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Are you going postal? You should be… (Winterberry Group)

The Winterberry Group has just released a white paper reporting the first decline in direct mail spending in recorded history starting in 1945. The white paper, entitled A Channel in Transformation: Vertical Market Trends in Direct Mail 2009, is the New York-based consulting firm’s fifth annual study of trends in direct mail media. It stresses the importance of the trends away from "mass" and towards "targeted" direct mail programs:

"Squarely impacted by the “triple assault” of the recession, rising postage rates and growing marketer preference for low-cost digital communications, total U.S. direct mail spending declined sharply in 2008—falling 3.0 percent—and was accompanied by an even more significant cutback in mail volume"

[…]

"The accelerating shift from “mass” to “targeted” direct mail programs has been enabled by an increasingly powerful array of marketing automation technologies, many of which are making their way into the toolsets of marketers both large and small."

[…]

“The dramatic events of the last few years have come home to roost for direct mail. Postal shocks, environmental pressure, recession, media consumption shifts and enhanced targeting tools have brought about an end to the ‘batch-blast’ era of direct mail,” said Bruce Biegel, Winterberry Group’s senior managing director. “In the face of exceptionally challenging conditions, it is apparent that mailers have shifted their focus to lower-volume, more targeted and higher-value campaigns, with traffic generation to the store, Web and call center being the primary objective. In turn, this shift is generating a realignment of the supplier community and the marketing operations process—opening the door for more and better integrated marketing over the next several years.”

A Channel in Transformation: Vertical Market Trends in Direct Mail is available for complimentary download via the Research page of Winterberry Group’s Web site, located at http://www.winterberrygroup.com/research/.

So what are these automation technologies that will enable you to survive and thrive in this scary new world?

First, consider the fact that your choice of mailing lists is a very significant factor in the outcome of every direct marketing program. Experts attribute more than 40% of the success of direct marketing to your choice of mailing lists:

40-percent-lists

As Winterberry reported, it's even more important than ever to be targeted in your marketing. Direct mail is one of the few channels that enables this level of precision.

Good news!… in the last few years, there's been innovations in technology that can help you find better mailing lists. A great example is NextMark's Mailing Lists Search Tool.

And the best part? It's free.

Access to this information and technology used to be hidden behind passwords and high user fees. Now, thanks to Marketing Freeconomics, you get it for free.

Now is a great time to be in the mail. There's less noise and competition. There's better tools. If you do a good job with your targeting, you will be positioned for growth. Start today by finding some great mailing lists!

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