With efficiency the rule of the day in the current climate, marketers are increasingly looking for the best response rates possible from all of their outreach. A new Direct Marketing Association (DMA) study sheds new light into the strategies and media driving the best return for marketers. While the DMA 2009 Response Rate Report showed decline in click-through rates over the past several years, the survey still found the majority of marketers continue to shift money to email—57.1% increasing email budgets vs. 8.0% decreasing. They study also found email now represents 12.6% of marketers’ budgets, third only to direct mail and internet marketing.
In terms of performance, the report found email statistics are stabilizing, with open rates for house lists at 14.92%, click through rates in the high single digits (9.36%) and conversion rates in the mid single digits (5.26%), according to the report. Prospect lists performed faintly worse than house lists, with open rates at 8.56%, click through rates at 5.57%, and conversion rates at 3.15%.
In the direct order sector, outbound telephone had the highest average response rate among all media (4.41% for house lists and 2.92% for prospect lists), followed closely by catalogs (3.95% for house lists and 1.85% for prospect lists) and direct mail (3.65% house lists and 1.65%-prospect list), all increases over the previous editions of the Response Rate Report.
Looking specifically at lead generation campaigns, the research indicated nearly-identical conversion values between direct order and lead generation, for both house lists (5.26% direct order, 5.28% lead generation) and prospect lists (3.15% to 3.52%). At this point in the sales funnel, the definition of “conversion” diverges, the DMA noted.
SPENDING PATTERNS The overall budgets trends of respondents indicate that 35% of direct marketing budgets remain allocated to direct mail, the largest single portion. The trend is away from print media (catalog, direct mail, and insert media) and towards digital media (email, mobile marketing, internet marketing, and paid search).
57.1% of respondents expect increasing their email budgets, while just 8.0% expect decreasing them. In Internet Marketing, the numbers are similar: 64.3% expect to increase the budget for this medium and only 8.8% to decrease it. However, fewer respondents expect to increase direct mail spending (27.2%) than decrease it (33. %).
Paid search was added to the study for the first time this year. It counts for less than 10% of overall marketing budgets (8.2%), but combined with search engine optimization, search is nearly a third of marketers’ online budgets. Both are growing at close to 50%, and over 42% of respondents are either not doing search or in their first year, which indicates room for growth.
The cost-per-click model of paid search is appealing, especially in these times when all departments are tasked to be more accountable for their budgets. For direct order campaigns the cost-per-click average was $1.56. For lead generation the average was $1.98. The values varied greatly by industry, a reflection of the relative immaturity of the channel and its competitive bidding-style pricing model, according to the DMA.
Large groups of marketers are holding steady with their budgets – 61.8% of catalog, 60% of insert media, 46% of direct mail, and 37.5% of email. When compared across industries, budget allocation by channel closely resembles the overall audience, the only notable difference being paid search, 12.2% for education vs. 8.2% overall. 51.1% increased paid search budgets in 2008 and 51.2% planning to increase budgets in 2009. Cost-per click is lower than average for direct order campaigns ($1.32 vs. $1.56) and higher than average for lead generation ($2.86 vs. $1.98).
Overall, the digital shift in education marketing is pronounced, with 45.6% of marketing budgets allocated towards online and mobile channels. This is one of the highest figures in this report. Education marketers are particularly strong adopters of podcasts, RSS Feeds, and online videos. For example, over 60% are either using podcasts or considering using it within the next 12 months.
To purchase the full DMA 2009 DMA Response Rate Report, visit the DMA Bookstore.
CMOs are busy tinkering with their marketing budgets. With this comes the responsibility of choosing from countless technologies promising to improve efficiency, ROI, and conversions. How can marketers leverage data to inform financial decisions?
According to Gartner analyst Laura McLellan, the top three challenges marketers face are growing profitable revenue, connecting more effectively with customers, and standing out amidst serious competition. What amount should CEOs be doling out to overcome these hurdles?
Demand Gen Report’s 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey provides insights into how B2B buyers make their decisions. Buyers are waiting longer to engage with sales, but they are more satisfied with the process than in years past. For an in-depth look at this research, download the report now!
The B2B Content2Conversion Conference brings together the top thought leaders and practitioners in both content and demand generation. The combined agenda provides real-world case study examples, as well as actionable takeaways on how marketers can better target, engage and convert prospects into customers. Taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona, the B2B Content2Conversion Conference provides you with a playbook to optimize your 2015 marketing plans.
Discover how-to details and strategies for fast, measurable digital marketing success. All of it is real-world experience grounded in rigorous research and taught by successful marketers who face your same challenges. Learn how to make your email campaigns — and your career — more successful than ever and do it within a world-class venue. It's no wonder leading organizations consider Email Summit a priority investment year after year.
Social Media Marketing World 2015 is the world's largest social media marketing conference. By attending, you'll make connections with 100+ of the world's top social media pros (plus 2500 of your peers) and you'll discover amazing ideas that'll transform your social media marketing strategies.