Direct mail is the channel cited by most B2C direct response marketers as delivering the strongest ROI for customer acquisition, according to a Target Marketing survey of a portion of its print subscribers, released in the magazine’s March issue. Direct mail (34%) beat out email (25%), SEM (10%), and affiliate marketing (8%), with 23% of respondents citing other channels. For customer contact/retention, respondents also indicated that direct mail (37%) delivered the best ROI, ahead of email (31%), outbound telemarketing (7%), and social media engagement (6%), with 19% citing other channels.
Email is King for B2B Marketers
Email clearly is best for B2B marketers, though. 44% cited it as delivering the strongest ROI for customer retention, ahead of direct mail (17%), outbound telemarketing (15%), and webcasts (7%), with 17% citing other channels. Meanwhile, a plurality (27%) also indicated that email delivered the best ROI for customer acquisition, with 16% citing direct mail, and 14% for both outbound marketing and SEO. 29% said that other channels delivered the best acquisition ROI.
Half Say No Budget Changes Afoot
49% of marketers report no change in their 2012 direct marketing budgets when compared to 2011, roughly unchanged from 50.1% who responded that way in 2011. Of the remainder, marketers are 81% more likely to report an increase in budgets than a decrease (29% vs. 16%). These numbers are also virtually unchanged from 2011, when 28% expected to increase their budgets against 16% who expected a decrease.
B2C Marketers Most Optimistic
B2C respondents appear to be the most optimistic about budget changes this year. One-third forecast an increase in their marketing budgets compared to last year, compared to 14% who expect a decrease. B2B marketers are next, with 29% planning an increase compared to 16% a decrease. Hybrid companies marketing to both consumers and businesses follow closely, with 28% predicting an increase.
In 2011, the highest proportion of hybrid marketers (35%) planned an increase, ahead of B2C (26%) and B2B (22%) marketers.
About the Data: Target Marketing conducted the survey in January 2011 by emailing a questionnaire to the magazine’s print subscribers who have opted in to receive emails from Target Marketing. The audience was further refined by suppressing list services firms and creative services/advertising agencies to produce a list that was composed only of marketers. A total of 3 email drops were made between January 17 and January 31. Survey results are based on the participation of 497 respondents. Of the respondents to this year’s survey, 40% described their companies’ activities as B2B, 24% as B2C and 36% as both.