Mail open, read, and retention rates improve in Q4

77% of mail items were read, looked at or glanced at in Q4
77% of mail items were read, looked at or glanced at in Q4

JICMail, the joint industry currency for ad mail, has released its data for Q4 2022, which revealed that more mail was opened, read, and retained over the Christmas trading season than at any other point during 2022.

The data covering the period from October to December 2022, captured from a panel of one thousand households every month, found that a greater proportion of mail – including direct mail, business mail, and door drops, was read (77% of mail items), opened (66%), and retained (46%) in the home in Q4 than at any other point in the year.

JICMail said its findings confirmed that the mail channel has continued to assert its role as a vital source of advertiser product and service information as the cost of living crisis deepens.

The data showed that the average piece of business mail was interacted with 4.9 times over a 28-day period, direct mail 4.4 times, Partially Addressed Mail (PAM) 3.9 times, and door drops 3.1 times.

The average lifespan in the home was 8.6 days for business mail, 7.2 days for direct mail, 6.4 days for PAM, and 5.4 days for door drops.

JICMail said each of these physical mail interactions also represents a significant year-on-year increase vs Q4 2021.

Financial statements, loyalty reward statements, notifications and reminders, and vouchers/coupons are the most likely types of mail content to be retained in the home.

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. The data showed a year-on-year increase in mail’s effectiveness at driving brand discussions (up to 14% of mail). 5% of mail, meanwhile, was used to prompt a purchase.

Ian Gibbs, JICMail director of data leadership and learning, said: “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 out in their results.”

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.