Direct Mail Resists Rise of Internet Marketing: Survey

17 September 2002

The rise of online marketing is not eroding advertisers’ use of direct mail, according to new data from the Direct Mail Information Service.

In a poll of a hundred leading UK advertisers – with an average annual adspend of £5.3 million ($8.2m; €8.4m) and direct mail budget of £517,000 – a mere 7% have replaced mailed messages with online efforts.

Sixty-one percent said direct mail spend would not be affected by the web over the next two years, with 7% saying it will rise during the same period. Over the next three years, 20% plan to raise mailing budgets, while 11% think they will be cut.

The coexistence of direct mail and online marketing is attributed by the DMIS to “low levels of integration of digital activity into the marketing mix,” largely because company websites have not been developed for marketing and are not funded out of marketing budgets.

In addition, direct mail is claimed to have a number of advantages over internet-based promotion. Forty-eight per cent of respondents pointed to the capacity to personalise messages, 39% said mailings could reach consumers who are not online, 28% liked the tangibility of a letter and 22% appreciated the consumers’ ability to read the message wherever they want.

Data sourced from: Direct Mail Information Service; additional content by WARC staff