Direct mail is now as measurable (if not more so, according to JICMAIL) than digital campaigns.

For the first time JICMAIL has assessed how responsive UK householders are to direct mail incorporating key metrics such as response rates for acquisition and retention-based mail marketing campaigns, ROI, CPA and AOV. These are available for the retail, finance and insurance, medical and charity sectors.

The study found that organisations using direct mail can expect benchmark response rates of almost 11 per cent for warm direct mail, which is defined as mail received by people who are known to be customers. Whilst a response rate of one per cent is received for cold mail, which is considered to be mail sent to people that are not customers.

In a challenging climate where efforts to boost levels of loyalty and engagement are taking on increased significance, understanding the response rates for mail from existing customers is very valuable. Whilst at the same time, acquiring new customers is also critical therefore having insight into the effectiveness of the mail channel for acquisition is also important when it comes to campaign planning. JICMAIL recommends that a blend of warm and cold is likely to deliver the greatest success.

Another key finding from the new response tracker is that mail delivers an ROI of 14.5 for warm and 4.4 for cold direct mail. Average Order Value (AOV) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) benchmarks are also available.

The benchmarks are a starting point for target setting, which should then be iterated upon using a unique set of brand, market and customer profile factors that acknowledge the nuance of individual campaigns with different objectives.

Says Mark Cross, Engagement Director at JICMAIL.

“These new response metrics exceed conventional digital response metrics and add a valuable layer to existing JICMAIL data, together creating new discussions on how performance can be improved through the inclusion of mail in the omnichannel mix.”

Based on the results of 1,017 anonymised campaigns provided by key industry players JICMAIL’s first release of its Response Rate Tracker is billed as a pilot study. This proof of concept study is designed to galvanise interest from the industry, expanding the pool of submissions and increasing the representation of benchmarks across industry sectors and mail types.

Of course, response rate success is also directly correlated to the quality of the data used. A mailing that gets a customer or prospect’s name wrong is hugely unlikely to illicit a positive response, nor is one that has been sent to someone that no longer lives at the address. With mail marketing experiencing a boom in popularity amongst consumers, now considered the most trustworthy and welcomed form of advertising, this is why data hygiene must be at the heart of any campaign.