The research was carried out on marketing professionals from the UK's top 1000 companies and asked for their opinions on whether SMEs were applying best practice techniques to their marketing mailings.
To summarise, it defined best practice as having clean data, clever prospecting, and carrying out good follow-up research.
According to Pitney Bowes this dispels the commonly held theory that sophisticated direct mail is the sole preserve of large companies conducting bulk mailings, despite the relatively small percentage carrying out best practice.
Barry Jessop, VP European marketing and lines of business, Pitney Bowes, offers an explanation why the 25 per cent improved: "This has been helped by the fact that the cost of simple database management technology has fallen. Additionally, smaller companies now have truly sophisticated, desk-top mail creation and mail distribution options."
The survey also analysed the results by SME vertical sector. IT came out on top with builders at the other end of the spectrum, print and publishing came third and IFAs were fourth from last.
Jessop comments, "Direct marketing is a good medium for IT firms. At the other end of the scale, it may be unfair to expect builders to be DM experts. However, white collar firms such as IFAs have no such excuses."