USPS research shows direct mail drives online sales

The U.S. Postal Service today unveiled the key findings of an independent study showing a positive relationship between Direct Mail and Internet sales. "The Multi-Channel Catalog Study" demonstrates that catalogs drive Internet sales and benefit retailers by enhancing business growth. Among other findings, the study revealed that 15 percent of consumers who receive a catalog and visit the cataloger's web site make an online purchase. The study was conducted for the Postal Service by comScore Networks, Inc.

"This new research is significant because it comes at a time when Internet shopping continues to grow in popularity," said Anita Bizzotto, chief marketing officer and senior vice president, U.S. Postal Service. "The findings dispel the myth that catalogs do not play a critical role in a retailer's promotional plan. Clearly, the study results reinforce the continued importance of print Direct Mail and reveal a significant marketing opportunity for online sales growth for any retailer."

In addition to the key finding that catalogs drive online sales, the research calculated the effect of direct mail on Internet sales with the following learnings:

Catalogs Move Consumers Into The Sales Funnel – Catalogs were found to be effective in driving more prospects into and through the sales funnel by increasing awareness, consideration and actual purchase. Within the Postal Service study, catalog recipients made 16 percent more visits, viewed 22 percent more pages and spent 15 percent more time at the retailer's Web site.

Catalogs Impact Online Purchasing Across All Customer Segments – The study revealed that catalogs were effective in driving sales among new and existing customers. Within the study, consumers who received a catalog of a company from which they had not previously purchased were twice as likely to make a purchase compared to those who did not receive that company's catalog. Further, existing customers in this study were 33 percent more likely to buy from a retailer's site after receiving a catalog.

Catalogs Received In The Last 30 Days Pack More Punch – The buyer conversion rate within the study was significantly higher for recent catalog recipients. These recipients bought more frequently than those who received a catalog more than 30 days ago.

"The significance of this study and its results benefit retailers and marketers directly—across a wide array of product categories—who now have proof of the measurable sales increase they can realize by maintaining or adding catalogs within their marketing mix," said Linda Abraham, executive vice president of comScore Networks. "The bottom line is that a retailer using a catalog to generate online sales can double its chances of making that sale by mailing the catalog."

The Multi-Channel Catalog Study is based on comScore Network's ability to combine attitudinal insight with comprehensive behavioral data including Web site visits and actual online purchase transactions across retailers. In the study for the Postal Service, comScore observed the online behavior of more than 1 million U.S. consumers and surveyed visitors to 40 leading retail web sites in the apparel, department store, home and garden, consumer electronics, and computer hardware and software categories.

The topline report on "The Multi-Channel Catalog Study" is available at


About the U.S. Postal Service
Since 1775, the U.S. Postal Service has connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by mail. It is an independent federal agency that makes deliveries to about 140 million addresses every day and is the only service provider to deliver to every address in the nation. The Postal Service receives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual revenues of more than $67 billion, it is the world's leading provider of mail and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. The U.S. Postal Service delivers more than 43 percent of the world's mail volume – some 203 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packages a year – and serves seven million customers each day at its 38,000 retail locations nationwide.

About comScore Networks
comScore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than two million consumers who have given comScore explicit permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its patent-pending technology comScore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. comScore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. comScore services are used by global leaders such as Microsoft, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Knight Ridder Digital, Nestlé, Wells Fargo & Company, GlaxoSmithKline, and Orbitz. For more information, please visit

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