DM Comes Of Age

Ten years ago email exploded onto the market with some hailing it to be the saviour of direct marketing. 

Since then, email campaign volumes have continued to grow and postal campaigns, suffering from a bad case of “too-it is” (too expensive, too time consuming, too slow and frankly too last century), have dwindled. To make matters worse for the humble mail shot, over the last couple of years, cash-strapped marketers in the grip of the worst recession in living memory decided that email was the only way forward, which saw postal DM volumes drop even further through the floor.

However, while postal campaign volumes plummeted, the email channel was also being pummelled to within an inch of its life. Itexperienced such a preposterous increase in volume due to scattergun tactics employed by some e-marketers that consumers quickly tuned out and the responsiveness of email campaigns bungeed back down beyond postal campaigns. Conversely, after lying fallow for a period, postal DM has been experiencing something of a renaissance and is achieving bumper results for the first time in two years.

Although it was a little touch-and-go for while back there, the good news is that DM, particularly postal, isn’t dead and the industry as a whole is bouncing back. It seems that direct marketers have finally grown up – they’ve learned from their past mistakes and are embracing the myriad tools and technologies now at their disposal, which are enabling them to execute truly integrated and targeted campaigns. The upshot is that response rates have risen across all sectors and themore mature approach is proving the fact that people do like receiving comms as long as they contain information of interest to them!

So perhaps the secret to succeeding in these tenuous times lies in adopting a “less = more” philosophy and targeting your data and campaigns more efficiently, while not being a slave to a single channel. 

Here’s hoping the trend is here to stay.

By Dee Toomey, general manager, Scientia Data

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