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Letterpost v Email

Post makes its mark in mailshot market

Direct mail and door drop marketing are now competing with their digital cousin – direct email. But which is better received by its audience? The results may surprise you.

In 2005, the Royal Mail estimated that 19.7 billion letters were posted. Of those, 6.17bn were ‘direct mail’ – marketing letters from companies, addressed to the individual.

By 2012, the total number of letters posted had fallen to 13.8bn, of which 4.4bn were direct mail drops.

By 2023, the total letter post is forecast to fall further to 8.3bn, of which 3.1bn will be direct mail.

As these are just total volumes, the question remains: What does this mean to an individual?

In 2013, the City of London estimated that the average UK household received approximately 650 pieces of direct mail each year.

Door drop marketing – unaddressed promotional material sent by individual distribution networks, not sent by the Royal Mail, is measured separately.

However, postal marketing is far less common than email marketing. We get an average of 2 bits of direct mail each day, but we receive an average of 121 marketing emails per day.

About 205 billion emails were sent per day in 2016, with email marketing accounting for 56.52% (as of March 2016.)

That means there are about 116 billion pieces of email marketing sent per day – equating to 16 emails for every person on the planet every day.

The response rates…

According to the CMO Council, 44% of people do not open direct postal mail. This means that 56% – the majority – do.

Emails, alternatively, have an average open rate of 22.87%, making direct postal mail doubly as effective at getting a message in front of an audience.

Not only that, but, in figures available in 2012, the response rate for direct postal mail was 3.4% – compared to just 0.12% for email. To put this simply: more people read and respond to direct mail than they do to emails.

In terms of responses, door drops inspire the most brand recollection – 88% compared to 60% for direct mail and 36% for internet adverts.

Email versus post – the contrast

About 74 trillion emails are sent per year, 13.8 billion of them in the UK, making 37.8 million a day, of which 12 million are direct mail.

Does 12 million ‘direct mail’ letters per day sound like a lot? That is just 0.01% of the email marketing messages sent every day around the globe.

The verdict

By offering a higher open rate, higher response rate and higher recall rate than emails, a good direct mail or door drop campaign can put you in front of an audience and make you stand out.

Don’t contribute to ‘email overload’ – opt for a better marketing campaign with memorable door drop solutions.


This article was supplied by Direct Letterbox Marketing via the DB Direct service

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