147709964 250x166 What This Year’s Top 50 Mailers List Teaches Us

When the student is ready the teacher appears. This year’s direct mail teacher is the 2012 Top 50 Mailers List. While Direct TV, Suarez Corp and Habitat for Humanity fell off the list, eight huge companies topped the list that weren’t on it in 2011. The list is determined by sales volumes, as opposed to mailing volumes, as well as data provided by ALC, Who Mails What, Hovers, Charity Navigator, and SRDS.

  1. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  2. Sprint/Nextel
  3. Dish Network
  4. Discover Financial Services
  5. Smithsonian Institute
  6. American Cancer Society
  7. American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  8. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

 

Top Mailer Trends

Regardless of a roller coaster economy, some companies stayed the course.

  • Nonprofits continue to make up 50% of the top 50 mailers, which shows the power of “the letter” to bring in donations (25 nonprofits as compared to 23 in 2011).
  • The presidential and congressional elections and Special Olympics drove up the number of nonprofits on the list.
  • Catalogers were included this year because digital technologies and multichannel marketing are leveling the playing field when compared to other mailers.
  • The unprecedented economy and postal reform impacted marketers’ decisions to mail or not. Now that the U.S. Postal Service has hit its $15 billion borrowing limit, time will tell if they choose to implement more extreme measures other than cutting staff and closing postal offices like the thought of charging more to direct mail companies.
  • National disasters such as Hurricane Irene (and probably Sandy) increased mail volumes.
  • Technology is allowing marketers to truly marry their on- and offline marketing efforts.
  • Of the top 26 on the list, there are no banks or credit cards.

 

Lessons Learned

Susan Rappaport, president and CEO of ALC, a leading data provider, said she saw much more integration of offline and online marketing during the compilation of this year’s list. “And that’s allowing marketers to truly understand that direct mail, despite its expense, is still one of the most powerful mediums in driving online traffic,” said Rappaport.

SOURCE:  Target Marketing Magazine, Sept. 2012.

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