August 09, 2011

Paradysz Research released its 2011 Seasonality Study of direct mail trends. According to the study, key direct mail months and overall seasonal patterns remain relatively stable for most consumer sectors despite continued economic challenges for marketers and consumers.

“Given the general uncertainty regarding the economy, unemployment and consumer confidence, it follows that seasonal strategies for many marketers focused on historically strong months. Our Seasonality reports show, however, that opportunities for either expansion or alternate seasonal testing still exist in nearly all consumer categories.”

Per Glenn Lalich, vice president of Research & Analysis at Paradysz, “Given the general uncertainty regarding the economy, unemployment and consumer confidence, it follows that seasonal strategies for many marketers focused on historically strong months. Our Seasonality reports show, however, that opportunities for either expansion or alternate seasonal testing still exist in nearly all consumer categories.”

The study leverages a proprietary set of Mail Volume Indices and Performance Scores over a three year period for areas of consumer publishing, nonprofits, apparel and merchandise. In addition, economic indicators such as the unemployment rate, combined with key economic and political events give broader perspective on each category’s direct mail efforts, and notes potential opportunities.

Nonprofit

Nonprofit acquisition mailings overall continued to be concentrated in January and the fall. The best performing months were September and November. November response was a standout in 2010, while September showed the most consistency over a three year period.

Additional findings for specific nonprofit categories like Disease/Health and Humanitarian organizations are also included in the Nonprofit study.

Publishing

In 2010, Publishers continued to concentrate mail in the months of January, September and December, followed closely by March and June. Looking at response, performance indices were relatively stable throughout the year, suggesting that seasonal strategies for most publishers were on target.

Additional findings for specific publishing categories like home interest and news/business are also included in the complete Publishing seasonality study.

Apparel & Merchandise

The Apparel category continues to mail most heavily in advance of the Spring fashion season and, correspondingly, saw its best performance in the spring and early summer.

Merchandisers, however, typically save the bulk of their mailings for the year-end holidays. November continues to be one of the strongest months for Merchandise mailers, and the trend continues of marketers mailing as late as possible in the year (specifically late November and early December).

For more information at http://www.paradysz.com

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