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The BBC's Karen Bowerman
"Sending unsolicited mail is a cheap way for businesses to target consumers"
 real 56k

Colin Lloyd, Direct Marketing Association
"That survey is rather flawed"
 real 28k

Friday, 15 June, 2001, 03:34 GMT 04:34 UK
Junk mail misses its target
Postman delivers letters to woman
But half of this could go in the bin unread
By BBC consumer affairs reporter Karen Bowerman

A survey has confirmed what many of us have long suspected - nearly half of all unsolicited mail is deleted or binned without even being opened.

The survey by independent research body Institute for the Future, based in California, had bad news for direct marketers.

It found 41% of consumers immediately delete e-mail offers and adverts as soon as they receive them.

And nearly eight out of 10 people claim most unsolicited letters and phone calls have no relevance to them whatsoever.

Six in 10, though, claim they would be more receptive to offers, if they could choose the way businesses communicated with them.

Changing tactics

The institute says marketing techniques which fail to address consumers as individuals do not work.

Although sending unsolicited letters, faxes and e-mails is a relatively inexpensive way for companies to reach potential customers, it seems consumers are no longer receptive to the approach.

So companies are having to change their tactics when it comes to winning consumers.

So-called direct mail accounted for more than a quarter of spending on advertising in the UK last year.

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See also:

20 Mar 01 | Business
Marketeers prefer email to banners
02 Feb 01 | Europe
EU slams internet 'junk mail'
22 Dec 00 | Business
Junk e-mail eradicated?
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