Submitted by: The Two Sides Team March 27, 2019
As the first ‘currency’ for mail, JICMAIL provides accurate data on its use and effectiveness, giving brands, agencies and printers all the information they need to prove its value
Late last year, at a gala event at Old Billingsgate in London, JICMAIL won the Market Research Society’s award for Media Research. The industry-wide mail measurement tool was praised by the judges for its “credible and integrated approach that provided innovation and advanced understanding, with real potential for influence on media placement decisions.”
Given that JICMAIL had only been launched earlier that year, this was a remarkable achievement, and one that provides an industry endorsement of a project that gives an effective and much-needed demonstration of the value of mail for brands, advertisers, printers and mailing houses.
Elevating the mail conversation
JICMAIL is the first ever ‘currency’ for mail, designed to provide reliable, robust and credible audience data for the medium. While other channels such as TV, radio and published media have BARB, RAJAR and PAMCO respectively, until now there has been no ‘Joint Industry Currency’ (or JIC) for mail, leaving companies to rely on ‘after the event’ metrics such as ROI. But now, JICMAIL can provide insight at the media planning stage, allowing it to be compared and considered alongside other channels when budgets are being allocated.
“We want to elevate the conversation about mail,” explains Ian Gibbs, JICMAIL’s Director of Data Leadership and Learning. “We want agencies and advertisers to say: ‘What does mail contribute to my TV, radio or digital campaign, and what sort of outcomes can we expect beyond simple direct response?’”
“There’s a real sense that people have new data in their armoury that supports the case for mail”
Because agencies and advertisers use measures of frequency and reach to plan their media spend, JICMAIL accurately measures the frequency of interaction, or how often people interact with their mail. This is done using a panel of 1,000 UK households, whose members record every single mail item that appears in their home, saying what it was, who it was from, what the content was, and all the interactions they had with that piece of mail over a 28-day period.
“We ask them to record everything about every single piece of advertising mail they receive,” says Ian. “Whether they opened it, threw it away, put it on a notice board, had a conversation about it. Any action they took with that mail or because of it, they record. The result is around 20,000 responses every year, which builds a complete picture of frequency of interaction.”
The results from the JICMAIL project so far have been hugely encouraging. The average interaction rate or frequency of exposure for a piece of direct mail is 4.2 times, while doordrops are looked at least 2.8 times. Also, the average piece of direct mail isn’t just seen by one person; statistically it’s seen by 1.13 people, so there’s an additional reach of 13% with DM that it isn’t being given the credit for.
Regarding specific interactions with mail, the headline figures are that 70% of all direct mail items are opened, while 63% are opened immediately, with a further 18% opened subsequently.
“It’s these metrics that allow us to build up industry averages about how mail is interacted with,” says Ian, “as well as the type of content that drives specific interactions. Using this data, we can help people improve campaign effectiveness.”
A new case for mail
What this all means for printers and mailing houses is that, for the first time, they can gather the very latest data for mail effectiveness to convince potential clients to invest in the channel, as well as justify existing client spend in the area. And with the amount of responses rising every day, the depth of information that’s coming out of JICMAIL is offering greater insights into specific campaigns and industry sectors that’s proving invaluable for any business involved in direct mail.
“There’s a real sense that people have new data in their armoury that supports the case for mail,” says Ian. “It’s not often that a new piece of insight like this comes along and enables businesses to have informed conversations with their clients about how a media channel works, and people are getting very enthused and excited.”
- For more information about JICMAIL and to subscribe for the latest mail metrics, go to www.jicmail.org.uk
Article written by Sam Upton
Read more like this:
Two Sides announces new Mail Sector Group