Study: E-mail Tops Among DR Tools

DETROIT E-mail is now the most popular form of direct response marketing, per a new survey of large U.S. corporations conducted by Direct Partners.

E-mail is used primarily by 35 percent of companies compared to 25 percent that use traditional direct mail and 21 percent that use promo packages, statement stuffers or freestanding inserts.

The findings echo a study from last fall by MarketingSherpa, wherein participants reported that “house e-mail marketing” delivered the best return on investment in terms of direct response.

The results of the Direct Partners study were derived from 30,000 surveys sent in April to senior executives at companies with 2007 revenues exceeding $100 million. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that e-mail works most effectively for them, with 24 percent reporting that direct mail does the best job.

“The dramatic emphasis on e-mail as the primary direct marketing vehicle is significant,” said Harry Haber, vp, Direct Partners, Marina del Rey, Calif. “And why not? It’s fast to deploy, inexpensive to distribute versus other media, and the response is rapid.”

Most companies (56 percent) reported spending less than $1 million on direct response media in the past year, while 37 percent said they spent between $1 million and $50 million.

Half of the respondents said they handle their direct response marketing internally, while 37 percent conducted it though a combination of agency and internal resources.

Also among the findings:

— 68 percent market to their prospect database
— 82 percent market to their customer database
— 57 percent said their direct response budget would remain the same this year compared to last, while 23 percent reported their budget would increase by 10 percent or higher
— 47 percent said that less than 10 percent of their marketing budget went to direct response media

Haber said that the study shows a broader embrace of direct marketing, putting it among the standard media mix for more companies. “For the largest of companies, change comes slowly,” Haber said. “However, there seems to be more of an acceptance of direct marketing today than say versus five years ago.”