2016 might have already earned its place as the year of the celebrity death, but alongside the passings of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Caroline Aherne, and George Michael, the increasing mortality rate of the general population means the number of mailings mail to deceased is set to surpass 200 million pieces for the first time.
Statistics from ONS show that last year, England and Wales suffered the biggest annual rise in deaths for almost 50 years, with an increase of 5.4%. Trends over the last four years show the highest rates of death since World War Two.
A new study by Wilmington Millennium reveals suggests that due to this increase in deaths as many as 100,000 additional mailings could be sent to people that have passed away, taking the total figure of deceased mail sent in 2017 to over 200 million.
The organisation’s benchmarking survey showed that in 2016 21% of consumers received at least one piece of direct mail addressed to a deceased family member or friend, but this is projected to grow to 14.1 million this year.
Wilmington Millennium Mortascreen product director Karen Pritchard said: “The cold, hard truth of it is that there is a direct correlation between the mortality rate and the number of pieces of direct mail being sent to people who have passed away.
“When the death rate grows so too does the number of mistargeted mailings. Our figures show that for every percentage point rise in the mortality rate consumers can expect to receive around 20,000 more mailings that are addressed to deceased people. The easiest way for organisations to reduce this number is through the implementation of best practice data hygiene. With GDPR just around the corner this must become the priority, not a ‘nice to have’.”
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