Increase in households retaining their mail

There has been a 60% increase in the proportion of mail prompting advertiser website visits since Q2 2017
There has been a 60% increase in the proportion of mail prompting advertiser website visits since Q2 2017

JICMail, the joint industry currency for ad mail, has released its data for Q2 2022, which found there has been a significant increase in the amount of households retaining their mail, with more consumers choosing to file their mail away for use at a later date or take it out of the home.

The data covering the period from April to June 2022 showed the average piece of business mail was interacted with 4.8 times over a 28-day period, direct mail 4.4 times, Partially Addressed Mail (PAM) 3.7 times, and door drops three times.

The average lifespan in the home was 8.6 days for business mail, 7.2 days for direct mail, 5.7 days for PAM, and 5.5 days for door drops.

44% of mail is still live in the home after 28 days, a significant increase on Q2 2021. JICMail said this could indicate that households are placing more importance on mail content in economically challenging times.

Overall, 94% of mail is engaged with, i.e., it has at least one meaningful physical interaction over a 28-day period.

20% of all mail is filed away in the home – up 2% year-on-year, while 3% is taken out of the home for further usage. The sectors driving this increased desire to retain mail are government, financial services, and utilities, a trend pointing towards the increased relevance of these sectors for consumers in recent times.

Across the five years of JICMail tracking to date, there has been a 60% increase in the proportion of mail prompting advertiser website visits. The organisation said this provided further evidence that mail triggers an increasing blend of digital and physical effects for advertisers.

JICMail director of data leadership and learning Ian Gibbs said: “With household incomes being squeezed – particularly by rising energy bills, it is no surprise that consumers are keeping hold of mail from financial services, utilities and central/local government advertisers for longer.

“In economically uncertain times, it is essential to speak to customers and prospects using highly trustworthy and credible channels. Increased retention rates, digital effectiveness and consistent and reliable engagement metrics all support the case for ad mail in this space.”

Engagement director Mark Cross added: “With the quality of engagement and interaction a pivotal challenge for all brand owners in a cluttered media ecosystem these latest results show the standout levels achievable through mail across a full set of engagement and action KPIs, with the perceived value of mail in the home increasing.

“The 60% rise in digital journeys driven by mail over the last five years of JICMail data is a profound indicator of the change in relationships across physical mail and online experiences.”

JICMail data is gathered from a panel of 1,000 households every month. The mail activity of every household member is tracked using a diary-based app. Every mail item they receive over the course of a week is captured and everything they do with that mail item over the course of a month is recorded.