JICMail Q1 results show continued growth in mail effectiveness

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, June 3, 2021

JICMail, the joint industry currency for ad mail, has released its data for Q1 2021, which again highlights the improved effectiveness of mail since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mail volumes on the JICMail panel grew by 3% year-on-year in Q1
Mail volumes on the JICMail panel grew by 3% year-on-year in Q1

The data from the first three months of 2021, which the UK spent in the winter lockdown, revealed that mail volumes captured on the media measurement panel recorded year-on-year growth for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Despite the lockdown, advertisers remained more optimistic than they were at the start of the pandemic. Mail volumes on the JICMail panel grew by 3% year-on-year, primarily driven by a strong performance from direct mail, which was up 9% year-on-year, and business mail, which grew by 7%.

The continued Covid-19 vaccination programme and mail from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) related to the national census contributed to the growth in public sector mail volumes. However, mail from telecoms and mail order advertisers also played their part in sustaining volumes.

The data also revealed that mail effectiveness continued to record double-digit year-on-year growth across nearly all stages of the customer journey.

It found that 9% of mail (direct mail, door drops, and business mail combined) prompted a visit to an advertiser website in Q1, representing a 32% growth in effectiveness year-on-year. 7.5% of mail prompted a brand discussion, which was up 15% year-on-year, while 5.3% prompted consumers to look up their account details, a rise of 10% year-on-year.

The frequency of interaction with mail and item reach, which indicates the extent to which mail is shared in the home, both marginally declined during Q1.

The average door drop was interacted with 2.98 times per month, direct mail 4.42 times, and business mail 4.83 times. The average door drop was kept in the home for 6.2 days before being filed or thrown away/recycled, with direct mail kept for 7.9 days, and business mail retained for 9.4 days.

JICMail said that two-year growth rates are still strong, evidence that long-term changes in mail behaviours remain.

Furthermore, it added that with commercial effectiveness growth rates outstripping the growth in frequency of interaction with mail, each mail impression “is now working harder than ever at driving a commercial response”.

JICMail said that while mail’s ability to drive consumers into physical stores rebounded significantly in the period between the spring and winter lockdowns, digital effects also remained, highlighting that mail is reflecting the shifting omni-channel way in which consumers now interact with brands.

And in periods where non-essential retail was closed and more shoppers moved online, mail was found to be just as effective at driving digital traffic.

JICMail engagement director Mark Cross said: “All eyes are on the shifting patterns of media consumption as we emerge from the pandemic, and with these Q1 results we see again how mail is increasing ‘full funnel’ effects such as driving online visits or brand discussions.

“They present a great opportunity for mail spenders to test out these latest shifts for mail and help establish the ‘new normal’ for their businesses.”

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.

A recent Printweek briefing looked at how JICMail data during 2020 had already highlighted the increasing effectiveness of mail as more people spent time indoors due to lockdowns and working from home measures.

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