July 17, 1998
Study: Business Mailers on the Web
WHITE PLAINS, NY--Business mailers are actively marketing and selling to customers through their Web sites and continuing to grow mail-order sales, according to results of the Acxiom/Direct Media Business Usage Survey, presented at the 23rd Annual Business Co-op and Hi-Tech Symposium here this week. Of the 52 companies that responded to the survey, 83 percent maintain an active Web site, 57 percent use their sites to take orders, 74 percent to field inquiries and 68 percent to dispense information. Despite the presence of Web sites, only 16 percent of respondents conducted 10 percent or more of their transactions online. Thirty-one percent have customer files with an e-mail address, and 35 percent are using e-mail for marketing. Gross mail-order sales increased 7.8 percent from 1996 to 1997 and are up another 7 percent thus far in 1998. Pretax profit in 1997 was up 6.1 percent compared to 1996. Ninety percent of the respondents said business from regular customers is good or excellent while 57 percent said the same of prospect business. Customer mail quantity is expected to increase 4 percent this year and prospect mail quantity 6.2 percent. Mail volumes for the second half of 1998 are expected to surpass projections by 5.4 percent. Customers generate an average order of $1,045.31 and prospects an average order of $586.80.