The earliest recorded direct mail piece is in the British Museum, dating back 3,000 years.
That means as a channel, DM has survived many a crisis through the centuries. And even today, with charities increasingly pushing budgets towards TV and digital, the satisfying ‘flumph’ sound of envelope on doormat still catches our attention.
And the stats really back it up. Despite the average household only receiving 1.3 items of post on the average day (whatever an average day looks like anymore), people of all ages look forward to receiving it, feel valued by it, have high levels of trust in its messaging and, perhaps most pertinently, respond to it in their droves.
Pre-lockdown, the average charity response rate for DM was 9.8%, ten times the rate of any other channel. And whilst we’ve always prided ourselves on smashing that target, with people increasingly spending more time at home, current response rates are pushing ever higher – whether it be online, on the phone, or on the day’s designated walk past the post box.
So, I was particularly pleased this week to hear from Royal Mail, about their Open for Business initiative, which launches today. Its aim is to encourage brands and charities to use direct mail at a time when cash flow and fundraising might be being squeezed particularly tight. It offers a reduced rate postage charge for qualifying campaigns between now and December, in the form of a future postal credit. With the nation saying thank you to our posties (and many other key workers), this is a nice way to pass that thanks on to you.
At GOOD, we’ve always prided ourselves on pushing DM formats in interesting and inspiring ways. And as we continue to work from home, it’s never been easier to think about the power of a personal pack arriving in homes across the country.
Perhaps Royal Mail’s offer will help you think about your next DM campaign?