According to research by Statista, in 2017 there were 269 billion emails sent and received every day. That equates to a little over 11.2 billion emails every hour or around 186 million emails per minute. To put that into perspective, that’s more than the entire population of Russia sending an email every minute, every day!
Consider the fact that, again according to recent research, the average office worker can receive up to 121 emails in their inbox daily, and it becomes clear that your marketing emails are indeed a very small needle in a very large haystack.
In summary, for your email to get noticed it has to shout louder than every other email. A lot louder. Of course, a targeted email marketing strategy to a warm list can deliver great results. But it’s becoming harder and harder to cut through the noise and deliver your message loud and clear via email. We send email marketing campaigns for ourselves here at Herald Chase and also on behalf of some of our clients, so we’re not calling for a boycott of the channel here. Rather, it’s important to recognise the challenges and identify the opportunities that exist elsewhere.
The big opportunities that exist elsewhere can be found in Direct Mail. This is in part due to the crowded market digital channels find themselves a part of, but also due to the recently implemented GDPR regulations. These factors have led to marketers finding innovative and creative ways to utilise Direct Mail as the spearhead of their marketing strategies.
Reflecting this, Direct Mail ad spend increased 5.9% during the 3rd quarter of 2017 and it remains the 3rd largest media channel with an annual spend of £1.7 billion. With 87% of adults keeping some Direct Mail pieces for one month or more and 38% of recipients ordering or purchasing something after receiving a DM piece, it’s easy to see why.
New Audience Data
A recently formed initiative, the result of a collaboration between the DMA, IPA, ISBA, Royal Mail and Whistl, has served to shine a brighter light on Direct Mail and it’s response rates and metrics. In essence, it’s findings are designed to provide marketers with a more accurate measurement of Direct Mail in terms of it’s reach and exposure per item.
In a similar vein to the BARB initiative for measuring television audiences, a sample of 1000 recipients across the UK will record the mail they receive over a 4 week period and detail the actions they take as a result. The findings will be invaluable for many brands and businesses looking to really drill down on how best to reach their target audience.
For many, May 25th 2018 was a watershed moment for marketing practices in the UK. Operating under the guise of both data controllers and processors, marketers will now need to be acutely aware of how the regulations will affect them. But there’s also a very big opportunity for marketers to look closely at how they use their data in order to benefit from the huge opportunities GDPR present. One such opportunity is door drop campaigns and how they are used to obtain consent for future marketing. According to data obtained by JIC Mail, 61% of all door drops opened are read, whilst on average they are shared between two to three times within the home.
To further compound the huge opportunity for marketers to utilise Direct Mail in a post GDPR landscape, the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) confirmed this year that businesses will not need consent for postal marketing given their consent basis is legitimate interest. Of course, we would always advise you to scrutinise the campaigns you send and ascertain which consent basis you wish to market under, but this is a huge positive for your future direct mail campaigns.
“Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change” – Barbara Januszkiewicz
Very few marketing channels have had to adapt and innovate as much as Direct Mail has had to over the years. Many see the JIC Mail initiative as an extremely exciting development, being the first of its kind in the industry it will take time to effect change, but few are doubting it will make a huge impact.
Another exciting development is the emergence of programmatic mail. A form of personalised direct mail, it enables businesses to send direct mail to recipients based on their online browsing behaviours. It’s already being put into practice by many top brands and the results are extremely encouraging. Being able to join the dots between online activities and offline marketing is one of the key developments in the direct mail industry in recent years, with that huge untapped market of lapsed customers now being easier to drill down on and re-engage.
Programmatic mail is just one of the factors helping to demonstrate just how flexible and innovating Direct Mail be.
Talking ’bout my generation
Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials… now it’s the time of Generation Z. Spanning an age range of up to 19 years old, Generation Z have been totally immersed in an online environment since birth. Given the online market is saturated with targeted digital ads and growing concerns over how our data is held and shared, many within this demographic have become more responsive to Direct Mail. Surprised?
The millennial’s may have been the talk of the past several years, but it’s generation Z you should be targeting. Unlike their predecessors, generation Z is the first, true ‘online generation’. However, the over saturation of digital advertisements, lack of privacy and security has led to many within the demographic turning towards direct mail. You may find that surprising, but recent research shows 83% of generation Z see print as a trustworthy medium whilst 61% are of the belief their generation would benefit from actively taking time away from digital content.
These are exciting times for Direct Mail and the marketing industry as a whole. Behavioural changes, changes in laws and regulations and new developments within the industry are all helping to breathe new life into the channel.
For years we have been told “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and Direct Mail clearly isn’t broken. But rather than standing still and ‘not fixing it’, it’s long been time for a change in attitudes and approaches. “It might not be broken, but we’ll strive daily to improve it” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue in the same way, but the changes we’re seeing in the Direct Mail industry really are enthralling.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog piece, if you need any further info or would like to discuss your direct mail requirements, feel free to contact us on the office number: 0118 474 888 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org