MarketReach, the Direct Mail arm of the Royal Mail, has confirmed what most marketing departments already know. Consumers said their preference is a blend of both traditional and more modern communication, with both email and mail preferred in tandem.
Over half (55 per cent) of people surveyed as part of the research believed that communications through the post delivers a brand impression, but only 25 per cent said the same was true of email.
The results from the MarketReach study revealed that many consumers felt as if they were cared about on a personal level when direct mail was used, changing the way they viewed the company in a positive way. The majority said that direct mail grabs their attention, with the findings confirmed that a stronger link was forged between the customer and the sender as a result. Meanwhile emails are considered good for follow-up and easy to file.
Additionally 57% of people said that receiving information in the mail from businesses did make them feel valued, this compares to only 17% with email. A total of 56% said that mail grabs their attention, this compares favourably to only 31% for email.
The managing director of Royal Mail MarketReach, Jonathan Harman, was quick to highlight the importance that mail continues to play in the modern marketing strategy, pointing to the responses from consumers who said that despite technological advances, they still felt that mail was important, if not more so.
According to their research, although email was quicker, consumers believe that both forms of delivery have their advantages, with different types of communication more suitable to each. Mr Harman said that although email was efficient, consumers were providing a very clear message that mail continues to represent a very powerful tool for marketing purposes.
- Testing and measurement: a customer database or a loyalty programme you now can track long-term customer behaviour and value – one customer at a tim
- Money and information: Direct Mail helps you make more of the former or build more of the latter
- The chance to transact: Direct Mail allows you develop long-term personalised relationships, not just a one-off hit
- Timeliness as mail lets you target individually important time-based events such as birthdays or anniversaries
- Personalisation: print is increasingly enabling far greater and more effective personalisation
- Flexible and creative messaging: mail can allow you to be brief or rewrite ‘War and Peace’ to maximise effectiveness
- Attention-grabbing: let your creative juices flow free to create something that has HAP (High attention processing) to make customers HAP-py
- Keepability, tangibility and texture: print lasts and can be retained, passed around and revisited for greater impact
- It’s cost-effective – whether cheap or expensive
- It translates intentions into action – Charities rely on Direct Mail for example because of its proven ability to turn sentiment into action
Image Credit: Andrew Gustar