Sixty per cent of marketers do not practice reverse marketing – the management of direct mail returns – a new study has revealed.
The research, conducted by the Software Bureau, also found that this comes at a cost of £4.02 per returned piece of mail.
Approximately 90 million pieces of direct mail (2.5%) are returned to sender each year. Forty per cent of these or 36 million are returned due to the recipient’s wish to be removed from the marketing database equating to a loss of potential revenue of £116m and £29m in wasted production costs.
Reverse marketing enables organisations to compile in-house do not mail lists that can be screened against future campaigns reducing the volume of mistargeted mailings, saving money and improving the reputation of the organisation amongst customers.
The study revealed B2B organisations to be the worst culprits followed by retailers, credit card providers, retailers, pension providers and charities. Conversely local government was found to be the most responsible.
Martin Rides, Managing Director of The Software Bureau said reverse marketing is a key component to reducing the volume of mistargeted direct mail.
“It is shocking that only four in 10 organisations manage their returns and more importantly learn from them,” he added. “Our new initiative Lean DM helps organisations to identify the areas which produce the most wastage in their direct mail activity and minimise it. With the advent of GDPR and increased scrutiny from the media and legislative bodies it is crucial that organisations focus on data hygiene.”