Anticipating the Impact on Direct Sales During the Presidential Election

Every presidential primary election year, we evaluate sales from the period surrounding prior elections and report back to you with our findings and recommendations.  This upcoming election, coupled with the influence of Coronavirus, brings uncertainty like none other in the past.

Prior studies have shown that mailing into an election week or just prior, does not have a negative influence on sales.  We have found that while there is a significant increase in political mail pieces filling our mailboxes during this period, there are typically less catalogs and therefore, less competition.  This makes your catalog stand out even more.

Also, many consumers are drawn to watching debates and glued to the TV for updates on polling etc.  This allows plenty of opportunity to flip through a catalog and order online via laptop or smartphone.

According to in 2020, the share of US population with a smart phone is 72.2%. This is up from 63.9% in 2016.   Therefore, the good news is that now more than ever, consumers are easily able to shop via mobile.  If you haven’t already, consider investing in creating a mobile friendly site.

We feel it is important to stay the course with your in-home dates.  However, if you do consider changing an in-home date by mailing earlier or later, consider the impact it could have on your other mailings.  It is not a good idea to push out a mailing for example, if it then becomes necessary to push out your holiday mailing as well, causing one less week of holiday shopping.  This could have a significantly negative impact on sales.

If you are not yet mailing a catalog, this is a great time to add catalog to your multi-channel marketing mix.  Consumers are shifting their purchases to online from retail.  The current crisis has accelerated this trend.

Next month, look for our article on “Is this a good time to add catalog to your multi-channel marketing mix?”

Sandy Wolstencroft started with Lett Direct, Inc., 18 years ago in October 2002.  She has had a solid career in catalog marketing over the years specializing in circulation and analysis. Sandy is Vice President of the Catalog Team. She is highly respected for her knowledge within the industry.  Sandy and her family reside in Croton on Hudson, NY.