Marketing: does direct mail marketing still work?

In our technology driven world, direct mail marketing is often thought of as old-fashioned and outdated, but recent research suggests it still has legs – and they’re stronger than you think. We share mail, look at it again and again and, most importantly, we remember it. When added to the marketing mix, direct mail can boost ROI by as much as 12%.

Not convinced? Let’s look at why it still works.

  1. Mail creates a lasting impression

We still like to give, receive and handle tangible objects. Why? Because we’re human and mail has an emotional effect on us. This effect is the reason that direct mail is making a comeback. 60% of people asked in a Royal Mail survey said that it made a more lasting mental impression on them, making it easier to recall later on. 57% said that postcard marketing made them feel more valued and created a more authentic relationship. Even millennials, who run their lives on an iPhones or tablets, like mail. Gallup reported that 36% of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking their post every day. And 95% have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters.

  1. Mail reaches more people

Addressed advertising mail has a reach of 1.2. This means that, on average, for every 100 items of mail received, 20 are shared.

  1. We look at mail again and again

On average, addressed advertising mail is revisited 4.2 times because mail stays in the home on average for 6.8 days and 27% of mail stays in the home for over 4 weeks.

  1. Mail drives multiple actions

31% of addressed mail leads to a commercial action and 70% of people are driven online as a result of receiving mail.

How does it compare to email marketing?

We are regularly overwhelmed by inboxes cluttered with marketing emails – and we regularly ignore them all. This has made us much more receptive to direct mail and has led to it becoming the top channel for direct response. In fact the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) found that direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate, compared to 0.12% for email. And, overall, direct mail’s response rates are actually anywhere from 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital.

So, is it time to ditch the digital? No! Technology helps us to determine who our customers are, where they are and what they want. So combining the old marketing strategies with the newer ones, like live streaming, is the best way to reach your customers.

What is JICMAIL?

Set up by the DMA, Royal Mail, ISBA, IPA and Whistl, JICMAIL provides data for mail. It can measure the number of people reached, the number of times viewed and how long it’s kept at home. And it can do that for every single item that comes through the letterbox.

This data is captured by following each piece of mail for 4 weeks in a nationally representative sample of 1,000 households per quarter.

JICMAIL can be accessed through all key media-planning tools such as Telmar, Choices and IMS. And a new Insight Engine from Royal Mail can help businesses understand the performance of mail in their sector, the performance of mail for a specific target audience, or for both.