Opportunity for Direct Mail

With a partial lockdown in place, more and more people are staying at home. As well as being good news for slowing the spread of Covid-19, this is also an opportunity for brands to speak to their audiences in their home environment.

We’ve already seen that radio and digital consumption is dramatically increasing and many companies that are conscious about maintaining a strong brand presence are taking advantage of this increased reach.

In fact, within many sectors the worst thing brands can do right now is switch activity off, as any void this creates will readily be filled by another advertiser, eager to make the most of the opportunity.

We focused on social media advertising in a recent blog, but another channel which is less lauded and often overlooked as a less glamorous option is direct mail (DM). We know that DM is a trusted medium, and in the strange times we’re experiencing right now, there is significant value to be found in its capacity to open a meaningful dialogue with the vast home-based population.

Let’s take a look at the facts

The nation currently has a hugely expanded population of homeworkers, so we thought we’d delve into TGI to look at habits of the traditional homeworking group when it comes to direct mail.

According to TGI, homeworkers are 37% more likely to be in the highest quintile for responding to addressed direct mail compared to non-homeworkers, who are 9% less likely to be amongst those most responsive quintiles.

For unaddressed mail, homeworkers are again more likely to be amongst the most responsive quintile, although only by 6%, whereas non-homeworkers are again slightly less likely.

Therefore, it follows that the new homeworking population are likely to be adjusting their consumption of direct mail to reflect the stats in TGI, meaning we have a newly responsive audience to test. On that note, JICMAIL research tells us the average piece of DM is live in the home for nearly eight days, 81% being opened, 10% driving web traffic and 14% of the JICMAIL sample discuss the contents of a DM piece with someone.

Before we go all out to spend in this channel though, it’s important to ensure that the messaging is clear and sensitive to the current situation. Successful DM activity would articulate helpful topics, such as creative or practical ideas to use over the lockdown. It might also include other subtle messaging, for example with key holidays like May bank holidays and half term where traditionally we see friends and family, providing useful content which helps consumers to re-establish these routines but from home will be key. Consider how this situation is for families; with the schools closed, parents have never needed more support and activities to do with their children. Let your customers and your prospects know that you have their back at this time. We’ve seen some strong digital pieces along these lines from the likes of John Lewis, Hush and Loaf which you can see below. Any content seen as a value-add will be sure to keep your brand front of mind when we get through this current period.

At Space & Time we’re very happy to work with you to create the right messaging, and if you’d like to explore DM for your business please get in touch with a member of our team.

Sarah Sproston, Client Services Director