01 September 1999

ACCORDING TO RESEARCH carried out by direct mail monitoring service MMS Market Movements, one in five consumer direct mail creatives now offer some form of gift or incentive. The study, carried out on behalf of incentive specialist Wing Lee Sourcing, shows the financial services sector leading with 22% of all financial mailings including a gift - as opposed to just 20% of mail issued by other sectors. Overall, the sectors most likely to offer a gift with their mailshots are life insurance, mail order, publishing, general insurance and credit card issuers. Almost 60% of life insurance mailings offer some kind of incentive or gift. In terms of popularity, books, mystery gifts, pens, bags, and electronic organisers lead the field. Predictably, the gifts with greatest worth are offered at the take-up stage (on payment of the first premium, for example), while mass-mailed gifts mostly comprise low cost items such as pens.