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Poor response to mail campaigns

The financial services industry is getting below-average response rates for its direct mail campaigns, according to new research from the Direct Mail Information Service.

The phone-based survey covers 806 business-to-business campaigns, such as insurance companies targeting intermediaries, and over 1,000 campaigns involving businesses contacting consumers with marketing material.

It tracks how many people replied to direct mail, how they responded, whether campaigns met response targets and how satisfied clients were with their direct marketing agencies.

Across all industry sectors the average response rate to direct mail campaigns is 9.6 per cent but for financial services business-to-business campaigns it is only 5.4 per cent.

This is much lower than the property sector, with a 10.3 per cent response rate or marketing services, achieving a 12.6 per cent average.

The research says the success of financial services campaigns targeting consumers directly rather than intermediaries varies depending on the product being promoted.

Mortgages achieved the highest number of replies with a response rate of 15.5 per cent. The rate for insurance campaigns is 5.3 per cent, for investment campaigns 4.7 per cent and for personal loans it is 3 per cent.

Despite such differences in the performance of direct mail campaigns, DMIS believes it is a vital part of marketing.

DMIS says campaigns are affected by a number of factors, including the database used, the creativity of marketing material and the timing.

Managing director Jo Howard-Brown says: “The results highlight why direct mail is consistently the fastest growing advertising medium. It can enhance product/service awareness, boost shortand long-term sales and help build loyalty. It delivers a demonstrable return on investment and is an increasingly vital weapon in a client&#39s armoury.”


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