In 2023, the key metrics for printed mail didn’t get worse, they got better

The latest data is clear – printed mail still shines for multichannel marketing

Commercial Print

The latest statistics from JICMAIL, the UK organisation that gathers audience research data for direct mail (DM) and door drops, underscores the ability of print mail to drive online purchases. The new data corroborates a study last year by CMC (Collaborative Marketing Club) and Deutsche Post in Germany, which found that DM’s return on advertising spend was an impressive 901%. The latest data, it seems, continues to tell the story of print effectiveness when it comes to multichannel marketing.

Just ask Sattler Media Group, an innovative printing and mailing company for marketing solutions headquartered in Hornburg, Germany. At the end of last year, they made a high-impact printed mailing – produced on Sappi Magno Satin paper – a central part of their marketing plan for a key customer trade fair. Thanks to the printed mailing produced, the event hit its target number of participants comfortably – with 61% registering to attend as a direct result of the print mailing itself.

Transform Your Mind Banner
Direct Mailing created by Sattler Media Group, printed on Sappi Magno Satin 250 g/m².


JICMAIL’s new data

JICMAIL’s Q3 2023 report again demonstrates the effectiveness of printed advertising (including DM, business mail, partially-addressed mail and door drops), with open, read and retention rates increasing for the fifth quarter running. Purchases driven by mail also increased from 5% to 6% year-on-year.

The study is also the first from JICMAIL unpicking the details of consumer behaviour, thanks to a number of informative, new variables. The extra data gives marketers a more nuanced look at how mail is used by consumers, offering a deeper understanding of the significant role it plays working hand-in-hand with digital. Notably, it shows that mail prompts more purchases online than in-store (3% online, versus 2.2% in a bricks-and-mortar store). Mail may also lead to an email response (1.2%) or the downloading of an app (1%).

“For the first time, we can reveal that mail drives online purchases. Mail should be part of a fully-integrated customer journey, with its impact on product discovery, customer experience and now purchase fulfilment across all channels clear to see.”

Ian Gibbs, JICMAIL director of data leadership and learning


Direct mail as a proven performer

Meanwhile, the CMC Print Mailing Study 2023 (produced in collaboration with Deutsche Post in Germany) shows how well DM works in the marketing mix. It found that mailings to existing customers from online stores achieved an average conversion rate of 5.4% – a figure very similar to that highlighted by JICMAIL. Existing customers also upped their spend after receiving printed mail, averaging an increased spend of 10% or more compared to previous orders.

Perhaps the most notable statistic is return on advertising spend (ROAS). This was 901% – every euro spent on mailing generated 9.01 euros in revenue – despite rises in paper, energy and other costs.

The study also found that vouchers were the most effective amplifiers (increasing ROAS by 33%), while a breakdown of QR code data showed that one in five mailing recipients who were existing customers visited the online store.

Both studies tell the same story – that printed mail remains a consistent performer, yielding impressive results when used as a central part of a multichannel marketing campaign.

Keep reading related blog posts