You know how your direct marketing pieces are born. You have an intimate knowledge of how they are designed, produced, and mailed. But what happens once they reach your customer’s door? Thanks to an 18-month research project that included field research, ethnography, and quantitative and neuroscience research, we know what actually happens to mail once it enters the customer’s home. In “The Private Life of Mail,” researchers found, while we live in a fast-paced digital culture, we are still physical beings who thrive on human contact and stimulation. “Giving, receiving, and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience,” the research concludes. Here are some detailed results.
Thirty-nine percent of consumers say they have a dedicated display area in their home where they put mail. This reinforces the value of great design. The takeaway? Design direct-mail vehicles in a creative and fun way, and they will get noticed.
An average of 23% of all mail is shared between people in a household. Twenty-one percent of promotions and special offers are shared. “If you give people a positive reason to share or discuss your mail, your brand will start being talked about, allowing your message to reach more people.”
This depends on the type of mail, but on average, advertising mail is kept for 17 days, door drops for 38 days, and bills and statements for 45 days. “This means a single piece of mail can have a big impact and presents multiple opportunities to be seen, often over a period of days or weeks.”
Human beings are highly visual, but people value something they can see and touch 24% more than something they can only see. “Send an offer by mail and recipients will perceive it as worth more than the same offer on screen.”
Anyone can send an email these days. Mail takes more effort and investment . . . and your recipients feel and respond to it. Email, social media, and mobile are powerful forms of communication, but none of them match the staying power and impact of direct mail. Don’t miss the power of this highly cost-effective channel.  “The Private Life of Mail,” U.K. Royal Mail, February 2015