Direct mail read by 32 percent more women ages 25-44 than e-mail: Vertis

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Eighty-five percent of women ages 25 to 44 read printed direct mail marketing pieces, despite the influx of electronically generated advertisements throughout the past decade.

This was a key finding from Baltimore-based Vertis Communications' 2007 Customer Focus: Direct Mail study released on Jan. 16. The survey of 2,500 adults - conducted via by research firm Marshall Marketing & Communications Inc. over the phone in August and September 2006 - measures both general and industry-specific shopping trends.

The study also reveals that 53 percent of all women surveyed ages 25-44 who have access to e-mail read these advertisements, almost consistent with the 54 percent that did so in 2005.

Furthermore, Vertis' study indicates marketers can increase the effectiveness of their direct mail campaigns by offering target consumers exclusive deals and coupons. Seventy-two percent of total adults surveyed said they have replied to direct mail containing a "buy one, get one free" offer.

Additionally, 63 percent of all adults indicated the have responded to direct mail collateral offering a percentage discount on merchandise, up from 54 percent in 2005.

The direct mail study revealed the following additional results:

· Total adults who responded to direct mail via in-store visits, Web sites, 800 numbers or mail remains steady, with 47 percent in 2003 and 46 percent in 2007

· The number of Hispanics who responded to direct mail marketing jumped drastically, from 38 percent in 2003 to 54 percent in 2007

· Fifty-seven percent of women ages 35-64 prefer that companies they express interest in, send follow-up communication through direct mail pieces personalized to their needs

· Thirty-eight percent of men 35-49 prefer generic direct mail when being contacted by a company in which they have expressed interest

· While 45 percent of total adults are open to receiving personalized, follow-up e-mails, younger men and women seem to be more responsive to this medium, with 52 percent of men ages 25-34 and 56 percent of women the same age stating e-mail is an acceptable form of follow-up communication

· Text messaging is the most desired method of follow-up communication for younger men ages 18-24, with 23 percent desiring contact via text message from a company they are interested in, compared to 5 percent of women the same age

· Comfort levels of adults providing credit card numbers online have increased throughout the years, with 42 percent of total adults being "very" or "somewhat comfortable" in 2007, up from 32 percent in 2003

· Forty percent of total adults in 2007 indicate they are not at all comfortable providing credit card information online, down from 52 percent in 2003.

The Vertis Communications 2007 Customer Focus survey series also includes findings from the financial, credit card, insurance, publishing, casino gaming, retail and automotive industries.

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