Study: CDs, DVDs boost direct mail

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Putting a disc into a direct mail piece is an effective way to entice consumers to open it, according to research sponsored by industry group DiscMail Direct and the Direct Marketing Association. The study, released in full at this week's DMA 2010 Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco, found that 91% of respondents said they would rather open a mailer that contains a DVD or CD.

“The disc still has tremendous perceived value,” said Guy Finley, coalition director of DiscMail Direct, a coalition of manufacturers, packagers and marketing companies that use DVDs and CDs – also called “optical media” – in their direct mail efforts.

However, he emphasized that a major part of that perceived value comes from the brand advertised on the disc. “When customers see a brand they know and recognize with a disc in it, they are more inclined to check it out, especially if it's a Mercedes or Google versus a no-name.”

Indeed, the study found that almost three-quarters (73%) of the more than 800 consumer respondents said they actually played the discs on their computer.

One of DiscMail Direct's primary goals is instilling a sense of security for consumers who receive optical media via direct mail. The coalition is working to brand discs from members with a DiscMail Direct logo to strengthen trust from consumers who might be concerned about viruses.

The study revealed that 59% of respondents believe a DVD is more secure than e-mail, and 85% prefer receiving a DVD or CD rather than an e-mail, indicating that consumer attitudes are moving in a positive direction for optical media.

“People need to think about discs in a different way,” said Finley. “It's about getting digital advertising into their mailbox.”

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