The humble mailshot continues to outperform other marketing channels, with new figures showing that over the Christmas trading season, more mail was opened, read and retained than at any other point during 2022.
That is according to the latest figures from Jicmail, the data captured from a panel of a thousand households every month, which reveal that in Q4 2022 a greater proportion of mail (including direct mail, business mail and door drops) was read (77%), opened (66%), and retained (46%) in the home.
The report maintains that this confirming the mail channel has continued to assert its role as vital source of advertiser product and service information as the cost of living crisis deepens – and at a time when the post has faced major disruption due to ongoing industrial action.
Each of these physical mail interactions also represents a significant year-on-year increase compared to Q4 2021. At a time of year when consumers are more likely than ever to be bombarded by advertising messages across multiple channels, the healthy open and read rates recorded for mail gives advertisers reassurance of consumers’ willingness to engage with the mail channel, Jicmail claims.
Financial statements, loyalty reward statements, notifications and reminders (often about service renewals) and vouchers/coupons are the most likely types of mail content to be retained in the home.
And, in addition to open and read rates improving, the effectiveness of the mail channel has been maintained, with a host of digital and purchase effects prompted by mail exposure particularly prevalent.
A year-on-year increase in mail’s effectiveness at driving brand discussions (up to 14% of mail), points towards mail continuing to drive effects throughout the customer journey – in brand discovery as well as purchase fulfilment.
The 5% of mail that is used to prompt a purchase is a number that tallies closely with the upcoming Response Rate Tracker pilot study from Jicmail, which looks to provide enhanced mail benchmarking by drawing on campaign-centric data as opposed to self-reported consumer-centric data. The findings will be published next month.
Returning to the Q4 2022 report, the average piece of business mail was interacted with 4.9 times, direct Mail 4.4 times and door drops 3.1 times over a twenty-eight day period in.
Meanwhile, in the direct mail space, the retailers Matalan and Go Outdoors have made “share-of-doormat” gains in Q4, along with the NHS and ROL Cruises.
Door drop share-of-doormat has coalesced around the largest advertisers in Q4, with eight of the top 10 recording share gains – most notably Domino’s, Farmfoods, Checkatrade, Vodafone and Sky.
Jicmail director of data leadership and learning Ian Gibbs, commented: “Although Q4 has presented some challenging market conditions, it is clear that there is as much appetite as ever from consumers to open, read and discuss their mail. Those advertisers that upped their ‘share-of-doormat’ in the Christmas trading period have no doubt seen this borne our in their results.”
Jicmail engagement director Mark Cross added: “This is a rich picture of how mail is being interacted with and retained in the homes across the nation over these pressured times, delivering brands a compelling mix of increasing readership, in-home touchpoints and multiple commercial actions to support their campaign outcomes.”
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