Direct Mail becomes more trustworthy during lockdown

A new report by Royal Mail outlining the value of mail media in the New Normal reveals that direct mail has become more trustworthy over lockdown. Consumers now trust what they read in a piece of mail more than they did back at the start of the year. Conversely the amount that they trust what they read in digital media has declined over the same period – by as much as up to 13 per cent for some digital channels. 

This is interesting as for digital media it seems that there is a direct relationship between the level of trust experienced by consumers and the volume of messages they receive. Unsurprisingly during lockdown digital marketing became the default. Almost all organisations surveyed said that they had shifted spend from other channels such as outdoor, cinema and above-the-line into digital channels. As a result consumers received more emails and were exposed to more social media brand activity. However, the more they were exposed the less they trusted what they were receiving and, in fact, close to half of people said that they now deleted emails without reading them. 

The rise in volume of digital marketing is also having a negative impact on consumer perception of the channels. According to Kantar research people are now far more concerned about digital intrusion and excessive targeting. Sound familiar? These are the exact issues that were faced by direct mail a decade ago when bombardment was rife. However, an industry wide focus on better targeting, regular data hygiene and more responsible mailing practices have served to drive positive change, which as shown by this research, have resulted in a more trustworthy and valued channel. 

For direct mailers, the impact of increased volume on digital marketing perception will serve as a very good reminder of why relevance is critical in mail media marketing.   

And remember ensuring that you remove people that have passed away from your mailing lists is a key part in maintaining consumer trust in the channel!

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