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Royal Mail & Warc study shows value of direct mail in targeting gen z audiences

Warc and Royal Mail reveal gen Z mail marketing opportunities

Nearly half of generation Z trust mail ads and 42% have searched for a brand online after receiving a piece of direct mail, according to research from Warc and Royal Mail MarketReach.

Warc’s Driving Effectiveness Through Direct Mail report has revealed 20% of the 15-24-year-old demographic made a purchase off the back of a mail ad and also found 84% scanned a QR code, which led them to interact with a brand online.

Phil Ricketts, wholesale commercial director at Royal Mail MarketReach, says: “There is a perception that gen Z don’t respond to mail, which means they don’t get sent any – creating a huge opportunity for engagement with that demo.”

Youth fashion e-commerce brands such as Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing have already started capitalizing on the opportunity, according to Ricketts. Similarly newer online-only banks are increasingly adopters of mail marketing.

Warc’s study suggests mail marketing is undergoing a wider renaissance, having revealed 70% of consumers have been driven to an online activity by direct mail. After monitoring 218 UK campaigns Warc found 35% of campaigns that use direct mail in the mix recorded an ROI benefit, compared to just 23% for the UK average.

Off the back of Warc’s findings, Royal Mail MarketReach has launched a mail marketing rebrand, with the media owner looking to change marketers’ perceptions of postal ads.

Covid lockdowns have resulted in “record levels” of mail engagement and reopened brands’ eyes to the value of mail, Rickett says.

“We are in a world where mail is a more traditional form of marketing, but in a world where people are at home, mail is a great way to stand out and deliver comprehensive messages to people ... at a time that is convenient for them,” he says.

“There has been a marked shift in retailers using mail marketing because of the decline of high streets. Brands now need to leverage more direct forms of marketing,” Ricketts says. He also notes a rise in sectors that had strong economic recoveries including food retailers and entertainment firms.

Elsewhere, Ricketts says mail marketing technology is rapidly advancing and can “satisfy the challenge of integrating offline and online ads.”

He provides examples including QR codes, virtual reality (VR) and linking up with Alexa to efficiently move customers online.

Real-time programmatic mail is also available through Marketreach. The technology enables brands to send a personalized ad in real-time to a customer, who for example clicked on a product but didn’t buy it at the time.

Personalization and developments with real-time marketing make it a “great opportunity for brands to revaluate mail in the mix,” Rickett says.

What Royal Mail Marketreach can offer

  • Royal Mail works with brands to build targeting and personalization strategies using data matching, for example different households can get specific travel brochures relevant to their habits.

  • Design consultancy and referral to creative agencies is also offered when using Royal Mail marketing.

  • A marketer can see the exact location of an ad in Royal Mail’s pipeline, helping to know when to trigger additional communications.

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