2008 DMNews/Pitney Bowes Direct Mail Survey

Type of Promotional Material/Activity Tested:
Consumer attitudes and behaviors towards mailed promotional material.

Sample Population:
More than 1,000 US consumers, age 18 and up, from 10 major metropolitan areas — Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Hous­ton, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix and Seattle. Respondents were equally divided between male and female, and were screened to at least “some­times” be personally involved in reviewing their mail.

Online survey conducted in September 2008.

Top-Line Results:

  • More than 8 out of 10 survey respondents (85%) say they review their USPS mail daily.
  • Half of all respondents report greater enjoyment reviewing the mail received in their home mailbox versus e-mail.  This includes consumers age 18 to 39, with 52% reporting greater satisfaction in reviewing mail received through the USPS compared to e-mail.
  • Two-thirds of the consumers surveyed said they are examining their mail more closely for coupons and offers than they did a year ago.
  • Half of all respondents say they have requested promotional mate­rials from companies over the past six months. Direct mail is the preferred way to receive offers.
  • The importance of price in the purchase decision is on the rise. Compared to spring 2008, price-sensitivity is up among nearly 70% of consumers surveyed.
  • Nearly 94% of consumers surveyed say they took action on promotional offers and coupons received via direct mail over the past year. Coupons offering discounts on groceries are the most likely to be used, followed by coupons for health and wellness products, entertainment, and electronics.
  • The level of promotional discount is far-and-away the most important consideration for redeeming a coupon (49%), distantly followed by currently considering purchase of promoted product (18%).
  • One in five consumers surveyed reports that more than 10% of the offers or coupons they receive by mail lead to a purchase.
  • Close to 40% of respondents say they have tried a new business for the first time because of information received via direct mail.  Nearly 70% report renewing a relationship with a business because they received a direct mailing or promotional item.
  • Respondents state that information received via direct mail often lead to contributing to a non-profit organization for the first time:

Take Away:
The 2008 DMNews/Pitney Bowes survey shows that targeted direct mail remains a key channel in reaching consumers and influencing their purchase decisions. “Direct mail induces consumers to touch the offer — recipients of mail are receiving, sorting, read­ing, and using direct mail to make purchasing decisions.”

Reprinted with permission from Print in the Mix – A Clearinghouse of Research on Print Media Effectiveness www.printinthemix.rit.edu

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