Direct Mail Market — Market Share from Another Medium?

By Erik Cagle

Senior Editor

Issues abound for the direct marketing printer, and some of the high impact ones involve the federal government. Given this, there is but one absolute: don’t expect hard and fast resolutions anytime soon.

One topic centers on postal reform for the United States Postal Service (USPS); another deals with the possible redirection of marketing efforts from customers who may no longer believe that telemarketing is a viable answer in light of the federal Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry.

Top 10 Direct Mail Printers*
  Company Segment
1 Quebecor World
$624 $6,242
2 Vertis Inc.
$335 $1,675
3 Banta Corp.
Menasha, WI
$191 $1,366
4 RR Donnelley
$142 $4,754
5 The Instant Web Cos.
Chanhassen, MN
$93 $98
6 Von Hoffmann
(Lehigh Direct)
St. Louis
$85 $535
7 Clondalkin Group
$80 $800
8 Japs-Olson Co.
St. Louis Park, MN
$76 $95
9 Consolidated Graphics
$71 $710
10 Holden Communications
$52 $69

Sales figures are based on above printers’ self-reported total and market segment breakdowns.

*Moore Wallace does not appear on this list because it could not provide a direct mail segment sales figure.

The Presidential Commission on the USPS handed in a 160-page report outlining reform steps the entity should take to modernize its ways and means of operating—from technology upgrades to partnerships within the private sector. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) planned on introducing legislation aimed at postal reform, and the USPS has already released its own Transformation Plan.

Many large mailers, including RR Donnelley, have been advocates of modernization for the USPS, which hasn’t seen real changes since the last commission in 1968 that produced current standards two years later.

Another specific area of interest for those printers who market via the mail system is the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Do-Not-Call Registry. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 54.3 million telephone numbers have been registered by American consumers. As of November 5, nearly 63,000 complaints have been registered against telemarketers by consumers on the list, the DMA reports.

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