EuroDirect Research Reveals True Extent of Inaccurate Direct Mail

Nearly a third of unsolicited UK direct mail contains errors in either the prospect's name or address details, according to research revealed today by leading consumer data specialist EuroDirect.

EuroDirect monitored unsolicited B2C mailings from 330 UK businesses over a period of several months, and discovered that out of the 1004 prospect mailing pieces received, 283 (28%) been sent to deceased or goneaway residents or included either incorrect or misspelled names and/or addresses.

By causing distress and aggravation for the recipients this undoubtedly damages the brand image of the mailer but also costs significant sums of money in wasted print, packaging and postage costs. It also impacts on response rates as those that are delivered incorrectly have no chance of even being opened, never mind turning into a response or a sale!

The research showed that the worst offenders were Charities, with 77 percent of their mailings carrying being inaccurate.

This was followed closely behind by the FMCG and Automotive sectors with both personalising 65 percent of their mailings incorrectly. 45 percent of mailings from Financial Service organisations, including banks, building societies, loan providers and credit card companies were also found to incorporate inaccuracies. With just over one-third of mailings using erroneous name and address data, Insurance Companies and Utilities registered as the most accurate mailers.

John Dobson, Managing Director, from EuroDirect comments:

"Data is the pillar of direct marketing activity, but this research goes against the industry's claim that data accuracy is improving. While more investment may be being made in targeting, there is still an obvious lack of investment in getting simple names and addresses correct. This should be viewed as an incredibly serious issue, as it can substantially impact on the success of a direct mail campaign - many consumers will automatically dismiss marketing collateral if it is incorrectly addressed."

"An average data inaccuracy of 28 percent is likely to seriously jeopardise the success of any direct marketing activity, and should be seen by everyone in the industry as a sign that data cleansing should continue to be high on the agenda."