The data covering the period from January to March 2023 also found that, despite another challenging quarter for consumers with the inflation rate remaining in the double-digits, a greater proportion of mail resulted in positive commercial outcomes for advertisers.
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) 3.8 times, and door drops three 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.
95% of mail was engaged with – i.e. had some form of physical interaction from consumers other than being immediately thrown away. This engagement has in turn lead to better returns for advertisers, with 30% of mail prompting commercial actions from consumers such as purchases, voucher redemption, website visits, and store footfall.
Mail open, read, and retention rates experienced year-on-year growth for the third quarter in a row. 75% of mail – including direct mail, business mail, and door drops – was read in Q1 2023, 65% was opened, and 46% was still live in the home after 28 days.
Key metrics related to product discovery improved year-on-year, with 16% of mail driving discussions about brands and 6% prompting consumers to search online for more information. Key customer engagement metrics also improved, with 8% of mail prompting advertiser website visits and 6% driving account log-ins.
When it comes to purchase fulfilment, mail also continued to experience growth in Q1, with 4% of mail prompting a purchase, 2% triggering a voucher redemption, and 2% driving store footfall.
Voucher interaction rates for business mail increased for the second quarter running – up to 5.6 interactions across a 28-day period.
The lifespan of door drops grew by 10.9% year-on-year, with retail and online retail door drops particularly contributing to this trend by recording their highest longevity in the home for two years.
Ian Gibbs, director of data leadership and learning, said: “Despite stubbornly high levels of inflation, there have been a few rays of sunshine in Q1 with the IPA Bellwether report pointing towards increased advertiser confidence in 2023 and PwC reporting that high street store closures have slowed.
“Against this backdrop mail continues to be a vital channel in efficiently delivering key messages to consumers when times are tough; and for those advertisers that are active in the channel, they have seen the reward of improved commercial effectiveness throughout the customer journey.”
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.