Research by Australia Post

Australia Post commissioned Accenture to undertake this research into the role and value of mail as a channel to better understand its unique qualities as part of the communication mix. The findings suggest mail has a distinct advantage, particularly over digital channels. Accenture surveyed 2,015 Australian consumers on their views of the value and impact of mail in their lives and their decision making and supported this with 90 individual interviews.
Highlights of the study are shown below:

  • In an age of information overload with consumers overwhelmed by inbox clutter, mail stands out and captures people’s attention.
  • Mail continues to be an effective driver of direct response. A significant number of survey respondents made a purchase as a direct result of receiving mail.
  • Importantly for e-commerce businesses, mail is shown to drive online behaviour. A large proportion of respondents confirmed they made online purchases as a result of mail-driven offers.
  • Analysis of the survey data reveals a causal relationship between three of mail’s qualities and the likelihood recipients are expected to take action. The inherent trustworthiness, sensory dimensions of tactility and the affirmation experienced in relation to the receipt of mail are examined in turn and their potential applications discussed in this report.

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Research by bpost


The Paper Reach Survey maps the attitudes and behaviors of the Belgian population regarding their letterbox and specific direct mail (called Paper Mail in the study) pieces. Its objective is to allow advertisers and agencies to make motivated decisions on their media mix as this survey gives a clear view on the reach of direct mail. The study was done in cooperation with a research agency and with a special task force of industry experts to ensure maximum objectiveness. Its results were presented in an original, appealing way, with reference to an old-time music hit from late 70’s, Le Freak by the band Chic, combined with an online data analysis platform and video interviews with key members of the task force.
 Key take-aways from this study:
  • For every direct mail received the average reading rate is 79%
  • 59% of direct mail received generated a positive emotion
  • 33% of direct mail received generated a reaction online (website visit, search for reviews, etc.)
  • 54% of direct mail received from e-commerce shops were kept in the house for more than a week

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Research by Le groupe la poste

Launched in 2011, BALMétrie is an Economic Interest Group which consists of Le Groupe La Poste and partners from the media/advertising sectors.
Its objectives are to quantify the power and attitude towards mail campaigns and its cross-media complementarity. The research also aims at demonstrating the modernity and attractiveness of the media to consumers. 
Key findings from this study were:
  • 63.3% of French people have read at least one admail over a week and, on average, they read 6.4 mail pieces.
  • 43% of readers of advertising print, on average, declare that they have been or intend to go to a point of sale after reading it.
  • 21% of readers of an addressed advertising mail declare having visited the website of the brand or intention to do so after reading it.

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Research by Deutsche Post

The Dialogmarketing-Monitor 2020 is the most recent of the series of annual reports analysing the advertsing landscape in Germany since 1997. The report is based on almost 3,000 telephone interviews with marketing decision-makers from across the country. Key insights include:
German companies spent 40.4 billion euros on their advertising last year - exactly as much as in 2018. For the first time, traditional media increased again: by 300 million euros in net volume. The area of dialogue marketing is shrinking by the same volume.
An important pillar of the advertising market is trading with net advertising spending of 13.4 billion euros: that is an increase of 2.3% compared to 2018.
Every eighth company uses fully addressed mailings. Retail invests the most in this medium with around 3.6 billion euros.
The most important key medium in recruiting existing customers is print mail, followed by e-mail.
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Research by Market Reach, Royal Mail

The Physically Irresistible report by Royal Mail Market Reach is a great example of an inspiration e-book on the mail medium as a whole – it’s packed with case studies, expert advice and research results, all designed in a very modern style which reads more like a fancy magazine than a marketing material for mail advertising.
In the report, Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Management & Marketing at London Business School talks about the accountability of marketers “Direct mail can seem more costly than digital communications but it will often be more profitable over the long term - and without any of the reputational and other risks associated with some digital media. As always, consider the value of the investment and the risks, not just the cost.”

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JICMAIL audience measurement system

Established in 2017, the Joint Industry Committee for Mail provides the UK’s first recognised audience measurement system, similar to what exists for other large national ad channels such as TV. JICMAIL provides the same corporate governance on the collection and publishing of data as other JICs, such as Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB) and Audience Measurement for Publishers (PAMCo).
It continuously collects that data from a panel of 1,000 households weighted for demographics, region and household make-up. Respondents use an app to photograph every piece of mail they receive, reporting on what they do with that mail over the following four weeks.
In the most recent Q1 2021 results published, mail effectiveness was found to continually 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.
Key findings from JICMAIL used to inform a recent campaign for a furniture brand:

  • Mail captures the attention - By analysing lifespan data JICMAIL can demonstrate that a typical mail item from this sector will stay in the home 8.3 days on average (see chart)
  • Mail is an interactive channel - By analysing the frequency of interaction with mail, JICMAIL can demonstrate that the average Swoon/Made/Load mail item generates three exposures a month, contributing to brand planning KPIs
  • Mail drives response across the stages of the journey - Connecting readers to their online journey to Swoon Analysis of the competitor set demonstrated that 15% have prompted website visits and 3% are used to plan a large purchase JICMAIL reveals the hidden effects.

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Advertising in the age of coronavirus: paper beats on-screen - research from Switzerland


With the coronavirus pandemic, advertising delivered to consumer homes has regained importance. In a study of more than 1,000 people in German-speaking Switzerland, market research agency intervista AG researched the changing consumer behaviour and attitudes towards various advertising channels.
Unsurprisingly, there have been some fundamental changes since March 2020. For example, 52% of respondents say they have significantly changed their consumer behaviour. 18% are keeping a closer eye out for bargains, 20% are paying more attention to quality and 30% are buying more Swiss products. 44% of respondents also anticipate that their consumer behaviour will change (or continue to change) – this may therefore constitute a long-term change.
Only 18 and 19% of respondents pay attention to advertising on websites or search engines respectively. At 26%, social networks are also only in the middle of the pack. Well ahead, at 40%, is TV advertising – also a traditional medium that is predominantly consumed at home. Enjoying the most attention, however, is another equally familiar channel: addressed promotional mailings, which 48% of respondents said that they pay attention to, according to the survey. And when asked which form of advertising is most likely to inspire them to make a purchase, addressed promotional mailings, at 57%, were also the most frequent response.

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