Mailshots ‘driving record levels of digital engagement’

direct mail tooThe humble mailshot has reached a mobile tipping point, with record levels of mobile digital activity driven by direct mail, door drops and business mail signalling the deepening relationship between physical and digital channels.

That is one of the key findings of the latest report from Jicmail, the joint industry currency for mail based on data captured from a panel 1,000 households every month.

The Q3 2021 report reveals the effectiveness of mail at driving consumers to use their tablets or smartphones increased by 11% year on year, while the two year growth trend revealed an increase of 41%.

The rise in mail’s effectiveness at driving digital actions that emerged a year ago, shows no sign of dissipating a year later. Some 9% of mail drives consumers to advertiser websites, 6% to seek out new information about a brand online, while 5% prompts consumers to look up their account details.

In addition, mail has cemented its position in a multi-channel world by driving record amounts of tablet and smartphone usage. For the first time, the amount of mobile device usage prompted by mail exposure has outstripped the amount used to call advertisers directly.

Direct mail with distinct customer oriented creative content has been found to be highly effective at driving mobile usage (of which online banking is a large part). Some 11% of direct mail containing appointment related information drives mobile usage, and mailshots containing product notifications and reminders drive a similar level of mobile effectiveness.

Meanwhile, mail volumes received by the Jicmail panel continue to increase as the market rebounds from the pandemic. Door drops witnessed the stand-out growth, recording an 18% increase in volumes year on year, driven by a rebound in travel and tourism activity in the summer months, and an increase in activity in the telecoms sector as the likes of BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk jostle for market share.

Key mail media metrics tracked by Jicmail remain broadly stable year on year, with the average piece of direct mail interacted with 4.4 times a month on, business mail 4.9 times and door drops 3.0. Each interaction represents a brand impression and points to the power of mail in delivering the types of effects of usually associated with traditional advertising channels, Jicmail bosses claim.

Mail interactions captured by Jicmail panellists take many forms and range from opening and reading mail, to passing it on to someone else, putting it in the usual place, putting aside to look at later or taking it out of home (among a list of many other actions). In addition, the scheme captures the industry category and advertiser details of almost every mail item in its 190,000+ mail item database.

In response to new levels of effectiveness in the multichannel world post-pandemic, Jicmail has this month launched a raft of creative and campaign research solutions for advertisers, agencies, printers and mailing houses.

The first of these is a Test and Learn Toolkit, including mail creative content and audience targeting recommendations for A/B testing across a range of industry categories, along with the benchmarks by which success can be judged.

Secondly, it is offering an experimental methodology that allows advertisers to directly seed the Jicmail panel with their campaigns, so that effectiveness can be tracked across all Jicmail core commercial actions – from web traffic, to brand discussions to purchase based actions. Data is extracted from the core Jicmail nationally representative deliverables before being presented back to advertisers.

Thirdly, Jicmail has agreed an integration into Kantar’s brand measurement and shopper panel measurement solutions, designed to enable advertisers to assess how mail shifts the dial on brand awareness and consideration, along with its wider impact on retail sales.

Finally, Jicmail has agreed an integration with RAM (Research & Analysis of Media) to integrate Jicmail metrics into creative testing and campaign evaluation research using digital recreations of mailpacks.

Jicmail engagement director Mark Cross said: “Yet again this latest data release shows the multiple patterns of consumer behaviour stimulated by mail in the home, driving a range of actions across platforms.

“The trend towards mail prompting usage of mobile devices is a lead indicator of the deepening relationships between physical and digital channel opportunities with mail priming activity elsewhere.

“We encourage all of our users to explore and test the value of these evident trends by reference to our test and learn toolkit, designed to inspire users to put the latest Jicmail insights to the test, however large or small the campaign.”

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