Direct mail key to marketing campaign success: study

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Direct mail recipients are nearly twice as likely to purchase form a retail Web site as those who receive just an Internet communication, according to comScore's 2007 Multichannel Direct Mail Study.

In addition, when that mail piece is a catalog, the results were even better, as more than two-thirds of shoppers then visited the site. This traffic accounted for a 163 percent increase in sales over those who did not receive a catalog.

Individuals who receive catalogs usually buy more items, too - 4.1 compared to 3.2 - and they spend more money as well.

Nearly 60 percent of online shoppers said they enjoy receiving catalogs.

"The research shows the value of direct mail and the important role it can play in educating potential customers and influencing their spending habits," said Joanne Veto, senior public relations specialist at the US Postal Service. "Direct mail and catalogs are tangible.

"Consumers can hold them or store them to refer to products as often as needed before buying," she continued. "Catalogs also can be used to acquire new customers, educating a new audience about brands and products because they allow for longer messages and more detailed information. And if they grab attention or have great pass-along value, direct mail and catalogs can reach decision makers beyond the original recipient."

Veto also said mail needs to be part of any advertising or marketing campaign. Mail works, especially when the material is targeted at the right audience.

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