Baseball and Direct Mail….

Last week I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who owns a direct mailhouse. It wasn’t long before we were talking about the “future of direct mail business” –  in fact based on his outlook I questioned why he did not sell now and get out.

I sat for almost a half hour listening to why post office rate increases are going to kill the industry followed closely by the demise of direct mail due to digital communications. (BLAH, BLAH, BLAH)

His jaw nearly dropped to the floor when I insinuated maybe it was his fault! What other industry can you boast of a 3-5% success rate (or a 95-97% failure rate if you are glass ½ empty person) and feel good about.  Even baseball players who strike out 70-80% of the time offer better percentages.

So what is going to happen to the direct mail industry?  Postal rates will impact direct mail but direct mailers have the opportunity to mail less and make more.

What are your thoughts?

Next blog: Mail less, make more and bat 300

2 replies
  1. Cam Swegman
    Cam Swegman says:

    Hi, Skip,
    I am curious to know how you think a company that makes it’s money by preparing mailings can make more money if it is mailing less? We can’t raise our prices in these economic times we are trying to present a great value at a great price. We don’t make money from the postage hike, that all goes directly to the USPS. We sell our services based on the fact that presorted postage discounts offset the cost of our services. I’m really not trying to be a smart aleck, I just want to know what have I missed here?

  2. Skip Henk
    Skip Henk says:


    Not a problem. Conversation and controversy makes for healthy discussion. I am in the process of writing the answer for my next blog. Fundamentally I believe that direct mailers need to change the model and there are several ways I believe it can be done.

    Without spilling to much, think of being paid on performance, or maybe revenue sharing. Another avenue is ancillary services, that may cut down volume, save your customer money, provide revenue to you with higher margins.

    Next post will be next week. Thank you so much for commenting.

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