Paradysz Matera Study Tracks Mail Seasonality

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List broker and direct marketing consultant Paradysz Matera & Co., New York, has identified mailing opportunities across 11 product and market categories in a first-ever seasonality study released late last month.

The study tracked monthly mail volumes and performance scores from 1995 to 1997 to uncover optimal times of the year for its client to mail. Performance scores were determined using response rates and other measurements from each product category, such as dollars per thousand. The study was commissioned as a value-added service to clients who demanded more information on mailing patterns.

"The industry needs perspective,'' said Jenny Lin, vice president of marketing information and research at Paradysz Matera. "I've always wanted to know what is happening in the broader market. It's something all direct marketers need to understand."

Fundraising was found to be the most consistent category in terms of patterns over the last three years. November has generated the highest mail volume with January second and October third. The study identified May and then April, with high performance scores and low mail volumes, as the best seasonal opportunities.

Merchandising, which includes catalogs, had the flattest performance across 12 months, with January and the fall months showing the highest volume. February and November offered the best opportunities.

Publishing, meanwhile, saw its highest mail volumes by far in December with June a distant second. In this category, February and March were isolated as high performance months when volumes could be pushed.

Lin warned that the study, which will be conducted annually, is not meant to replace a mailer's own seasonable patterns and testing.

"This is simply a directional tool to find out what are the strong months, then compare with your own results to ferret out opportunities," she said.

The complete results of the study have been mailed to all Paradysz Matera clients. For more information on the study, contact Lin at 212/387-0300 or

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