Advertising Mail Use and Attitudes in FY 2010

The US Postal Service has conducted a survey each year since 1987 on people’s attitudes towards the mail they receive.

In Fiscal Year 2010, 83.5 billion pieces of advertising mail were delivered and received in the US. That figures out to an average of 9.6 pieces per household, per week. That is about the same as in 2009, but down from 11.4 pieces in 2008.

The study showed that eight out of ten households (81%) say they either scan or read the advertising mail sent to their homes. In households that receive slightly less than the average amount of pieces, they tend to read more of the advertisements. Households that receive more than the average number of pieces tend to read less. People indicated that they were more likely to respond to catalogs than letters they received. Half of all households (51%) read catalogs, while 18% discard them without reading them. On the other hand, 50% of households read credit card advertising while 25% discard them without reading.

The study further showed that the higher the household income, the more likely they were to respond to advertising mail. For example, households with incomes above $150,000 report they intend to respond to 2.3 pieces of advertising mail per week, and they may respond to another 4.3 pieces per week. Interestingly, households with broadband Internet access average 15.1 pieces of direct mail a week; dial-up households average 12.6 pieces a week, and homes without Internet access average 9.4 pieces of direct mail per week.

What we can take away from this study, contrary to the image that direct mail is “junk mail” and is tossed without consideration — a majority of respondents report paying attention to the advertising they receive, either reading it or scanning it. In addition, 35% say they will or might respond to the offerings delivered via standard class mailings, such as catalogs, and 20% state they will/might respond to first-class mail solicitations, such as credit card offers.

Direct mail has traditionally been and is still an effective way to reach your audience. With the tools we have available to our clients at Printing Partners, we can offer you new opportunities like email follow-up mailings or PURL codes for responses and even 2-D barcodes like the QR Code. As advertisers and marketers we have a host of new opportunities and ways to communicate. Take advantage of the multi-channel campaign options, give us a call at 317-635-2282 and speak with one of our sales members to learn more about how we can help you get more for your advertising dollar.

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2 Responses to Advertising Mail Use and Attitudes in FY 2010

  1. Kimi Multala says:

    That was a good survey and it seem that this survey is really helpful in advertising.In Helsinki Finland many of business focusing more on printing advertising stuff which they believe that will surely effective because it made to an eye catching one.

  2. Kimi,
    It appears that the advertisers in Finland understand their audiences very well. And I agree, printing done well can be very eye catching and effective. Much like the work your company does, I looked over your website (, very nice. Here in the US, we get caught up in the latest trends. Sometimes we need to evaluate those trends before we use them. Print is a very effective medium for advertising. And with the legislation being passed to limit email SPAM and telemarketing, the restrictions are much less.

    Thanks for the feedback Kimi.

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