Abacus: No Shrinkage in Direct Mail

Aug 25, 2008 11:02 PM  By

Direct mail circulation has barely shrunk since the May 2007 postage increase, according to the 2008 Abacus Trend Report.

Mailers reduced their prospecting volumes by an average of 1%,
compared with the prior year. But the report also documents a shift in circulation from prospecting to deeper house-file penetration, according to Abacus, a division of Epsilon.

Revenue from consumer offers grew 5% over the previous year despite the economic slowdown, Abacus reports.

The study, which is based on aggregated merchandise purchase data from the Abacus Cooperative database, shows that marketers need to focus on strategies that streamline the marketing process and reduce the variable costs associated with marketing investments.

Online purchasing continues to grow, according to the report, and the Internet remains the purchase channel of choice over the call center/mail channel. In addition, online sales now make up 56% of all direct consumer revenue. That number has grown by over 40% over the last four years, and by 11% in the last year alone.

The study also shows that multichannel buyers contribute 69% of all retail revenue and spend nearly twice the amount per household as single-channel purchasers. The total value of consumer multichannel buyers grew year-over-year with a 15% higher transaction rate and a 10% higher dollar per household.

Variables like original source, month of acquisition and initial spend can help mailers predict future customer value for segmentation and contact strategy decisions, according to the report.

Related articles:
Abacus: Traditional Mail Order Still Rules
Abacus Indicator: Shift to Online Sales Increases
Abacus Indicator: Ready, Set, Spike