Submitted by: Shareena Patel 21/08/2015
Over the past 18 months, Royal Mail MarketReach has conducted the UK’s largest study into the effectiveness of mail as a marketing medium, and we’ve amassed an unprecedented body of proof about the role of mail in the digital age. That proof all points towards the fact that mail is still fantastically effective.
“Mail makes people experience higher levels of emotional engagement and remember more than other media”
For the first time ever, we looked behind the letterbox in the home. We did that using ethnographic observation techniques that included CCTV, followed up by quantitative surveys. So we put cameras in the home then interviewed the occupants, before validating those findings through a quantitative survey. What we found is that 39% of people say that they have a dedicated display area for mail and people are habitual in the way they process and store mail. We also found that mail is passed around, with 23% sharing information between others in the household. Interestingly 21% of special offers and promotions are shared. We also found that advertising mail sticks around in the home for an average of 17 days. That compares very favourably to the shelf life of other media, so there’s a real permanence to mail that is a key strength. There’s a definite emotional reaction to mail communication, with 38% of people saying that the physical properties of mail influence how they feel about the sender. So if an envelope feels premium, it conveys those attributes to the recipient of the mailing. We also looked at neuroscience, because much of what people do is automatic and subconscious, particularly in the way we absorb advertising messages. And there’s an instinctive interaction with mail in the way that people sort and display and nteract with it.
We discovered that there’s a measurable change in how consumers react when mail is added to other media. So where someone had seen a proposition or a logo in a mail pack, then saw the same thing on a TV screen, there was a neurological spike in their reaction. And the same thing was true the other way around. So clearly the media multiplier effect is at work and it would be possible for marketers to plan mail and TV or mail and all other media to take full advantage of that. We also found that mail is remembered. Over half of the respondents, 60%, said that the best mail advertising helps keep the brand top of mind. Mail works because it’s so immersive. It’s difficult to engage with a mail pack and do something else at the same time. The sense of touch is also very powerful, which is the reason why you’re so engaged with a piece of mail and why it’s such a strong marketing medium. The results of our research proves that in 2015, mail is thriving. Mail is opened, mail is read and mail is kept. Mail is a multi-sensory experience and research proves that right now, it’s more relevant than ever.
+ To find out more and download your free copy of The Private Life of Mail, go to www.mailmen.co.uk