Back-to-School Season Sparks Mixed Feelings Among Americans

VerticalResponse Survey Reveals Excitement and Sadness as School Year Begins and Summer Comes to an End

San Francisco, CA – September 6, 2006 –With the Back-to-School season in full swing, Americans are divided over how they feel – between excitement for the new school year ahead and end-of-summer blues.  According to a VerticalResponse survey of customer companies across the country, respondents who were impacted by the season are evenly split.  The leading provider of self-service email marketing and direct mail solutions, VerticalResponse found that 31% of respondents are excited for the upcoming school year, while 30% expressed sadness as summer ends. The survey also found that 22% are happy that autumn is here and the Back-to-School season provokes 17% to reminisce about their carefree days as students during this time.

Regardless of personal feelings, the survey revealed that this time of year is an important one for companies and advertisers, as 64% of respondents stated they integrate the theme into marketing campaigns. Other notable findings include:

  • Adults, not children or students, are the main target of ads incorporating Back-to-School themes.
    • Parents represented the most sought after audience, targeted 30% of the time, while working professionals are the second most desired audience at 28%.
    • College students are the targets for 17% of Back-to-School campaigns, versus 11% trying to reach K-12 students.
  • Of those using the Back-to-School theme in marketing initiatives, 40% of companies place a very high importance on the season and create unique, localized campaigns around it.
  • These companies are also turning more to online marketing to reach their audiences. While 31% are incorporating the theme into overall marketing campaigns, 68% are only using it in online and email marketing initiatives -- with a full 46% employing email marketing as the single method of sending their Back-to-School message.

“Back-to-School season evokes many different emotions, and is a common time for companies to reach out to customers in a variety of ways,” said VerticalResponse CEO Janine Popick. “Email marketing is rapidly becoming the popular tool for delivering targeted and effective marketing messages to consumers and the survey confirms this. Almost half of companies using Back-to-School campaigns are delivering them solely through email, demonstrating the importance they place on their email marketing initiatives.”

The unscientific survey was conducted via email in August 2006 and queried VerticalResponse customer newsletter subscribers across the country on topics relating to Back-to-School and direct marketing.

About VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse, Inc. (http://www.verticalresponse.com) is a leading provider of self-service email and direct mail services empowering businesses of all sizes to create, manage and assess their own direct marketing campaigns. VerticalResponse’s flagship product, which allows customers to deliver sophisticated yet easily deployed email campaigns, is the most intuitive and affordable Web-based direct marketing solution available. VerticalResponse is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For additional information, please visit www.verticalresponse.com.

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