Advertisers that combine direct mail with internet search activity are more successful at bringing their brands to life for consumers, research released by Royal Mail revealed today.
The study, commissioned by Royal Mail to examine the role of posted material in the media mix, demonstrates how direct mail can significantly boost campaigns by enhancing existing search engine marketing drives.
The research found that mail can help build brand familiarity among people who subsequently search online. 58 per cent of people said they were more likely to click on a link if they had already received something from a company or organisation in the post.
It appears many people believe mail can really turn a two-dimensional on-screen campaign into a 3-D experience. In addition to mail’s strong link with search, some 49 per cent of respondents also felt brochures or catalogues received through their letterbox help make brands that advertise on TV seem “more real”.
Further evidence that mail increases the effectiveness of TV ads is provided by the 43% of people who felt mail was good at clarifying information they saw on the small screen. In contrast, more than half (57 per cent) thought TV ads alone did not provide enough of a reason to purchase a product. Direct mail was also shown to have a wide reach, with 83 per cent tending to open post addressed to them, while only 17% of respondents always watched TV ad breaks.
The research also found that:
· 28 per cent of people feel “valued” by a brand that contacts them through the post, compared to 9 per cent of people who only saw a TV ad campaign
· 28 per cent of people were prompted to contact a company after receiving mail, compared to 14 per cent of TV ad viewers.
Meanwhile, almost three quarters (70 per cent) of consumers say they use an internet address provided in mail when searching online, and two thirds use post received to find out more information before purchasing goods or services online. Other findings about using mail to drive search include:
· 50 per cent would be keen to find out more about a product or service they came across online by requesting further information in the post
· 29 per cent of people said mail reminded them about a company when they were thinking of buying something online.
Overall, 33 per cent of consumers found mail to be better than search engine marketing at engaging their attention, and 19 per cent were more captivated by posted material than TV ads.
Antony Miller, Head of Media Development at Royal Mail, said: “Search as a medium has been growing for several years, while we all know the power of TV advertising for reaching widespread audiences.
“But our findings prove that when mail is used in conjunction with either or both of these channels, consumers are more engaged by a brand and more likely to want to discover more about the product or service on offer.
“Consumers clearly believe that mail plays a crucial role in their purchasing decisions. This is a key insight in the current financial climate, when every pound spent on marketing has to work harder for return on investment.”
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