InformAction Newsletter
Actionable insights from Brandology®
Experts in marketing strategy, strategic planning, trend tracking,
positioning, and new products
89% of Consumers Don’t Want What You’re Selling
Nine out of ten consumers would sign up for a “Do Not Mail” registry to opt-out of junk mail, if it were available. On average, less than 1% of Americans respond to a “snail mail” solicitation. Plus direct mail generates 50 millon metric tons of greenhouse gases each year, equal to the annual emissions of 10 million cars or five “average sized” states (Texas not included.) You don’t even want to know how many trees it kills.

Despite these statistics, direct mail as a percentage of marketing spending is increasing. Marketers sent over 100 billion (yup, with a “b”) pieces of junk mail last year. That represents almost two-thirds of all the mail handled by the postal service. The average household received 850 pieces, and almost 50% went into the trash without being opened.

Consumers upset by the environmental wastefulness and general irritation of junk mail are signing up in droves for services like Mail Stopper that promise to eliminate 90% of direct mail in 90 days.

Cutting edge companies have taken notice. They realize that the most attractive consumers---high income, highly educated, 30 and 40-somethings with disposable income---are the most likely to be wired and the most likely to be concerned about sustainability. These marketers are moving forward as quickly as possible to create effective e-mail, mobile, and social media campaigns to replace their paper-based advertising.

We should think about...
  • What is our plan for reducing our direct mail and other paper-intensive marketing efforts?
  • What other paper-based business correspondence that we currently mail could be sent electronically?
Sources: Center for Media Research 2009; 2009; Marketing Sherpa 2009
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