Survey: Direct Mail Becomes Majority for UK Consumers

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Direct mail now makes up more than half of all items received by the average consumer in the United Kingdom in a week, according to a study released this month from the Direct Mail Information Service, a UK-based research firm.

Consumers get 6.2 items of direct mail as part of the 12 items in their overall weekly mailbag, the DMIS research found.

More than half of consumers, or 56 percent, have bought products advertised through a direct mailing, though 40 percent of direct mail is unopened.

Targeted mailings are the most effective, with 38 percent of consumers buying from these mailings at some point compared with 9 percent buying from mass mailings.

The DMIS cited value for money and convenience as the reasons most consumers are likely to have bought through direct mail.

"The current high level of receipt is affecting the consumer's treatment and attitude toward direct mail, but without necessarily diluting their responsiveness and purchasing from the medium," said Jo Howard-Brown, DMIS managing director. "If direct mail users can maintain the relevance and quality of targeting, the medium can remain effective even as it becomes more crowded."

The study said credit card campaigns accounted for 25 percent of total volume, followed by insurance mailings at 14 percent. Banking promotions accounted for 10 percent of the volume of direct campaigns.

Consumers have grown more aware of where companies get their name and address, the study found. Just under one-quarter recognize that mailers use commercial lists. Also, 58 percent of consumers know about opt-out boxes, and half have used them at some point.

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