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Marketers who prefer an all-singing, all-dancing creative would do better to focus on making Direct Marketing relevant to their target audience, according to an annual study.

Consumers appear to be more open to direct marketing messages than ever before, according to the annual fast.MAP/IPM Marketing-GAP Tracking Study, which reveals there has been a drop of 24 percentage points in the number of people who throw away unopened direct mail because they object to being sent direct marketing material.

Last year, 67% of those throwing away direct mail did so because they objected to marketing materials, but this is now just 43% – a figure that compares well with expectations – they believe 54% of consumers ditch materials because they object to receiving marketing.

The good news doesn’t stop there. Nearly 50% of consumers claim that they open direct mail from companies they already know and an additional 38% say they do so if the post comes from any company.

In this year’s study half of those questioned say that if something is personally addressed, they will open it, whereas last year this figure was five percentage points lower.

Incentive to open

While marketers may not realise that consumers are less cynical about direct marketing overall than in previous years, they tend to overestimate the success of other incentives. Fifty-five per cent believe that consumers will open direct mail if it might contain a voucher or coupon, while 56% think they will open it if they can see a coupon.

And 34% of brand marketers think that attractive, colourful envelopes and interesting creative will get people to open their post, but this view is shared by just 15% of consumers.

With consumers more open to receiving direct mail messages than previously, it seems that brands should spend this year getting back to the marketing basics.

Do you want to know a secret?