Although the world is quickly becoming more digitally orientated, direct mail is, in fact, experiencing a renaissance of sort. Thanks to innovative developments and improved methods of measuring results, the sometimes dismissed method of customer communication is actually making a comeback in 2018.

Following a number of years of fighting its corner to prove effectiveness and dispelling myths around measurability, direct mail and the wider direct marketing scope are now be heralded for the truly fantastic communications channels they can be.


With the arrival of the Joint Industry Committee for Mail, or JICMail for short, marketers and brands now have the bolster of an additional layer of authority when it comes to utilising this channel.

The current value of advertising mail is estimated to be £1.7bn annually, however, prior to JICMail, there was never a recognised audience measurement system, making proving ROI a tricky business for many agencies and internal marketing teams.

Through improved measurement capabilities and insights and metrics of their channels, marketers will be able to develop a better understanding of mail, and therefore create more relevant, high-quality and effective direct mail campaigns.

Royal Mail MarketReach Insight Engine

Royal Mail MarketReach have recently developed an improved Insight Engine, which is based on data from audience measurement standard; JICMail. Marketers developing and rolling out direct mail campaigns can now utilise this powerful tool to help drive success and ensure maximum ROI.

The system works through data captured by global research agency, Kantar TNS and uses a diary which follows each piece of mail across a four week period. The sample is a national representation of 1,000 UK households and the results allow the user to understand the impact that their direct mail might have when considering pursuing this channel as part of a campaign.

Understanding Audiences

Utilising the Insight Engine’s capabilities, marketers can focus on specific sectors, such as industries and then uncover specific metrics including the number of people they have reached and whether they were new or existing customers, the frequency of views and the length of time that the piece of direct mail was kept in the home and audience actions taking following the receipt of the mail.

Marketers can understand the next steps undertaken by their audience, which can include visiting a brick and mortar store, going online to purchase or complete further research and contacting the sender.

Moreover, access to this level of data can allow companies to see the results they can expect from their planned campaign ahead of actually undertaking the actions. For many, this can support in removing the guesswork and ensuring that the time and resources being utilised are not in vain or falling on an uninterested and unengaged audience.

From visibility of expected commercial actions per type of mail to discovering the types of mail which work most effectively within your sectors, such as address and door drops, this data can dramatically transform marketing plans and determine the steps that your business chooses to take next.

Different audiences interact with mail in different ways, which can be determined by their generation and further demographics. Understanding these behaviours can allow marketers to better profile their customers and choose the most profitable consumer to target in a way which works most effectively, to ensure a higher ROI.

Combining traditional and digital

Digital first has quickly become the way of thinking, both within customers and brands, however, digital is not without its own pitfalls, which are driving more marketers back to traditional methods such as direct mail. The supporting fact that mail is opened, shared and retained by real people has, in recent times, lead more marketers back to this channel, who are desperately trying to impact people in their own homes.

Direct mail, now supported by systems such as the Insight Engine, allows marketers to utilise the benefits of digital such as data collection to increase the profitability of this traditional channel. Alongside the fact that around 70% of consumers reply to direct mail through digital means, direct mail, now more than ever, must not be dismissed in place of more modern channels but rather should be integrated into the wider marketing mix.

To optimise your direct marketing efforts, get in touch with Absolute DM today for bespoke direct mail.