Exploring the Reach and Frequency of Mail

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Royal Mail MarketReach is working together with the IPA, ISBA and Whistl. The aim of this joint project, known as Jicmail, is to create some new metrics for the direct mail industry.

In case you are wondering what a metric is, simply put it is a way of measuring the result of a specific business action, in this case, “to accurately measure the reach and frequency of mail”.

Although the report is aimed at the reach and frequency of mail, I was wondering if there was something the leaflet distribution business could learn from it.

What We Learn

The main aim of the report was to explore the how often a mail piece should be sent to obtain positive results. Something the door drop industry has been interested in for many years: after-all once the direct mail piece has been removed from its envelope, its aim is the same as a door drop leaflet, and that is to generate business. So any information that benefits direct mail can certainly be useful to leaflet distribution.

The theme of this report is the need of a metric to evaluate the results of mail campaigns. The assumption is that up until now there has not been a reliable method of assessing the results of a mailshot.

This new metric will be able to track whether a piece of mail was displayed in the household, whether it was filed for future use or even discussed among the occupants of the house.

The Test

A test phase was carried out on 85 households receiving 683 pieces of mail over a month. Now I would question the wisdom of such a small test run and the results would need examining carefully. However, it reveals some very interesting facts.

For instance, over 70% of the mailshot was opened and viewed and in excess of a third was shared with other people living in the house.

Other facts to come to light was 40% were still in the house at the end of the month and those pieces were revisited around seven times over the month.

A third of this viewed mail resulted in some kind of commercial response by someone in the house, and it was revealed that there was a long tail curve of action that continued into the last week of the month.

Although this was a short test, I am pleased that some of the results revealed to coincide with things we have known for some time.  We know that letterbox mailings, direct mail or door drops, are kept in households and viewed over a period of a few weeks.

The Future

Of course, it is good to know that people are trying to develop metrics that will be able to break down the results of a mailing or distribution into all its component parts.

However, we believe this is something for the future and as far as leaflet distribution is concerned those businesses that are planning a door drop campaign should contact us at DOR-2-DOR and take advantage of our years of experience in this field.

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