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In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, it’s easy to overlook the timeless allure of direct mail. But how much attention do people really give to the tangible pieces of paper that arrive in their mailboxes? Is it worth the investment, and can it effectively set your brand apart from the competition? Let’s delve into the fascinating world of direct mail and explore why it remains a valuable component of your marketing strategy.

A report produced earlier this year and published in June 2023 by JICMAIL, the media planning advisory service that specializes in measuring the effectiveness of mail and direct mail items, has revealed some startling insights.


The Touch of Paper: An Undeniable Attraction

According to a report by JICMAIL, people spend an average of 108 seconds per month engaging with the direct mail they receive. Notably, the type of direct mail influences this engagement. Business mail commands 150 seconds (two and a half minutes) of attention, and even unaddressed door drops snag an average of 46 seconds.

Mark Cross, Engagement Director at JICMAIL, highlighted, “The opportunity for advertisers to present their value story in mail in a tough economic climate is unmatched.”


Unlocking Value: Direct Mail’s Cost-Effective Appeal

Comparing the cost of media against the time spent engaging with it reveals an intriguing perspective on value. When viewed through the lens of price per minute of attention, direct mail stands out as a cost-effective marketing medium.

For instance, a minute of attention on television costs around 18p (€0.20 or 22 cents in USD). In contrast, business mail costs only 13p, and door drops a mere 7p. The highest price per minute of attention is associated with social display advertising, averaging 19p per minute.


Direct Mail’s Impact on Commercial Effectiveness

Beyond capturing attention, direct mail items also prove to be highly effective at driving commercial actions. According to the JICMAIL survey, direct mail items exhibit a remarkable 2 to 3 times multiplier effect on commercial effectiveness. This multiplier increases to 3 to 5 times for door drops.


Direct Mail Complements Digital Engagement

The JICMAIL survey also revealed that receiving direct mail generates a huge amount of digital attention for brands. Receiving direct mail often leads to significant digital engagement. On average, a mail item promoting an advertiser’s website results in a recipient spending an impressive five minutes on the website.

This highlights the synergy between different components of the marketing mix and underscores direct mail’s cost-effective ability to drive traffic to a brand’s website without relying on expensive social platform advertising.


The way mail moves around the home must drive marketing innovation

Understanding how mail moves around households opens doors to marketing innovation. The JICMAIL survey reveals those areas like the living room and kitchen command high levels of mail attention. When planning direct mail campaigns, marketers can strategically encourage recipients to move their mail items into these spaces. This might involve including recipes or creating visually appealing 3D paper designs that make for attractive displays.

Mark Cross concludes that mail deserves significant attention in marketing considerations, offering a unique engagement opportunity.


Industry-Recognized Methodology

To produce the report, JICMAIL collaborated with experts in the consumer analysis industry, including Kantar, PwC, and Lifestream. The study involved over 1,000 UK households and provided not only data on average engagement times but also additional valuable insights with significant implications for marketers.

In a digital-dominated world, direct mail remains a potent tool for attention, engagement, and brand success. Embrace its enduring power and set your brand apart.


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