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Study: E-Mail is The Most Effective Form of Direct Response

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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, New York.

E-mail is used primarily by 35% of companies compared to 25% which use traditional direct mail and 21% who use package, statement stuffers or free standing inserts

The finding echoes a study from last fall from MarketingSherpa, where 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% 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 Ray, Calif. "And why not? It's fast to deploy, inexpensive to distribute versus other media, and the response is rapid."

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

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

Also among the findings:

- 68% market to their prospect database
- 82% market to their customer database
- 57% said their direct response budget will remain the same this year compared to last, while 23% reported their budget would increase by 10% or higher
- 47% said that less than 10% 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."