The U.S. Postal Service reported fourth-quarter 2020 revenue and service volume Tuesday, reflecting the end of a year of turbulence -- both pandemic and political -- including its impact on marketing. While the report did not offer explanations for the shifts, the bottom line was a pronounced decline in media-related revenues -- both marketing mail and periodicals -- although commerce-related shipping services soared. The decline in marketing mail -- 5.6% in revenue and -3.9% in volume -- is significant, given that the fourth quarter of 2020 included what would normally be an exception period of political direct-mail marketing, in what otherwise was a banner year for political media and marketing spending.
If you’re unsure about the answer to this question, I strongly advise you to pause for a moment and check. In light of the persistent rise in inflationary expenses, many brands are cutting back on their acquisition efforts without closely monitoring the potential shrinkage of their customer file.
To illustrate this point, consider the case of one brand’s decision in 2022, which reduced its acquisition circulation by 34%, resulting in a 24% reduction in the 0-12M customer file. This reduction in the customer file meant they had fewer individuals to target with print materials throughout the year. Consequently, this contraction led to an estimated loss of $1,500,000 in top-line demand for 2023.
There are many ways to dial in your acquisition efforts without aggravating your budget, but below are my top 5 strategies to consider as you plan 2024:
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