A pandemic and direct mail – what do we know?

Life has changed the past year and a bit hasn’t it?

It’s changed for most of us personally, and we know that consumer behaviour has changed in many ways too.

The channels we’re focusing on for this blog are door drops and direct mail as there is quite the story to tell!

We’ve always known that the humble door drop and direct mail acquisition pieces have been the unglamorous almost ugly sisters to the shiny, exciting digital channels that have dominated the last few years. But those of us in the know have always remained convinced that they are effective channels if used correctly and should not be underestimated.

For example, I can’t recall too many Facebook or programmatic ads that I’ve been served in the last few days, but I do long to have a cuppa and read my lovely Sarah Raven catalogue that arrived last week, as well as my mailer from Loaf. In fact, they’re waiting for me in their allotted place in the kitchen where all interesting mail goes. (We all have that place, right?) I might just go and make that cuppa and have a leaf through them once I’ve written this.

In all seriousness, on average, door drops stay in the home for over six days (up almost 17% YOY) and addressed mail for eight days on average (up 3.9% YOY). Of 1,000 door dropped items, 110 of them drive a commercial action by the consumer. In a world of click through rates and post-view conversions, there is something really nice about mail and door drops. I love the personal nature of it, it offers more insight into the brand and is a physical piece of literature that someone has spent money on to reach little old me. It’s easier to keep hold of those items to refer back to than it is a digital ad, though of course it’s helpful if the look and feel is consistent across all channels, but that’s a story for another day.

We knew from our research tools that homeworkers tended to interact more with mail, and given that we now have a far higher percentage of homeworkers, this engagement has shot up year on year. Purchases are up but look at the percentage increases for those who went online for more information and those who visited the sender’s website: both up 47% in just a year, and sitting at 5.3% and 8.4% respectively.

It truly is an exciting time in Direct Mail as it’s becoming the bridge between the ‘traditional’ marketing channels and the digital ones. The surge in the use of the QR codes since March 2020 is reshaping how we can use this channel to really drive online activity. Then add in the component of people being at home more often and you are on to a winner.

A leaflet through the door can be the start of a successful omnichannel marketing strategy. For example, if a consumer receives a leaflet they may then check the website or perhaps look at the brand’s social channels. Then they search and respond to a PPC ad or are served a Facebook retargeting ad and the journey goes from there, all because they received a leaflet.

Is it about time you considered bringing mail into your overall media mix?

Give us a call at Space & Time if you’d like some advice. I’m our DM Channel Champion and will be only too happy to help.