Mail effectiveness reaches highest point in a year

Mail continues to be an effective store footfall driver
Mail continues to be an effective store footfall driver

JICMail, the joint industry currency for ad mail, has released its data for Q2 2023, which revealed that despite another challenging quarter for UK advertisers, the effectiveness of the mail channel has reached its highest point in a year and a half.

The data covering the period from April to June 2023 found that mail continued to prove its value as a commercially effective marketing channel for advertisers, with 9% growth year-on-year in the proportion of mail items prompting commercial actions among consumers, up to a level of 30.5%.

Mail proved its effectiveness at all stages of the customer journey, from driving brand discovery through brand discussions (up to 16% of mail in Q2 2023 from 14% in Q2 2022); to customer engagement through website visits (8% of mail); through to purchase fulfilment (up to 5% from 4% last year).

JICMail said that while there were a handful of retailers, including Morrisons, Hillary’s, Marks & Spencer, and Farmfoods, who took significant advantage of the mail channel by increasing their share of doormat (i.e. share of mail volumes) in Q2, there was “a clear opportunity for retailers to boost their visibility” in consumer households via the mail channel for the remainder of 2023.

The latest IPA Bellwether study reported that sales promotions drove record levels of growth in Q2 2023, and JICMail’s Q2 data demonstrates that mail was a vital channel for delivering vouchers and special offers.

2.3% of all mail prompted a voucher to be used in Q2, with increased engagement particularly noted among special offers and vouchers delivered via door drops and business mail.

Overall consumer engagement with mail also continued to grow in Q2, with frequency of interaction up year-on-year across direct mail, door drops, and partially addressed mail, and item reach (i.e. the number of people mail is shared with in a household) up across all mail types.

For the fourth quarter in a row mail open, read, and retention rates improved year-on-year.

The average piece of business mail was interacted with 4.7 times over a 28-day period, direct mail 4.5 times, Partially Addressed Mail (PAM) 3.1 times, and door drops 3.1 times.

The average lifespan in the home was 8.5 days for business mail, 7.1 days for direct mail, 6.7 days for PAM, and 5.7 days for door drops.

The average piece of direct mail was looked at for 122 seconds across 28 days, door drops 55 seconds, business mail 159 seconds, and PAM for 68 seconds.

Ian Gibbs, JICMail director of data leadership and learning, said: “There have continued to be mixed signals from the British high street this summer. While retail sales actually increased in June, the number of vacant stores grew.

“Either way, with budgets under significant pressure, marketers need to consider their media mix with even greater levels of scrutiny. With the mail channel proving its ability to drive store footfall and purchase along with a range of digital effects, it is clear that direct mail and door drops can offer advertisers the immediate returns that they are looking for.”

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.