Happiness is… a direct mail campaign

As most of the direct marketing world will know, at the back end of January Royal Mail’s MarketReach launched its first ad campaign in three years to promote direct mail. The 'Mail Men' campaign, inspired by hit advertising show Mad Men, features key marketing leaders espousing positive views on direct mail, including Karen Blackett, CEO of MediaCom and Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Group CEO Robert Senior.

The long overdue initiative is backed up with research, carried out over eighteen months to define how consumers physically, emotionally and intellectually interact with mail. It included surveys, focus groups, interviews, 800 hours of CCTV footage from the households of 12 study participants and a neuroscience and tactility study featuring more than 200 people. In summary it’s a hefty and doubtless expensive piece of research. But what does it prove? To be honest nothing groundbreaking, but its good to have up to date proof as to the effectiveness of mail. One of the best findings comes from the neurological study which reveals that mail makes customers feel special and happy. Intuitively, this makes sense given we are receiving less post. And this is proven by last week’s touching story of the terminally ill boy, who wanted mail for his birthday because he simply loves receiving post. Of course it is vital to ensure that customers continue to feel happy. Yet through poor data hygiene and bad targeting its all to easy to destroy that good feeling, which is why suppression is a fundamental component of any direct mail campaign.

And to quote the original Mad Man; Don Draper: “But what is happiness? It’s a moment before you need more happiness.”

So the moral of the story is we’d better send more advertising mail!