Study Confirms Direct Mail and Email Remain Preferred Channels

Social and mobile media are fast, popular and fairly inexpensive marketing channels, but your customers say they’re not keen on receiving marketing messages via these channels, according to the latest Marketing-GAP report by UK’s fast-MAP.

Results from study reveal why receiving “properly executed” direct mail still brings smiles to recipients and results to your company.

According to the 2012 GAP report, fewer than 2% of people are “happy” to get marketing messages via text messaging and social media. In fact, marketers continue to “massively overestimate” the popularity of these channels.

Before you plan another Twitter, Facebook, SMS or mobile media campaign, check out these additional findings from the eighth annual survey.

  • Eight out of 10 participants open direct mail. The percentage of consumers surveyed who open direct mail is 80%, a little above 2010 levels. A third (34%) state they open all direct mail, 45% only open messages from companies they use and 20% say they don’t open direct mailing.
  • Marketers underestimate the number of people who open mail. This year, marketers thought 24% of households would open all mail — 10% less than what consumers reported.
  • The top reasons consumers open their direct mail: it is from a known company/brand (55%), it is personalized (51%) and an interest in the product or service being promoted (44%). Marketers correctly identified the top five mail-opening criteria, but significantly underestimate the importance of a personal address while over-estimating the importance of criteria such as the package, its design, the look of the envelope and color.
  • SMS messaging and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, doubled in popularity over the past year–from 1% to 2%–as a means to receive marketing messages. Regardless, these numbers remain proportionally low compared to traditional means. While approximately 3 in 10 people “are happy to receive” marketing information by mail and email, overall fewer than 1 in 50 welcome contacts via the newer digital media, such as text messaging and social media.

Join us later this week when we reveal the other half of the study, which provides you with possible reasons your direct mail campaigns may or may not be pulling the numbers you desire.

About: Conducted in August 2012. fast.Map partnered with The Institute of Promotional Marketing and The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM). The research was sponsored by the Royal Mail. The consumer panel comprised 1,140 adults recruited from the 30,000 fast.MAP wholly-owned, closed panel whose profile echoes that of the UK’s population profile in age and gender.  Only people who are both mail and internet responsive were selected for the panel. The marketers panel comprised 353 marketers, drawn from the fast.MAP marketing professionals’ panel and the IPM and IDM’s membership.

Source: fast.map, 2012 fast.Map Marketing GAP report, accessed October 10, 2012.

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