Direct mail and door-drops cement Covid-19 comeback

door_dropDirect mail and door-drops are continuing to strengthen their influence in the Covid world, cementing significant year on year increases in interaction, longevity and driving purchase over the past 12 months and continuing to defy those who have been predicting the death of mail for years.

According to Jicmail’s Q4 results – gathered from a panel of 1,000 households – 8.4% of all advertising mail (including direct mail, door drops and business mail) drove traffic to advertiser websites during the period, while 5.0% prompted consumers to look up their account details. Building on Q3 numbers, both measures have grown by nearly 50% year on year.

Meanwhile, 5.7% of all ad mail and business mail prompted a purchase in Q4, again representing growth year on year, of 19%.

And while the frequency of interaction with mail – Jicmail’s measure of mail exposure – has remained virtually flat year on year for direct mail and business mail, consumers have displayed improved engagement with door drops with frequency growing 9%. The average door drop is interacted 3.06 time per month, direct mail 4.40 times and business mail 4.88 times.

Frequency of interaction with mail is a cornerstone of Jicmail’s mail exposure and campaign impression calculations. Crucially the rate of growth in mail frequency of interaction has been outstripped by the growth in commercial impact in Q4, meaning that mail is driving effectiveness with even greater efficiency than before.

Mail is also spending longer in the home than a year ago. The average mailshot is live in the home for 8.1 days before being filed or thrown away, representing growth of 4% year on year. Door-drops have been the biggest beneficiary of improved mail longevity, however, with double digit growth of 17% year on year and average lifespans of 6.3 days.

Door-drops containing vouchers and coupons and information about local services were key content drivers of lifespan growth, with the former staying in the home for a week on average, and the latter for nearly 9 days.

And as the nation’s vaccination programme continues to gather pace, direct mail containing appointment related information has seen 40% growth in lifespan year on year, staying in the home for 10 days on average.

When it comes to performance, door drops for the key sectors of grocery, retail, local tradespeople, and restaurants and takeaways were the biggest contributors to the channel’s improved lifespan metrics in Q4.

Meanwhile, financial services and retail have driven growth in consumer direct mail engagement.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that the UK is still in the grips of coronavirus, the NHS continues to be one of the biggest movers in terms of share of voice (or share of doormat), with its share of direct mail volumes nearly doubling, and its share of business mail up 24%.

Jicmail director of data leadership and learning Ian Gibbs said: “While we have for some years established the case for mail in advertising campaigns through the huge numbers of ad impressions that the channel generates, it is encouraging to see how efficiently those impressions are now converting into real commercial outcomes for brands.

“The accurate measurement of mail effectiveness should be a key concern for all measurement models – from econometrics to attribution models to brand trackers – if the channel is to be credited with effectiveness more accurately.”

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