DMers Profiting From Web: DMA

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Fifty five percent of direct marketers who engaged in e-commerce earned a profit on the Web in 2001, according to the Direct Marketing Association. Of those not currently earning a profit, 55 percent anticipate being profitable in 2002, the DMA said.

The results are part of the DMA's State of the E-Commerce Industry Report 2001-2002, which is expected to be released today.

The report also says approximately 71 percent of consumer direct marketers have the ability to conduct financial transactions online. Compared to last year, average online revenue per company increased by more than $1 million from $4 million in 2000 to $5.2 million in 2001.

The DMA, along with the Association for Interactive Marketing, surveyed about 700 companies.

"Increasingly, direct marketers are leveraging the cost savings, visibility, and customer acquisition benefits of interactive marketing to boost sales and expand their customer base," said DMA H. Robert Wientzen, president/CEO, in a statement.

Also, according to the report:

· The average online order size in 2001 was $100 for business-to-consumer marketers and $350 for business-to-business marketers.

· Twice as many respondents reported targeting their Web sites to the business segment (52 percent) than the consumer segment (26 percent).

· Eighty five percent of respondents overall reported using their Web sites primarily for product and service information, up from 78 percent in 2000, and 57 percent of respondents overall reported using their Web sites primarily for lead generation in 2001, up from 55 percent in 2000. Respondents were able to check multiple categories.

· Sixty-four percent of consumer marketers reported sales/e-commerce as the primary purpose of their Web sites, while 68 percent of BTB marketers reported lead generation as their top function.

· Forty-four percent of the respondents overall and 62 percent of BTB marketers said they conduct Web business overseas.

· Sixty-one percent of respondents indicated the ability to reach new members/segments is the most compelling benefit of using interactive media. Forty seven percent cited greater visibility; 46 percent cited new business opportunities; and 43 percent cited cost savings.

· BTB marketers found incentive programs and e-mail marketing equally effective for customer acquisition and retention. For consumer marketers, online PR and affiliate programs/sponsorships were more successful as a customer acquisition tool, while e-mail marketing was considered to be most effective for customer retention.

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