How mail delivers extra spending at Christmas

By Ellie Revell

5 minute Read


  • Insight

Retailers love Christmas. Why? Because it’s the biggest annual spending boom.

Marketing departments start working a year ahead on crafting their in-depth Christmas marketing strategies with one main goal in mind: get their Christmas message heard by customers new and old. The biggest challenge they face is how to translate their message into spending at the busiest time of the year. Each year new strategies emerge, for example Gap completely cut out TV adverts this year. But statistics show that mail remains one of the most effective ways of engaging with your target audience. This is why direct mail and Christmas go hand in hand.

Messages are in our email inbox one second and out the next. The tech revolution is telling us that online advertising is the way of the future, but direct mail marketing can be the difference between an average result and excellent results. Here are a few reasons to include mail in your Christmas marketing:

On average, mail has a higher return on investment

Advertising online can be a cheap way to get a lot of impressions, but mail delivers a higher rate of engagement and return on investment. Digital agencies have recently been shouting about how every £1 spent on influencer marketing sees a £6 return. Mail, on the other hand, can deliver an average £14 return for every £1 spent.

Mail has a strong B2B and B2C marketing presence

Mail is the most responsive advertising medium, with one study showing 60% of consumers responding eventually and 37% responding within 12 months. It has a high purchasing power, with 56% of consumers having purchased after receiving advertising mail. In an office, 32% of managers say they always open their mail and a further 30% say they open it if it looks relevant. Whether you’re a business or a consumer, mail stands out. You’re more likely to get engagement per mail than per email, that’s exactly what makes it more valuable.

Mail makes email significantly more effective

The strongest campaign is built by using both mail and email. Let each pick-up the other’s slack and compliment its strengths. Using both mail and email reiterates your campaign’s message in the minds of your target and can create a clear call to action which increases engagement. CentralMailing’s study compared mailed campaigns to similar campaigns that didn’t include mail, those that did had achieved over twice (205%!) the market share growth. If you want to increase your email pool, or if you want your emails to drive more engagement, consider using mail to achieve it. For example, retailers who rely on digital can really build their brand and their engagement by including the personal touch that is a Christmas card.

Mail is worth testing during the high season

Every year there are more and more Christmas advertisements. While the largest companies compete for the viral advert of the year, some will hardly be seen, and smaller companies will fall to the wayside. One jewellery company, Posh Totty, decided to trial a mailing catalogue in the run-up to Black Friday to see what effect it could have on their sales. As a Royal Mail First Time User they received a discount and were able to mail 50k catalogues to customers and prospects. The 25-page catalogue was highly successful as conversion to sales on their website tripled over the weekend. On average, those who received the catalogue spent 35% more than those that didn’t. Mail was the key that turned their Black Friday weekend into a success.

Personalisation has more power in person

All advertising emails are personalised, but we don't expect the same standard from advertising mail. Famously, Emma Bridgewater, a pottery company that regularly mails Christmas catalogues, trialled a new design that proved highly effective. To stay competitive and stand out, Emma Bridgewater decided that they needed to up their targeting game. They took their catalogues to the next level by personalising the front cover. Typically, they would feature a variety of their iconic products on the front, likely a best-seller, to spike interest. The cover of their 2017 catalogue had a traditional Christmas mug – except instead of ‘Your name here’ they put the name of the recipient. This clearly landed well with their audience. It generated some social media buzz, and their ROI increased by 25%, proving all it takes is a small touch to go a long way.

Direct mail and Christmas are a match made in heaven. Despite being thought of as a thing of the past, Christmas mail campaigns continue to prove to be wildly effective for companies across industries. At Christmastime, you need something personal if you want to stand out. Nothing screams personal like a personalised Christmas card, letter or catalogue. The letterbox is the one place where the public aren’t being overwhelmed with Christmas messages, use it to your advantage. Get in touch with us if you’d like some help on making your Christmas mail campaign a success. 

Ellie Revell image

About the author

Ellie is an enthusiastic and driven member of the team and approaches all situations with a can-do attitude. Ellie has worked across a variety of industries and clients, providing efficient and successful solutions for clients, anchored by 4 years of experience, the JICMAIL Silver Award and DMA direct mail qualifications. Ellie particularly loves working with charity clients, knowing that the success of a campaign goes towards the amazing work they do.