Holiday Envelope Orders, List Rentals Down, DMA's Cerasale Says

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WHITE PLAINS -- The Direct Marketing Association has collected evidence that envelope orders are way down for the coming holiday season and list rentals are smaller than last year's orders, a DMA official told attendees at yesterday's 2002 Direct Media Mailers' Conference and Co-op.


List brokers have told the DMA that the number of orders is consistent with last year's numbers but that the size of the orders is smaller on average, said Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs. Because prospects don't look good for an increase in volume anytime soon, mailers can expect the U.S. Postal Service to increase rates an average of 10 percent in January 2004.


"I hate to be the bearer of bad news," he said, adding that overall mail volume is down 6 billion pieces vs. last year.


Cerasale also addressed two other government issues affecting direct marketers: e-mail and telemarketing. He cautioned marketers about using e-mail append. Though the DMA has issued guidelines for what it considers to be acceptable appending, mailers should seriously consider customer reaction even on a permissioned-append process --even though there is no law regarding e-mail appending yet, he said.


With telemarketing, Cerasale told attendees that 27 states currently have do-not-call lists in place and he expects a national DNC list to be implemented in some form.


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