Direct Mail Nuked by Search, Social Networks

May 27, 2009

Digital information, search, and social networks are disruptive. Publishers understand the disruption, and most publishers are working hard to find a way to manage the opportunities disruption creates. Gavin O’Malley’s “Direct Mail Doomed, Long Live Email” here gave me a fresh perspective on disruption in a sector tangential to publishing. Mr. O’Malley wrote:

After making quick work of print newspapers, and the Yellow Pages industry, “The kudzu-like creep of the Internet is about to claim its third analog victim,” warns a new report from research firm Borrell Associates. The victim? “The largest and least-read of all print media: Direct mail.”

Referencing a research report, Mr. O’Malley provides a number of useful data points; for example:

  • “A 39% decline for direct mail over the next five years, from $49.7 billion in annual ad spending in 2008 to $29.8 billion by the end of 2013.”
  • “In fact, last year, email advertising quietly moved to the No. 1 online ad category spot, surpassing all other forms of interactive advertising.”
  • “We’re expecting local e-mail advertising to grow from $848 million in 2008, to $2 billion in 2013, as more small businesses abandon direct mail couponing and promotional orders and turn to a more measurable and less costly medium, e-mail.”

Useful write up.

Stephen Arnold, May 27, 2009


2 Responses to “Direct Mail Nuked by Search, Social Networks”

  1. Hot Transfers, Outbound or Inbound? on May 27th, 2009 1:47 pm

    […] Direct Mail Nuked by Search, Social Networks ( […]

  2. Dennis McCrory on May 27th, 2009 5:12 pm

    Just because email marketing is cheap doesn’t mean it’s more effective, or even as effective, as some other forms of advertising, especially direct mail. The biggest drawback to email marketing, and most other forms of social media marketing, is that’s it’s permission based.
    While it is possible to block direct mail advertising few people do. Whereas, most people readily use their filters to block email marketing.
    Email marketing is best for companies selling a product or service nationwide. Direct mail is by far the best option for localized businesses.

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