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Direct Mail Isn’t Dead
But email is quickly becoming a favored vehicle for customer communication

Contrary to popular belief, direct mail is not being replaced by email marketing. Mintel Comperemedia, a media monitoring service, reveals that in 2007, direct mail offers sent to current customers increased 17% from 2006.*

“Just as people continue to read hard-copy books despite the proliferation of online reading material, companies continue to rely on direct mail for both customer communication and retention,” comments Brad Cunningham, Vice President of Mintel Comperemedia.

Of the top five mailing sectors tracked by Mintel Comperemedia, four sent more direct mail offers to customers in 2007 than they did in 2006. Auto, insurance, telecom and credit card mailers increased their current customer mailings by 52%, 29%, 22% and 18%, respectively. Only the mortgage and loan sector showed a decline (3%), likely caused by the housing crisis.

In conjunction with these increases, however, Mintel Comperemedia has seen certain sectors looking towards email and mobile services for customer communication. According to its email panel, travel and leisure companies sent 40% of all current customer emails during 2007. “Given the popularity of online planning and booking,” explains Cunningham, “it makes sense that travel companies would use email to communicate with their clients.”

Together, the banking and credit card sectors were responsible for another 40% of 2007 emails sent to current customers. From online banking and paperless statements to mobile account alerts and on-the-go bill pay, many top financial companies use email to communicate advanced online services to their customers.

With postal rates on the rise and people spending more time online in the home and on the go, Mintel Comperemedia expects more companies to use email for customer communication. “Our research shows over 90% of adults find at least some of personal business emails they receive useful,” states Cunningham. “This is very promising for the future of email marketing because it suggests a public ready and willing for email communication.”

*Mintel Comperemedia monitors direct marketing in the following sectors: auto, banking, credit cards, insurance, investment, mortgage and loans, technology, telecoms and travel and leisure

About Mintel
Mintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence. For more than 35 years, Mintel has provided insight into key worldwide trends, offering unique data that directly impacts client success. Mintel Comperemedia is a competitive media monitoring service that analyzes direct mail, email and print advertising trends. With offices in Chicago, London, Belfast, Sydney, Shanghai and Tokyo, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand. For more information on Mintel, please visit www.mintel.com

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