The impending GDPR regulations have got everyone in the marketing sector re-thinking their strategies. Those who had previously been staunch advocates of digital channels are now returning to the more traditional Direct Mail methods that for so long had proved so effective. The changes GDPR will bring, coupled with a loss of faith from consumers in electronic communications amidst all the spam and scam emails, point towards an upturn in Direct Mail volumes.
On the subject of waning consumer trust in digital channels in particular, recent research shows that 87% of consumers felt Direct Mail communications to be ‘believable’, in comparison to only 48% who considered email to be so. The same study also concluded that Direct Mail is ‘more likely to grab the recipient’s attention’.
Royal Mail MarketReach and TNS gathered the research via a set of studies carried out in 2007 and 2013, therefore allowing for changes in consumer opinion tracked over a 10 year period. Included in the surveys were a number of questions relating to emotional engagement, specifically how Direct Mail made the recipient feel about the sending organisation and what it suggests about how the sender regards them.
The percentage that stated mail makes them ‘feel valued’ has increased to 70% over the ten year period, in comparison to just 43% in 2007 and 57% in 2013. Again increasing from 55% in 2013, 70% felt that Direct Mail gives them a ‘better impression of the company’.
The research would certainly suggest a consumer preference for Direct Mail. This is in part due to the ever increasing digital world we find ourselves in, with the sheer volume of emails sent and received daily leading to Direct Mail becoming somewhat of a ‘rarity’ and therefore more increasingly valued by consumers.
Since the first email was sent by Ray Tomlinson in 1971, email marketing had evolved into a very cost effective method of marketing over the ensuing 47 years. Perhaps what marketers hadn’t accounted for however was how the consumer’s relationship with the channel would develop and evolve over time. Rough estimates put the number of emails sent every day at 205 billion globally, meaning everyone that has access to an email account receives countless emails daily offering everything from discounts and vouchers to cheap holidays and financial advice. It’s this saturation of the comms market that has driven the consumer’s positive shift back towards Direct Mail.
Aside from the sheer volumes, there’s also the issue of consumer trust to consider. Have you ever received that email from a fake prince in a far-away land asking for your bank details to deposit a huge sum that they can’t access in return for a princely 50%? If you haven’t, you probably just need to check your junk folder and it will likely be lurking in there. Such emails just add to the growing unease and mistrust of email communications and lead the consumer back to the more trustworthy Direct Mail piece they can actually touch and feel.
Supporting the evidence that Direct Mail induces a far warmer response than it’s digital counterparts, a Brand Science review of multi-channel campaigns found that when Direct Mail was included in the marketing offering, ROI was 12% up on those campaigns that didn’t include it.
In summary, a varied, multi-channel approach to marketing campaigns targeted to the right audience will always make for better recipient engagement and ultimately ROI. What this research highlights however is just how big a role Direct Mail plays in engaging and resonating with consumers. If you’re looking for a channel with a proven track record in customer interaction and engagement and sales performance results, look no further than Direct Mail.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog piece, if you would like to talk to us about your Direct Mail campaigns , feel free to contact us on the office number: 0118 474 888.