Birmingham-based direct mail fulfilment and print management services provider, Baker Goodchild, has commented on the findings of a new customer report published by the Royal Mail, entitled, ‘It’s all about Mail and Email’ - working together to create greater 1 to 1 relationships with your customers.
The report reveals the findings of the transformation of digital mail over the past seven years, since the iPhone was launched, and how consumers now respond to digital media, and how this is redefining their response to physical channels such as mail.
“Clearly the findings of the report have demonstrated that direct mail is seen as an effective medium for communication between companies and their customers, as it makes them feel informed and then have a desire to engage further with the company and spend money,” stated Baker Goodchild Managing Director, Lorraine Burnell.
As a for instance, now 56% of consumers now use their mobile to access the internet anywhere, whilst twitter now has 40m UK users, 78% of which are active users on their mobile device.
The report found that some £6.3bn was spent by companies in the UK on digital advertising in 2013, with 70% of UK consumers saying that they felt they received too many emails. Although it’s a low-cost medium, this can lead to negative perceptions of companies, as has been revealed by the findings.
51% of all email are deleted within two seconds, whilst 29% open retention emails, with 21% opening acquisition emails, according to a survey of email analytics by Litmus in 2013. Which, as the report states, begs the question, who are you not reaching?
Mail is still viewed as being more personal, even though emails can be personalised and targeted, with mail being viewed as both believable and reliable, with top associations showing that is a medium of authority, with the tactile way that people interact with it giving it a higher status.
Mail makes customers feel more valued than email, and, importantly, gives you time with your targeted audience.
“This where companies such as Baker Goodchild can play a huge part, in defining a company’s targeted and personalised communications, particularly with regards to mail, creating an effective and targeted communication, helping provide detailed information that will drive consumers to a company’s website, providing a dual interaction and engagement,” states, Lorraine.
56% of consumers say that mail grabs their attention, up from 47% in 2007, whilst a further 10% spend a lot more time reading it than they did in 2007. So clearly the answer is to combine mail and email as a best strategy.
“The findings demonstrate that brands and mail service companies, such as Baker Goodchild, need to work together to find out how they can best combine mail and email, so that it can be beneficial to their organisations. With more and more demands on people’s time than ever, customer communications need to be effective and deliver a response, as and when required, so an effective message and communication interaction is paramount, and this is where we can help to deliver this,” added Lorraine.
Door to door mail, such as leaflets, flyers and postcards also deliver a strong cut-through to the consumer, with 59% of people saying that they open it, with most consumers keeping mail around the house for around two weeks, longer if it is a catalogue or customer magazine.
83% of consumers open a bill or statement, 69% of which interact with it as well.
Email scores high for news and updates, 62% prefer an email as opposed to 17% who prefer a mailed version, messages that require just a quick glance or response. But for catalogues, brochures and communications that require time to read they strongly prefer to receive a printed version in the mail, 63% saying they prefer printed over 21% preferring an email version.
“The report and its findings demonstrate that mail makes people feel valued, it is viewed as the preferred version for loyalty communications, so a clear and concise impression must be the aim to deliver your communication to customers,” Lorraine stated.
The findings also showed that 86% of people contacted an organisation in response to receiving an item of mail. They may also visit twitter, Facebook or a website. Mail drives people online, and mobile is now making this easier. 92% of those sent mail were driven online as a direct result, 86% of which connected to businesses. With 43% liking the senders Facebook page.
To maximise engagement with customers, especially the most digitally active consumers, the trick is to put together an integrated campaign, combining both mail and email, as mail is the initiator and email the response mechanism, as the findings demonstrate.
As a direct result of receiving mail, 84% were driven to senders’ new products and services, with 50% downloading the senders App.
Some 51% of consumers prefer companies to use a combination of both mail and email. Clearly consumers don’t like the idea of just one communication channel, a combined approach resonates best, as the report states.
So, by adding mail to the mix, a new unique group of consumers start to take action. 21% more consumer made purchases, when compared to using email on its own.
Consumer’s value email for being quick and informative, but at the same time they value mail for being both authoritative and informative, as it’s a better medium for sending communications that they need time to consider.
In conclusion on the findings of the report, Lorraine said, “The report clearly states that direct mail is considered and is the most effective source for communication between companies and customer. With E-Mail’s being able to target individuals there is still a huge risk of the content being filtered as spam. As statistically proven 51% of E-Mail’s are deleted within 2 seconds of being received. Direct Mail is still proven as being more personal and having a higher impact offering companies a higher ROI than E-Mail.
Depending on how one sends a personalised direct mail piece it is proven that recipients are more inclined to hold onto the mail rather than disposing of it.
The type of direct mail pieces available to be sent out are endless; ranging from simple newsletters to fancy promotional items including mugs, pop out boxes, catalogues etc.
It is pretty clear that direct mail is highly effective and has the ability to work with other methods of marketing i.e. E-Mail Marketing, Telemarketing etc.”
Based in the heart of Birmingham, close to the city centre, Baker Goodchild is a privately-owned company with over 19 years extensive experience in providing print, mail and postage solutions, throughout the UK and Internationally.