Thursday, May 23, 2013

When Holiday, Campaign Mailings Vie for Attention

Heading into autumn election periods, many marketers worry about how to time their messages so that they don't fight for attention in mailboxes stuffed with holiday offers and election mail. Catalog consultant Stephen Lett addressed this point during the 2012 election year. He argues that it is not necessarily a disadvantage to be in-home during an election week. Since many other mailers are avoiding that week, there actually should be less competition in the mailbox! Today, many consumers who are glued to the television during an election are also watching results online or on their mobile devices, meaning they can shop or donate while they keep tabs on what is happening. Lett cited data from the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections to make his point about timing. In 2004, approximately 22% of the sales for the period came in during election week, with about 84% of the circulation for the period in-home prior to the election. In comparison, the 2008 mailing was in-home the actual week of the election, and 20% of sales came in during election week. With only a 2% difference in election week sales despite the differing mail dates, he concluded that moving the in-home to election week had little impact on the response pattern. See the Chief Marketer story at

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