Why Direct Mail in the 21st Century

E-mail - Using e-mail in your business is subject to The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, 2003 which sets the rules for commercial e-mail and gives the recipients the right to have you stop e-mailing them.

Once a business has complied with these rules then e-mail is fast, quick and low cost. Research shows people prefer it as a method of communication when they know the organisation contacting them. In 2013 average open rates were 19.6% (consumer products fared better at 25.4%) and unique click-through rates were 16.9%. Only 3.0% of those who received the e-mail actually visited a webpage and this generated an average response rate of 0.12%. Where you have a relationship with the individual, results improve and the top performers had an open rate of 38.6% but 25% of e-mailers only achieved 7%.

This data shows that e-mail can and does work but the sheer volume of clutter in people's inboxes, shows that e-mails are better at communication if the recipient knows you.

However, setting out to build a business and generating new enquiries is far more difficult due to low open and response rates and the difficulty in sourcing good quality e-mail lists.

Direct Mail - 100% delivery, 56% of people believe that printed marketing is the most trustworthy form of communication, 66% of consumers keep their mail for over 2 weeks. Even in a digital world, direct mail gets 44% of recipients to go to your website. Average response rates are 4%. Overall 7% of receivers will take some sort of action.

Direct mail has a response rate of 30 times that of e-mail and coupled with the availability of large quantities of reliable data provides a great opportunity to build your business.

Source: The DMA, October 2014.