Direct Mail Trends Predicted for 2010

Direct mail companies are looking at flat revenue for 2010 with a projected total of $43.7 billion. That’s good news after the 16.8% decline the industry witnessed between 2008 and 2009.  The 2009 decrease was linked to the economy and to the slow but steady shift to online marketing.

However, direct mail companies are planning to pitch new efficiencies to marketers when it comes to lists for 2010. Here’s what USADATA predicts will be the top trends:

Data enhancement – Despite having solid mailing lists, companies will be looking to improve results by adding new data fields such as marital status or age.

Improved targeting options – Mailing list compilers will be expanding data collection to include lifestyle information such as hobbies and past product purchases that allows marketers to reach specific consumers.

Reduced use of saturation campaigns – Instead of trying to blanket an entire geographic region with a  campaign, marketers will use information like home value or household income to connect with a narrow group of consumers.

Expanded geographic areas – To grow business, marketers may be forced to look to outlying areas for new customers and they’ll be using direct mail to reach these potential new customers.

Improved ethnic pinpointing – Previously, campaigns that targeted ethnic consumers relied on surname modeling, but new data models will allow marketers to determine which language is spoken in the household.

DATAUSA analysts point out that marketers should consider using cross-channel direct mail campaigns. A combination of both direct mail and e‑mail marketing may bring increased sales to businesses who take the time to design these more sophisticated types of campaigns.

[Source: Thought Leadership Series, DMA 09, Winterberry Group, October 2009; Top 5 Direct Mailing List Trends for 2010, USADATA, December 2009]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.