If a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes a few statistics can trigger a million thoughts. To wit:
52%. Percent of total US mail volume that is direct mail.
$45.2 billion. The sum US businesses spent on direct mail in 2010—a 3.1% increase over 2009.
$48 billion. The projected expenditure in the US for direct mail in 2011—a 5.8% increase over 2010.
149 million. The number of addresses to which the USPS delivers mail.
171 billion. The number of pieces of mail delivered by the USPS in 2010.
$5.2 billion. The estimated amount in fundraising driven by non-catalog direct mail in 2010.
13.5 billion. The number of catalogs mailed in 2009.
15% and 12%. The percentage of consumers receiving respectively a catalog or a letter/postcard/flyer who then made a purchase on the company's website.
28%. The additional sum spent by individuals who received a catalog compared to individuals who did not receive a catalog.
43%. The number of B to B campaigns that fall in the 5,000 to 50,000-piece range.
33%. The number of B to B campaigns that fall in the 1,000 to 5,000-piece range.
391,000. The average number of pieces of mail processed at the USPS per minute. That's 23 million per hour and 563 million every day, in case you're curious. And yes, I know this number doesn't tally with the 171 billion number quoted earlier. It's another example of how statisticians and their numbers lie.
41.5 million. The number of address changes in 2010.
40%. Estimated percentage of new movers who changed addresses for economic reasons in recent years.
98%. The percent of consumers who collect their mail every day.
77%. The percent of consumers who sort through their mail immediately upon arrival.
3.1 million. The number of individuals employed in the direct mail industry.
A penny. What I'm willing to pay for your thoughts after reading these statistics.