As you may have read in Decision Marketing recently, I was quoted as saying that direct mail was experiencing something of a renaissance; and that this in part was a result of more responsible targeting due to GDPR (which turned 5 at the back end of last month). You can read the article here:

In case there were any doubters, my assertions have been justified by the latest set of JICMAIL results: mail effectiveness is soaring. Direct mail engagement and effectiveness reached their highest level in a year, with the Q1 2023 results showing that despite another challenging quarter for consumers, a greater proportion of mail was engaged with than at any point in the previous year, and a greater proportion resulted in positive commercial outcomes for advertisers.

The latest figures reveal that 95% of mail was engaged with. In other words, 95% of mail had some form of physical interaction from consumers other than being immediately thrown away. This engagement has in turn led to better returns for advertisers, with 30% of mail prompting commercial actions from consumers such as purchases, voucher redemption, website visits and store footfall.

At a time when the inflation rate has remained in the double-digits and consumers’ wallets are feeling more stretched than ever, mail has again proven itself to be an effective channel to communicate with households when times are tough.

In addition, mail open, read and retention rates have experienced year-on-year growth for the third quarter in a row. 75% of mail (including Direct Mail, Business Mail and Door Drops) was read in Q1 2023, 65% was opened, and 46% was still live in the home (i.e., had not been discarded) after 28 days.

Key metrics related to product discovery improved year-on-year, with 16% of mail driving discussions about brands and 6% prompting consumers to search online for more information. Customer engagement metrics also improved with 8% of mail prompting advertiser website visits and 6% driving account log-ins.

When it comes to purchase fulfilment, mail also continued to experience growth in Q1, with 4% of mail prompting a purchase, 2% triggering a voucher redemption and 2% driving store footfall.

Business Mail has proven to be an effective channel for delivering much needed money-saving vouchers and coupons to cash-strapped consumers, with voucher interaction rates increasing for the second quarter running (up to 5.6 interactions across a 28 day period).  Whilst, the lifespan of Door Drops grew by 10.9% year on year, with retail and online retail Door Drops particularly contributing to this trend by recording their highest longevity in the home for two years.

Commenting on the figures Ian Gibbs at JICMAIL said: “Mail continues to be a vital channel in efficiently delivering key messages to consumers when times are tough; and for those advertisers that are active in the channel, they have seen the reward of improved commercial effectiveness throughout the customer journey.”

Direct mail is undoubtedly an effective channel, but its effectiveness is directly correlated to its relevance. As soon as mail errs on the side irrelevance its effectiveness drops. This is why data is critical. If mail is inappropriately addressed or targeted at the wrong person then ROI drops through the floor. This is why having a data partner, such as ourselves, is critical to ensuring that mail has the best chance of reaching the right and intended recipient. For more information about how we can help, please get in touch.