By Martin Rides
Direct mail has experienced a significant spike in interest and take-up in the last three months. That’s according to market analysis, sales figures and incoming leads from data quality and hygiene firm The Software Bureau.
The Software Bureau cites two main contributing factors for this growth: the cost reduction in postage offered by Mailmark and a reduction of client confidence in digital display advertising.
Mailmark was introduced by Royal Mail 18 months ago with the aim of making advertising mail more accountable. It is also now the most cost effective way to send bulk mail. In January 2016 a new price differential for Mailmark will be introduced making it up to 5% cheaper than other postage solutions. The Software Bureau estimates that this could save the industry up to £50m if the majority of bulk mailers transition to Mailmark. Royal Mail is considering a further price differential in January 2017. Already 100 mail producers are now Mailmark enabled, accounting for approximately 11% of the direct mail universe, which is a 67% increase since July 2015.
Anecdotal evidence also points to an erosion of client confidence in digital display advertising as a result of the rise in ad blocking software and the widely publicised issues with programmatic buying which renders many ads unserved. As a result of this clients are moving budget from digital and increasing spend on direct mail.
The Software Bureau intends to help more bulk mailers in 2016 navigate Mailmark and realise the cost savings that are available.
The company’s Managing Director, Martin Rides, said: “2015 has been a bumper year for direct mail with growth recorded by AA/WARC and The Bellwether Reports. Royal Mail has done a sterling job promoting the channel with its MailMen campaign and through initiatives such as Mailmark.
“We have worked closely with Royal Mail and the Downstream Access operators to transition the industry as smoothly as possible to Mailmark with the development of GeMMA, our market leading integrated eManifest Management Application which is necessary to access Mailmark, but is something not offered by Royal Mail. “