I pretty much love any good news at the moment! So I thought I’d share some interesting data around the effectiveness of physical mail. The JIC Mail – Joint Industry Committee for Mail – has released its panel results for Q2. The results are extraordinary: record-breaking double-digit increases in the effectiveness of direct mail and door drops in the period since the COVID crisis began. Direct mail showed a 16% increase in the number of impressions and an 11% rise in the number of interactions. Door drops saw the largest increase in interactions +15%. You can find the full review here. As a result, we’ve been pondering why it is that physical mail seems to be more welcomed, and hopefully more effective, in these troubling times.
We Trust Mail More
Trust, we think, is high on the list. In recent years ‘fake news’ in its many guises (spam, phishing, whaling, fake stories) has potentially impacted the levels of trust that consumers have in digital ‘media’. Remember back to March 2018 when Facebook printed an apology in the press for the leaked Facebook data of millions of users? Despite their huge digital network, they chose to use the printed word to get their apology across. More recently, the UK Government door-dropped to 30 million households during the Coronavirus pandemic. Even before the crisis, they used door drops during the Brexit campaign and at other critical times too.
The research is encouraging
According to HubSpot research, 55% of consumers now say they don’t trust the companies they buy from as much as they used to and 40% of businesses agree that prospecting is the hardest part of the sales process. This pretty much means marketers have to work harder than ever – and smarter too – to gain trust. Trust plays such an important part in customer retention – but also in prospecting. I for one, prefer to do business with, or buy from, people I like and trust. And generating trust seems to be getting harder. In research carried out by the Royal Mail 87% of consumers asked rated messages delivered by mail as believable, compared to 48% for email, and 70% said mail made them feel more valued, compared to 30% for email. As part of a balanced, multi-channel approach, then, direct mail clearly has a valuable role to play to reinforce trust in other channels such as email or social media. There are other reasons too, to add physical mail to a multi-channel marketing campaign:
- tactility – holding a physical piece of brand communication can generate a more emotional reaction than the digital alternative
- reach – particularly at the moment, when so many more people are at home,
- recall or memory encoding – according to Royal Mail, a customer is 44% more likely to remember a marketing campaign after they have seen it if they received a piece of mail first. Food for thought for anyone looking to dial up the results from a digital-only campaign.