Study: DM, e-mail blend ups spend

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Integrating digital advertising with direct mail campaigns can increase customer spend by almost 25 percent, according to research conducted by the UK's Royal Mail.

Royal Mail's consumer study to understand the best uses of different advertising methods also revealed that nearly seven in ten people believe that direct mail supports online advertising.

The surveys were completed by a sample of 639 Web users, the majority of which were "very experienced."

"The Royal Mail research found that direct mail and digital campaigns can be complementary, increasing consumer spend by 25 percent, and those who engage with [both] direct mail and online spend more on products and services than those who prefer to be marketed to only digitally," said Katrina Jackson, a Royal Mail media representative.

The research also highlights areas where direct mail is more effective, and where online and e-mail are more acceptable for marketing communications.

The research was undertaken to demonstrate the value of direct mail - despite the obvious rise of digital marketing - and to highlight how it works effectively in integrated campaigns.

Those who prefer to engage with both direct mail and online advertising spend the equivalent of $143 a month on goods and services after receiving a combination of the two - $25 more than those who like online ads only, and $46 more than those who would choose only direct mail.

The research identified specific circumstances in which it makes sense for companies to use both DM and online when communicating with customers.

More than half of those surveyed prefer to be contacted by some combination of direct mail and online communications. The study found nearly three times as many Web users think direct mail is more personal than online communications, and 50 percent more said it was more professional.

Only 14 percent of consumers mostly or always click on online advertising, while 50 percent of people rarely, if ever, look or interact with online advertising.

Other findings include that 84 percent of people agree both direct mail and e-mail from companies has a purpose and eight in ten believe that e-mail is best for communicating brief messages.

Interestingly, more findings showed support of multichannel messaging: six in ten agreed that they would prefer a company to approach them first by post, than by e-mail and 69 percent said that e-mail is best used for supporting or clarifying the mail they receive. More than half of respondents said direct mail gives a better impression of a company than e-mail.

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