CDMS Research: Customer Marketing Generates Higher Response Than Prospect Mailings


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Research commissioned by CDMS amongst senior marketers in the UK has found that customer marketing generates a significantly higher response than prospect mailings. Moreover, event triggered marketing to customers produces an additional 35% response uplift, indicating that using relationship data to generate relevant messages has a massive impact on campaign success.

CDMS commissioned research amongst the UK’s top 1000 company marketers and their agencies, which aggregated current response uplift statistics from a range of typical media combinations. Respondents to the survey gave their answers specifically in relation to a known statistic – namely the average response rate for UK direct mail campaigns as a whole (see DMIS, Letterbox Factfile 2006).

Richard Higginbotham, Head of Marketing at CDMS, comments, “While the research shows that marketing to existing customers produces a response uplift average 33.4%, the highest quoted answer to this question posed to the panel was 75%. This highlights that well executed customer campaigns could reap great rewards.

“A further refinement to customer retention and development activity is being implemented by leading marketers and agencies. Rather than simply process regular campaigns to customers in a batch fashion, some organisations have leveraged their database marketing systems to target offers at customers only when they behave in a particular way. These ‘event triggers’ instruct the database marketing system to send a targeted offer to the customer in question anywhere from the same week to the same day, depending on time-sensitivity and marketing medium used. Indeed, the demand for transactional data, which provides a proxy where a company does not have triggers in their own data, is an indicator of the growing importance of communicating with customers at the ‘right’ or appropriate time.”

Event-triggers might include the following: a customer service call, a type of transaction, going through a spending level in a particular period or customer’s birthday.

The survey also examined the key question of the extent to which different media combinations produce response uplift. The survey respondents were asked to gauge uplift against a solus direct mail piece with a postal response mechanism.

Compared to the average direct mail campaign with a postal response mechanism, what percentage uplift in response do you think the following media combinations tend to produce?


Direct mail, with response via post and a freephone number


Direct mail, with response via post and email


Direct mail, with response via post and a personalised URL


Direct mail, with response via post and a website


Direct mail, with response via post and telephone


Direct mail, with response via post and SMS (text)


In all cases, the addition of extra response media was felt to produce a significant uplift, with the primary findings being:-

· Adding additional response channels produces an uplift that varies from 12% (SMS) to 21% (Freephone)

· Personalised URLs (19%) produce a greater response uplift than a non-personalised Website (14%)

· Freephone and Email produce the greatest response uplift when added as additional response media.

“The survey findings emphasise that UK marketers are becoming more sophisticated in the way they communicate with customers and prospects,” comments Higginbotham. “The same goes in the reverse. There is clearly a demand from the consumer to be able to access relevant information through the channel of their choice, which means that the more channels an organisation offers their customers, the better response they will get. Nevertheless, the research also shows that ignoring traditional channels will be to the marketer’s detriment, with direct mail driving the greatest share of response to the telephone and email.”


Notes to the editor:

For more information or a copy of the management summary, please contact:-

Josephine Ornago ([email protected])

Dina Morton ([email protected])

Tel. 020 7402 0510


Research base: Senior marketers from UK top 1000 companies

Research period: October 2007

Research method: Telephone & email survey

Fieldwork: MarketingUK

About CDMS:

CDMS provides intelligent marketing solutions by turning clients’ data into an asset, and providing the tools and expertise to utilise this to increase the value of their communications. From data cleansing, enhancement and analysis to hosted campaign management, billing and statementing, to multi-channel execution, CDMS provides the whole range of direct marketing services to ensure maximum return on investment.

The integration of cutting-edge software, reference data, high quality services, delivery options and expertise deliver purpose built Marketing Services Solutions. With over 45 years of experience in the Direct Marketing industry, CDMS have built long-term partnerships with many blue-chip Financial Services and Retail organisations, founded on helping them to deliver profitable marketing strategies. CDMS have been noticeably successfully in the Government, Leisure and Travel industries. For more information, visit

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