Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

 

Power Direct Marketing: The Book


When to Mail

The Direct Marketing Association has charted direct mail response by months (year-end holiday gift offerings excluded), which is generally a reliable guide for any mail project.

You read the chart this way: If your mailer gets 100 replies in January, the same offer to the same list presented with the same direct mail package will get 67 responses in June. And 81 in November.

Month

Comparative

January 100.0%
February 96.3%
March 71.0%
April 71.5%
May 71.5%
June 67.0%
July 73.3%
August 87.0%
September 79.0%
October 89.9%
November 81.0%
December 79.0%

As part of an extensive survey, Catalog Age prepared this chart:

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For all categories combined, business and consumer, and across all product groups, catalogers found September and October as the best months to mail. With January a close runner-up.

The Kleid Company identifies the top response months for direct mail for different categories. Over the last 4 years, these are the results:

Business/Finance—

December wins hands down. After that it is a foot race between six other months—none of which outperform the others. Looks like just about anytime is a fine time.

Cultural Reading—

Again, December is the clear winner. Next is November and June. May, January, and September trail. After December there is no clear pattern.

General Reading—

December outscores all others, with June a solid second place. Since these are both gift-giving times, this is most likely the reason for such a strong showing. Other months are August, May, January.

Self Improvement—

December leads, May is in second place. March is third, but falling fast to August. As in the past for this category, there is lots of fluctuation.

Health—

This is always interesting to me. Health would appear to have no season—yet it does. December is the leader, with June second. The summer months of August and July follow, and then September.

Home Interest—

No month stays in first place long. Over the recent past December, June, and September have all been leaders. With December always being one of the top three. January also does well.

Parents and Children—

Another mixed bag, with December, June, and September all doing well. Probably because of the holidays and school events at these times. Nothing else comes close to these top three.

Hobbies/Related Subjects—

December and June again lead—most likely because of these two gift seasons. September is a solid third place. Nothing else even makes the charts.

Entertainment—

December far and away the winning month. After that it’s a grab bag. January and June were strong in the past—they are now giving way to September and August.

Educational, Technical, and Professional—

December remains one of the top two months consistently. After that this category jumps all over the place. Other good times include summer (August, June, and July), fall (October), and the springtime (March).

Fund Raising—

November is a solid first place, and has been for a while. October and September do well, followed by the winter months of February and January. Year-end giving makes sense for tax time—charity of the heart must take over after the first of the year.

Month ranking, combining all categories over the last 4 years, reads like this:

  • First - December
  • Second - June
  • Third - September
  • Fourth - January

Equally interesting is that April did not make the top 3 list in any category—not even once over the past four years. Avoid April!

The short and long of this is that any time (except April!) may be the time for your mail. The business world doesn’t stop, ever—at most it slows down.

When families with kids go on vacation the rest of the world is probably home.

You must pick what appears on the surface to be your logically best times to mail and then test. You may find that any time is good—some times are just better than others.


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