Do Not Call List Is Possible Gain For Direct Mail Industry

As an inkjet operator here at First American Printing Company, Ann Howard is "national". Each day, millions of pieces of commercial mail pass by her on the way to cities throughout the country.

She's been keeping up with the news of the national do not call registry, and believes it will prove to be positive for the direct mail industry.

"There are a lot of people that don't want to be called on the phone. People will accept mail a lot faster than they will telephone calls," said Howard.

Others agree. As millions of consumers refuse sales pitches that interrupt their days and nights with ringing telephones, businesses are being forced to redirect their telemarketing efforts.

As a result, direct mail is expected to command a big chunk of the change telemarketing will lose.

"Our business has grown considerably in the last few months. Some may be related to that. Some I'm sure is unrelated to that. But the other thing that's happening is some of the people that do Internet marketing are now seeing those results level off or even decrease. So I think there will be people that have used other marketing methods returning to direct mail over the next few months," said sales manager John McCollins.

The direct mail industry, including these folks at First American, remain optimistic that October first could be the key date to future growth.

How much growth? No one is sure.

But hopefully, for those of you who have signed up, October first will be a day to begin enjoying peaceful sales-pitch free evenings at home.

But don't forget to keep your eyes on the mail.

Even though the bill passed both chambers, and is expected to be signed into law by President Bush, that does not automatically nullify the recent court order that implies the 'do not call' registry threatens freedom of speech.