We’ve Been Swooning Over Direct Mail…
…and rightly so after delving into the Royal Mail Market Reach Report of ‘Mail Cuts Through’.
The study measured neuroscience research to branded mail, email and social media advertising. The content was based on real brand campaigns with consistent messaging across the three channels. Technology called SST (Steady State Topography) was used and participants were fitted with visors and headsets containing sensors that picked up electrical responses in the brain as they viewed the content.
When it came to direct mail participants were asked to bring their unopened mail from their homes, to which mail stimulus was added and placement order randomised. Participants were asked to browse mail just as they would at home and given the choice to engage with or disregard any piece of mail just as they normally would.
Time for some fascinating results…
- Results showed that mail activates areas of the brain responsible for long term memory encoding 49% more than email and 35% more than social media advertising. This shows us the important role mail can play within the media mix to boost memorability and potentially increase customers intent to purchase
- Data from JICMAIL (The Joint Industry Committee for Mail, which delivers industry-standard audience measurement data for mail), showed that 31% of all addressed advertising mail leads to a commercial interaction such as visiting the sender’s website or making a purchase.
- Direct mail is 33% more engaging than email and 35% more engaging than social media advertising.
- Direct mail reaches people directly in their homes and gains their full attention. JICMAIL data shows that 94% of mail is engaged with in some way or another. Also addressed advertising mail is interacted with four times on average.
- Mail’s physical quality reflects the care and effort used in the message. People told us that it is mail (70%), rather than email (30%) from companies, that makes them feel valued. And the same percentage told us that mail, rather than email, gives them a better impression of the company that sent it.
In consumer research Market Reach regularly found people placing mail somewhere visible in their home as a reminder to call to action. Or taking it out with them to act on (64% say they do this*), such as to redeem an offer, to refer to when buying something, or to share it with others.
One respondent even describes direct mail as feeling “human and real”.
Direct mail can add an engaging and interactive dimension to the media mix. It is tactile, personal and reaches people in their homes. Direct mail can feel ‘human and real’ against the huge inbox of competing communication competing for people’s attention. Direct mail is engaged and interacted with, and remembered by, people of all ages – even younger and more digitally engaged audiences.
Their research showed that people respond more strongly to mail, and together mail and digital are a powerful force to make your campaigns work harder.