Seven out of ten read mail

Jo-Anne Walker paints a totally misleading picture when she assesses direct mail opening and reading statistics (MW December 9).

The figure quoted (or rather misquoted) gives the impression, when viewed in isolation, that hardly anybody opens and reads their direct mail. Not true. In fact, if you look at the opening statistics in full you find that nearly seven out of ten people open and read their direct mail.

Added to that, the fact that the opening figure has remained static is actually good news not bad – for direct mail volumes over the period 1985 to 1993 have virtually doubled. So even though there is more about, it’s still being opened at the same rate.

Finally, the real proof of its success has to be its increasing use by big brand names. The fact that Heinz, Nestl and others are now integrating direct mail into their marketing programmes shows that it does indeed work – delivering results for both the advertiser and the consumer.

Jo Howard-Brown, Partner, Direct Mail Information Service, London W1

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