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Email overtakes direct mail

Email overtakes direct mail

For the first time, email marketing has overtaken direct mail in terms of volume, according to the latest National Email Benchmarking report produced by the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Marketing Council.

The report, containing data from leading UK Email Service Providers (ESPs) for the last quarter of 2006, reveals that year on year volumes have increased by 52 per cent.

DMA Graph2

While direct mail expenditure continues to rise, volumes have decreased over the past year, reflecting improved targeting and a heightened use of multi-channel integrated campaigns.

The report reveals that the average volume of emails rose by 50 per cent in the last quarter. This increase underlines email marketing’s continued effectiveness due its ability to react swiftly to market opportunities and its short production cycle.

Chair of the DMA Email Marketing Council Benchmarking Hub, Richard Gibson, comments, “The continued growth of email marketing reiterates its importance as an effective marketing channel – for both retaining existing customers and generating new customer relationships.

“To maintain its importance, it’s vital that the medium is used responsibly. Breaching best practice guidelines and the DMA Code of Conduct not only brings the medium itself into disrepute but also has the potential to massively damage a brand.”

According to the report, 100 per cent of respondents believe that volumes are set to carry on growing on average by about one third.

Respondents believe that the success of email marketing campaigns is down to the targeting (42 per cent), the offer (33 per cent) and the creative (25 per cent).

The survey also reveals that email deliverability continues to improve with hard bounce rates standing at 2 per cent, down from 6 per cent in Quarter One.

Director of Media Channel Development, DMA, Robert Keitch, adds: “It’s a very dynamic time for the direct marketing industry as expenditure across the majority of media continues to rise, demonstrated by the recent Future Foundation Economic Impact research.

“The growth in email marketing underlines its power as both a standalone medium and its role within integrated campaigns.

He concluded, “The fact that email volumes have overtaken direct mail by no means belittles the power of direct mail.

“The medium continues to command high response rates and a reduction in volumes demonstrates both its power working in conjunction with another medium such as email and the industry’s improved targeting to reduce wastage in a bid to rid the industry of ‘junk’.”

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