Why Your Direct Mail is Really Being Thrown Away

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November 29, 2012

If your last several direct mail campaigns didn’t pull the results you wanted, perhaps it wasn’t because your competition one-upped you. Perhaps it was because your execution stunk (or deserved a thumbs down).

Direct mail works every time when executed correctly, as you will learn in our Behold the Power of Postcard article.

Pat McGraw, experienced marketer and adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University, agrees. “Yes, direct marketing works. It works in any industry when properly executed. Direct marketing is an interactive system of marketing which uses one or more advertising media to affect a measurable response and/or transaction at any location.”

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Learn how to execute a winning strategy with Direct Mail

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According to the recently released 2012 Marketing-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.

  • One in 5 throw away direct mailings pieces without opening them.  Direct mail gets tossed unopened most often because:
    • 55% are not interested in the product
    • Not interested in the company (49%)
    • Object to being marketed to (44%).
  • 32% do not open mail that is not addressed to them (up from 23% just one year ago). Design and color was only noted by 2% and 4%, respectively, as a reason for not opening a marketing piece.
  • When asked why consumers toss their direct mailings without reading it, marketers overestimate by more than 300% the importance of lack of time (40% v. 11% as reported by consumers surveyed), by 600% the design; (17% v. 2%) and by 300% the envelope’s color (13% v. 4%).  Marketers’ estimations of two of the three most important reasons for disposal – “no interest in product” and “object to being sent marketing” – are more accurate, within 6% and 3% respectively.
  • The top direct mail pieces that are opened almost immediately: grocery stores (40%), travel/holiday (24%), credit card offers (23%).

The report states: “Marketers remain deaf to consumer demands and preferences by overestimating, frequently by hundreds of percent, people’s desire to be contacted via mobile, social media and Twitter. In fact, a sure way to alienate customers and prospects is to only provide information and offers through these routes. Only a minority of consumers can imagine a purely virtual retail world where real shops no longer exist and most think such a world would be a worse place.”

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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