JICMAIL Q1 2021 results point towards improved mail effectiveness in the most recent lockdown

JICMAIL Q1 2021 results point towards improved mail effectiveness in the most recent lockdown

JICMAIL, the joint industry currency for ad mail, has released the latest results from its panel-based mail planning system, which reveal that mail volumes captured on the media measurement panel have recorded year on year growth for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

JICMAIL’s diary-based data captured from a panel 1,000 households every month reveals that:

  • Despite the winter lockdown, advertisers have remained more optimistic than they were at the start of the pandemic. Mail volumes on the JICMAIL panel grew by 3% year on year, primarily driven by a strong performance from Direct Mail (+9% year on year) and Business Mail (+7% year on year).
  • The continued Covid vaccination program and mail from the ONS related to the national census have seen public sector mail drive volume growth. However, mail from Telecoms and Mail Order advertisers have also played their part in sustaining volumes.
  • Mail effectiveness continues to record double-digit year on year growth across nearly all stages of the customer journey. 9% of mail (DM, Door Drops and Business Mail combined) prompted a visit to an advertiser website in Q1 2021, representing a 32% growth in effectiveness year on year. 7.5% of mail prompted a brand discussion (+15% year on year), and 5.3% prompted consumers to look up their account details (+10% year on year).
  • With commercial effectiveness growth rates outstripping the growth in frequency of interaction with mail, each mail impression is now working harder than ever at driving a commercial response.
  • Frequency of interaction with mail (JICMAIL’s measure of mail exposure) and item reach (an indicator of the extent to which mail is shared in the home) have declined marginally during Q1 2021, although with two-year growth rates still strong, evidence of long term changes in mail behaviours remain.

Key mail metrics for Q1 2021 can be summarised as follows:

 FrequencyItem ReachLifespan
Direct Mail4.421.127.9 days
Door Drops2.981.046.2 days
Business Mail4.831.179.4 days
 General Online Visits for More InformationVisits to Advertiser WebsitesAccount Detail Look UpsBrand Discussions
Q1 20204.4%6.8%4.8%6.5%
Q1 20216.2%9.0%5.3%7.5%
YEAR ON YEAR % CHANGE+41%+32%+10%+15%

Source: JICMAIL Item Data Q2 2017 to Q1 2021 n=11,893 Q4 2020 Direct Mail, Door Drop and Business Mail items

Mail interactions captured by JICMAIL panellists take many forms and range 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). In addition, JICMAIL captures the industry category and advertiser details of almost every mail item in its 180,000+ mail item database.

Footfall vs Digital Traffic:

Further analysis by JICMAIL on the effectiveness of mail over the course of two periods of national lockdown has shown that as would be expected, mail drove fewer people in store while only essential shops remained open. With consumers instead choosing to shop online, mail has proven itself to be just as effective at driving digital traffic during these periods. However, while mail’s ability to drive consumers into physical store locations rebounded significantly in between the spring and winter lockdowns, digital effects also remained – evidence that mail is very much reflecting the shifting omni-channel way in which consumers now interact with brands.

Mark Cross, engagement director at JICMAIL, said: “All eyes are on the shifting patterns of media consumption as we emerge from the pandemic, and with these Q1 results we see again how mail is increasing ‘full funnel’ effects such as driving on-line visits or brand discussions. They present a great opportunity for mail spenders to test out these latest shifts for mail and help establish the ‘new normal’ for their businesses.”