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Report Says Direct Mail Spending Will Plummet

Direct mail spending will decline 39 percent during the next five years from $49.7 billion in 2008 to $29.8 billion in 2013, according to a study released earlier this week by Borrell Associates, a media research and consulting firm. Research reports usually contain fairly measured language, but this one has several dramatic statements. For example, the report describes direct mail as “the largest and least-read of all print media” and goes on to say, “Direct mail has begun spiraling into what we believe is a precipitous decline from which it will never fully recover.”

Borrell Associates contends that marketers (especially smaller, local businesses) are increasingly using e-mail instead of direct mail for many purposes. The study states that advertisers spent $12.1 billion on e-mail marketing in 2008, and it predicts that e-mail spending will grow to $15.7 billion over the next five years. Borrell also contends that most of the growth in e-mail marketing will be local. The study states, “We’re expecting local e-mail advertising to grow from $848 million in 2008, to $2 billion in 2013, as more small businesses abandon direct mail couponing and promotional offers and turn to a more measurable and less costly medium, e-mail.”
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Comment by Brian Regan on May 22, 2009 at 1:36pm
Just doent seem possible to my unless they pass no mail lists in every state. I get a HUGE volume of email and to be honest most get deleted or end up in the spam box and deleted.

I would expect advertising in the form of iPhone and Blackberry app's to become something of interest. Not sure of the mass appeal, but it could be more effective than email.
Comment by Alfrieda on June 3, 2009 at 11:10pm
I agree with you Brian. I have one email account that I will be closing for good. There may be a rise in email solicitations and because so many are focusing on this avenue along with the challenges of the economy, direct mail may be suffering. But one thing we have to remember, direct mail was reported to be the most effective.
Comment by Robert Ohr on June 17, 2009 at 10:48am
I think everyone is right. Emails are a pain in the butt to sort through and delete. I have deleted by accident important emails that appear as spam, but I never have lost an envelope in my mailbox. Direct mail will diminish, but probably not at the rates stated above. It is our job as an industry to make mailings more effective. If you get the correct response rate then the cost for the materials is a non issue. In an environment where price seems to be a priority, this is one area that will matain it's margins if we use our creativity to insure it. If we continue with the blah designs and stay in our ruts, direct mail is doomed and it will be our fault it died.

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