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Direct Mail Tops In ROI, Say B2C Marketers

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Direct Mail Tops In ROI, Say B2C Marketers; Email Delivers for B2B
Direct Marketing

March 2013 — Direct mail is the channel cited most by B2C direct response marketers as delivering the strongest ROI for customer acquisition and retention, according to Target Marketing Seventh Annual Media Usage Forecast survey of nearly 250 U.S. marketers.
In 2007, the first year Target Marketing conducted their annual survey of marketers’ media spending plans, 91% of responding marketers used direct mail — topping all other direct marketing channels. At that time, 85% were using email, 63% used search and social wasn’t even a topic.

Seven years later, the number of marketing channels has expanded, budgets are being pulled in different directions, and direct mail is found to be used by 80% of respondents. And yet, as Target Marketing reports, direct mail is still number one, or among the top channels for ROI.


• For customer acquisition, marketers point to direct mail (31.3%) as the top deliverer of new customers, followed by email (16.7%) and social marketing (12.5%).

• For customer retention, again, direct mail is the top choice of respondents (37.5%), followed by email (29.2%),trailed by social medial (10.4%).

Source: Target Marketing 7th Annual Media Usage Forecast, 2013

About: Target Marketing conducted this survey in January 2013 by emailing a questionnaire to approximately 19,000 of the magazine’s print subscribers who have opted in to receive emails from Target Marketing. This audience was further refined by suppressing list services firms and creative services/advertising agencies to produce a list that was composed only of marketers.
Three email drops were made between Jan. 16 and Jan. 25. Survey results are based on the participation of 244 respondents (for a response rate of 1.3 percent). Of the respondents to this year’s survey, 50 percent described their companies’ activities as B-to-B, 23 percent as B-to-C and 27 percent as both. Respondents’ job functions include: corporate and general management (27 percent); marketing and sales management (54 percent); operations/fulfillment management (4 percent); e-commerce management (4 percent) and other (11 percent).

In addition, respondents reported their firms’ annual direct marketing expenditures as follows: less than $100,000 (53 percent); $100,000 to $499,999 (14 percent); $500,000 to $999,999 (8 percent); $1 million to $5 million (9 percent); more than $5 million (6 percent); and don’t know (10 percent).

Source: Target Marketing, Media Usage Forecast 2013, accessed March 6, 2013.

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