Increasingly, the line between direct marketing and online marketing is blurring.

"True ‘relevance’ lies in the content and context of a marketing message, not in the mere strategic placement of a recipient’s name or other customer data in a marketing solicitation," Bruce Biegel of Winterberry Group told attendees at the DMA 2006 Conference in San Francisco. "If marketers expect results, they must tailor relevant messages by utilizing data and analytics programs that react to geo-, demo- and psychographic information to enhance behavioral targeting and measurement."

In the "What’s in the Mailbox?" survey, meant to find how to stand apart in a crowded marketing landscape, researchers found that 21% of respondents visited a corresponding Web site within 30 days of receiving direct mail, up from 14% in 2003.

According to Internet Retailer, the results indicate that direct-mail-influenced Web traffic grew 50% over the past three years. Though that may be putting the case a little strongly, the trend is definitely up.

Direct marketers are doing a number of things to make their mailings more effective.

Though over 80% of them only modify the salutation and a few basic content elements, the survey shows that 44% of marketers are now using some form of personalization in every e-mail campaign they send.

More here.