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Deceased mail set to soar in 2017

26th January 2017 • Notebook

Direct mail sent to people that have passed away is set to surpass 200 million pieces for the first time because of the increasing mortality rate, according to a new study by Wilmington Millennium.

2016 has already earned its place in history as the year of celebrity death, with the BBC obituary writer stating that twice as many notable people died last year than in 2015. Statistics from ONS paint a similar picture. England and Wales suffered the biggest annual rise in deaths for almost fifty years with an increase of 5.4%. Trends over the last four years show the highest rates of death since World War Two.

The research suggests that due to this increase in deaths as many as 100,000 additional mailings could be sent to people that have passed away, taking the total figure of deceased mail sent in 2017 to over 200 million. The organisation’s benchmarking survey showed that in 2016, 21% of consumers received at least one piece of direct mail addressed to a deceased family member or friend, but this is projected to grow to 14.1 million in 2017.

“The cold hard truth of it is that there is a direct correlation between the mortality rate and the number of pieces of direct mail being sent to people that have passed away. When the death rate grows so too does the number of mistargeted mailings,” said Karen Pritchard, Product Director, Wilmington Millennium Mortascreen.

“Our figures show that for every percent rise in the mortality rate consumers can expect to receive around 20,000 more mailings that are that are addressed to deceased people. The easiest way for organisations to reduce this number is through the implementation of best practice data hygiene. With GDPR just around the corner this must become the priority, not a nice to have.”

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