DMA: Online responses to inserts need to be measured

Inserts are being dramatically devalued as marketers fail to acknowledge their ability to generate a significant online response, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).


Research commissioned by DMA’s Inserts Council has found that an average of 52% of responses to inserts went online, with some advertisements prompting an online response as high as 70%.

The research, which the DMA claims to be the first of its kind, measured the percentage of consumers who responded to the insert by going online and how this differed by client sector and magazine type.

In the inserts that were surveyed consumers had the choice to contact the advertised company either via phone, post or online.

It revealed that of all the commercial sectors surveyed, cosmetic surgery prompted the largest online response with 70% of respondents turning to the web for more information.

This was followed by toy retailer inserts which resulted in 58% of responses going online; while charities recorded a 27% online response.

CJ, DMA Inserts Council chair and All Response Media deputy MD, says the research proves that off-line media can drive a significant online response.

“By neglecting to measure the online response of an inserts campaign, marketers are underestimating the campaign’s success,” he says.

“Inserts, and indeed other offline direct marketing activity, need to be revisited in terms of effectiveness, as well as their role in the purchasing journey of today’s web savvy customers.”

The results were taken from over four million inserts sent out by a pool of five clients representing different industry sectors.

All the inserts were in the same A5 format and were carried in a wide range of titles including newspaper colour supplements, TV magazines, women’s weeklies and third party book clubs.

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