There are now many different tools available to communicate with your customers directly. We conducted extensive research to find out how customers prefer businesses to talk to them.

The research shows that the core strengths of mail have endured and – in some cases – grown even stronger, often by driving customers online. Mail is still opened, still valued, still kept and still drives response. Digital has transformed marketing but it hasn’t replaced mail for one simple reason – customers don’t want it to.

Download the full report here

The purpose of mail and email


Customers are very clear about what they prefer to receive by mail. They prefer to receive items of substance that they can spend time with and keep. Equally, there are some communications like quick updates that customers prefer to receive via email. Using mail and email together in a planned way builds on the strengths of each. This gives you the greatest chance of maximising the effectiveness of your direct communications.

Responsive new audiences

More and more, marketers have turned to email for their one-to-one communications because it is easy to produce and easy to respond to. However, our research suggests that as smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous, consumers are starting to feel overwhelmed.

“70% of customers feel like they receive too many emails”

Consumers feel like they're receiving too many marketing emails

Brands are sending out high volumes of email and why not? It's a low cost medium after all. But this deluge can create negative perceptions and there may be a high cost to pay in the long run. Since 2002, the UK Digital Marketing spend has risen by over 3150%. As a result, 70% of customers feel like they receive too many emails.

Email vs mail – how they compare

Email is seen as quick and informal; a simple piece of information or news that people can glance at and get in a moment. That’s why 51% of people delete email within two seconds and only 27% of consumers spend time reading them.

“51% of people delete email within two seconds”

Mail is believable, reliable and considered a medium of authority. This makes it perfectly suited for communications that are formal or official. More than 50% of mail items are opened and 56% of consumers spend time reading mail – of which, the highest rates of interaction come from promo/special offer letters.

Mail earns valuable time with your audience

As a result of receiving direct mail 92% of people were driven to online activity, 87% were influenced to make online purchases and 54% engaged in social media. Overall 55% of people felt that mail made a better impression.

Campaigns that include mail are more effective resulting in 205% market share growth, comparatively against campaigns without mail. And 27% more of the campaigns which delivered high sales performance included mail.

How consumers feel about email and direct mail

According to the report’s findings, you might want to start using a combination of mail and email to get the best results from your campaigns and communications. The research revealed that consumers prefer to be emailed for news and updates, confirmation messages and other products and services. Consumers prefer to receive mail for brochures and catalogues, welcome packs, bills or statements and loyalty rewards. This is because mail is perceived as reliable, official, considered.

Download the full report here

Get started with MailshotMaker and dotdigital 

dotdigital engagement cloud logoIt's now easier than ever to incorporate direct mail into your multichannel marketing campaigns with MailshotMaker for dotdigital Engagement Cloud.

You can craft marketing programs across mail, email, SMS, social, web and more, and trigger direct mail at the optimal moment in your customer’s journey.

Create your first DM campaign with MailshotMaker

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