is also arranging his move, and often finalizing the purchase of his next home.

A Critical Period for Marketers
Continue reading “Comparing Pre-Move Mailing Lists and Pending Mailing Lists”


Baby Boomers Shift Demographics

We read a lot about the long term unemployed that give up trying to find a job. But we’re now seeing that declining workforce participation may be due to the greying of America.

And this trend should last until at least 2020.

A report by Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, looked at the bulge of baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. The study concluded that the shrinking of the US workforce began about 2000. This puts the start of the trend before the brief recession at the beginning of the 21st century and the crash beginning in 2007. Continue reading “Baby Boomers Shift Demographics”


7 Timeless Truths

1. BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER. People with similar demographics flock together. Many “neighbor” mailings, based on this principal, have been very successful.

2. SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE. It’s a continuous and consistent marketing message that wins. The unique and cool don’t make lasting impressions. Working the back-end has always been the key to success in direct marketing. Over and over again.

3. MIND YOUR Ps and Qs. Think about your Promotion, the Product, the Place in the overall market and the Price as part of your offer. And keep asking Questions of your customers and prospects to learn what they like and dislike about your product and price and performance. Continue reading “7 Timeless Truths”