New research from Ricoh and the British DMA has shown that some ad mail users are unaware of a number of technological advances that could help them work smarter, despite their keenness to adopt more creative measures.
asked to predict what innovations would enhance the effectiveness of mail, 98% said better personalisation and 68% stated image personalisation. Both of these possibilities have been achievable for at least a decade.
Mail is known as the medium that works differently. Tactile, it quickly becomes part of the household according to the British Royal Mail's recent Private Life of Mail research1. In the DMA survey of more than 100 cross-channel marketers in the UK, 77% ran more than one mail campaign or integrated campaign with a mail element over the past year.
Barriers to using mail varied. With so many marketers, advertisers and agencies now digital-first, unfamiliarity with the medium came through. Of the negative associations, 43% thought that the channel is too expensive, although only 14% worried about an association with 'junk'.
This contrasted with positive perceptions of users, with proven effectiveness and good ROI the top two associations (rating 3.07 and 2.57 out of five respectively).
According to Ricoh Europe's Director of Business Development, Graham Moore: "For the creation of the most cost effective and engaging direct mail campaigns marketeers need to look to develop direct marketing packages," he states. "Effective campaigns combine digital and print - and when print comes in to play, so do things like paper stock and image quality. To measure the level of engagement, technologies such as Clickable Paper™ can help deliver ROI on the print segment, generate a fast return and offer an elevated level of consumer involvement."
Report author David Reed comments that integrated marketers can close the measurement gap between physical media and digital channels by using trackable response mechanisms. "The future for advertising mail within integrated marketing lies in the wider adoption of these techniques - 72% of marketers expect more innovation to integrate this channel with digital media and 58% are looking to innovations like embedded video to enhance the impact of mailings," he says.
DMA executive director Chris Combemale adds: "When you put the consumer first, mail emerges as a highly engaging and successful medium. Of course marketers want it to work harder and be part of their digital offerings, but mail can already achieve this. Many of the innovations coming to mail make it more targeted, more valued, and more meaningful."