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February 22, 2011

Direct mail “not just junk”, say marketing experts

Direct mail must be targeted to offer a good return – that’s the message from marketing experts, following research from Royal Mail which found that including direct mail in a marketing campaign can boost its return on investment (RoI) by 20 per cent.

The Royal Mail survey of 260 firms compared the RoI for marketing strategies that included direct mail and those that did not. On average, adding direct mail increased the RoI from £2.81 to £3.40.

Steve Dyer, a member of the Direct Marketing Association committee, said that there is a misconception that direct mail marketing means junk mail. “People talk about junk direct mail, but the even lower cost of entry for email marketing has resulted in just as much junk.”

Dyer added that a direct mail marketing campaign needs to be targeted in order to be successful. “Personalised, targeted direct mail gives you a better chance of closing a sale, as you are making a statement and differentiating yourself from all the firms that just advertise online,” he said. “The success of a direct mail campaign is dependent on small firms being very data-focused and highly selective about who they send their mail to. I wouldn’t recommend high-volume, low-cost blanket mailouts.”

Business owner, David Walker, founder of +24 Marketing, said that his firm predominantly uses direct mail marketing.

“Online you tend to get lots of enquiries, but not necessarily a great conversion rate, while with a well-targeted direct mail campaign you can get around a 6 per cent conversion rate. You can also be more creative with direct mail – an underwear shop I know sent out a rose to each of their customers for Valentines Day.”