Clean up junk mailing’s act

Having read the article “Time cold direct mail was finally junked?” (MW October 10) by Gemma Charles, I was disappointed but not surprised to read about the low response rates – 0.5 per cent – for direct mail, or rather junk mail.

Last year, the ASA recorded a 50 per cent rise in the number of individuals complaining about poorly targeted communication. This figure needs to be reduced, if we are to turn junk mail into “valuable” mail.

To do this we need to educate one of the largest and one of the worst offenders of junk mail – the financial services sector. Why do these companies continue to send out cold direct mail without a considered approach? No wonder direct mail is received with caution.

But by making a small investment to develop high quality and targeted lists before the DM campaign is distributed, the rewards would flow through better response rates.

Direct marketing needs serious thinking – the quality of data needs to be improved and the scattergun approach banished. Analysing customer data should be a priority: companies need to know which prospects are likely to respond to the campaign before it starts. Solutions are now available to enable marketers to accurately profile their customer data. And it doesn’t take a technical wizard to work them out – it really is as easy as using an Excel spreadsheet, and they can deliver results in hours rather than weeks. Predictive analysis must become part of the planning procedure so that businesses can offer products and services that customers truly want. We may never completely eradicate junk mail, but I’d certainly like to think it could be reduced.

Grayson Amies

UK country manager

KXEN, Peterborough

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