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Direct mail makes a comeback

01 Sep 2011 2:56 BST Back
Direct mail makes a comeback
DMA News

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Nearly three-quarters (71%) of consumers are happy to receive mail from organisations they already buy from, according to an independent survey commissioned by Acxiom.  

The results are a major boost for direct mail and the direct marketing industry as a whole, with some 57% of respondents also saying that postal contact was appropriate for prospective customers.

The question was part of a study conducted among both marketers and consumers on behalf of multichannel marketing services and technology company Acxiom

The research examined consumers’ preferences for communication with client organizations. An explosion of new technology has changed people’s relationships with brands, and marketers are keen to understand how best to build conversations with individuals they are trying to target.

Murray Dudgeon, European client services director at Acxiom, commented: “The unique targeting opportunities that mail provides are clearly backed up by the number of people who think it is an appropriate form of contact.

“Clearly, if good data is used correctly to target the right people with postal campaigns, they are happy to receive marketing through their letterbox – whether or not they have an existing relationship with the sender.”

Email is similarly popular among customers, with 78% of people willingly accepting this form of contact; the figure dropped to 52% for prospects, but this was still the second most appropriate way of targeting people. 

Newer forms of marketing are yet to be as wholeheartedly accepted by either customers or prospects. Only 9% of customers felt SMS marketing was appropriate. 

Social media was similarly unpopular. Just 4% of customers approve of contact through Twitter and other social media

Chris Combemale, executive director of the Direct Marketing Association UK, comments: “As Acxiom’s survey highlights, consumers are very clear about how they want to be contacted, with mail and email continuing to be their preferred channels. 

“And above all they respond best when the communication is timely, relevant and targeted.  This should be at the forefront of every marketer’s mind in these tough trading times, as they fight to retain customers and win new ones.”

Posted by

Nicola Carpenter

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