The Lockdown effect on Advertising Direct Mail

December 2020


Mail is enhancing its effectiveness as patterns of working and living have shifted during 2020.
Remote working – mainly from home – is part of the new normal, and physical mail is an important part of that landscape. Recent research reveals the extent to which mail is anticipated, revisited, shared, trusted, retained and acted upon – now, more than ever.

Results reported from JICMAIL saw record levels of mail interaction in Q2 2020, during the first UK lockdown. With advertising mail exposure increasing by 11% compared to the same period of 2019. Transactional business mail also saw growth at 7% and door drop media saw the highest growth of all three channels with a 15% increase.Advertising Direct Mail Exposure increased 11% YoY.PNG

The 'stay at home' message, we have heard echoed throughout the 2020 pandemic has made reach for some channels more challenging. For door drop media and direct mail with more people being at home both exposure and receptiveness to engage have improved. With households sharing of delivered items improving by 2% for both advertising direct mail and transactional business mail. The greatest improvement was seen again for door drop media at 4% higher than in the same period of 2019.

Advertising Direct Mail Item Reach 2% increase.PNG

It’s no secret that marketing budgets have come under more scrutiny than ever during the pandemic driven economic downturn. At the same time the nation’s thirst for online shopping has continued to grow unabated.

This makes the measurement of digital effects and the correct attribution of digital traffic to offline channels such as advertising mail, all the more important as marketers look for an accurate read on advertising efficiency and effectivenes.

Ian Gibbs, Director and Data Leadership and Learning at JICMAIL.

Following the lockdown period in Q2 of 2020, Q3 saw a more seasonal return to normal exposure rates for advertising mail items. Though doordrop media as a channel continued to see a growth of 2.1%.

Advertising Direct Mail Item Reach normalised in Q3.PNG

Channel interactions were strong across these mediums with 8.7% of all advertising mail driving traffic to the advertisers’ websites in Q3 2020: up 6.5% vs. 2019 and representing a 33% increase year on year.

Visits to Advertisers Websites General Online Visits for More Information Prompted to Use Tablet or Smartphone
Q3 2020 8.7% 5.8% 3.1%
Q3 2019 6.5% 4.1% 2.5%
Year on Year Change % +33% +41% +24%
Source: JICMAIL item data Q2 2017 to Q3 2020 n=9,995 Q3 2020 mail items

Though mail interaction rates did not reach the same record-breaking levels seen during the first lockdown in Q2 of 2020, they have remained impressively high throughout Q3.

JICMAIL panellists record their mail interactions from opening and reading mail, to passing it on to someone else, putting it in the usual place, putting aside to look at later or taking it out of home (amongst a list of many other actions). This research aids our understanding of the channel for the industry and for the companies looking to use or improve upon historical campaign results. JICMAIL captures the industry category and advertiser details of almost every mail item in its 160,000+ mail item database.

The UK’s second lockdown period is covered in JICMAIL’s Q4 data and is set to be released in February 2021 to understand changes across frequency, reach and lifespan for advertising direct mail, business mail and door drop media.

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