2018 Direct Mail Facts & Figures | DMA

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The Joint Industry Committee, JICMAIL, have just launched their 2018 Direct Mail Annual ReportNew Currency for Mail.”

Over a 3 month period, JICMAIL tracked the direct mail activity of around 1,000 households. Participants recorded via an App the mail they received each week and subsequent actions taken by them or anyone in their household, as a result of receiving the mail, for three further weeks. The currency was supported by a face to face Omnibus survey and an online survey.


Over the subsequent twenty-eight days they are still opening their mail.

To capture details on all mail coming into the house and understanding what happens with that mail it was decided to capture everything received. This gives us data to understand the different exposure to reach and frequency for different types of mail.


This can effectively come from any sector from a Supermarket to a Financial or Services Business. It is classified as addressed mail if it clearly contains information about products and services, or an offer that drives recipients to the web.


An addressed Mail is an item of mail addressed to an individual in the household. The type of mail piece to qualify as Addressed Mail must be a letter, catalogue or leaflet/flyer addressed either to the householder, someone else in the house, to the “occupier,” or someone else who doesn’t live there.

The report concludes that with Addressed Mail:

  • 57% opened it when it just arrived and 20.8% open it within twenty-eight day period
  • 48.5% read/looked/glanced at it and 23% within twenty-eight day period
  • 26% threw it away/recycled
  • 24% put aside to look at later
  • The average household receives 1.3 items each day
  • The presence of children increases the number of items of addressed mail received – 1.45 versus 1.25
  • Women are 16.7% more likely than average to be exposed to addressed mail
  • The average frequency (re-visited) across addressed mail is 4.2
  • Leaflets and flyers are revisited 3.6 times.


These are items which do not have an address and are not addressed to a “householder” or “occupant”. Again, of course, they can come from any sector and can be from any sender.

The report concludes that the door drops:

  • 60.5% read/looked/glanced at it
  • 85% threw it away/recycled
  • 16% put it aside to look at later
  • The average frequency for door drops is 3
  • The top ranking frequency is for information about entertainment or activities
  • Having children in the household does not significantly increase the number of unaddressed items received but age and social grade do
  • Younger respondents (aged 16-24) receive significantly fewer items of door drop at 0.55.


Business mail can come from any sector but it must contain a financial information, statements, bills, notification or reminder rather than an advertising message. Business mail is not a key focus for this study but we have included a section on business mail in order for planners to be able to understand the reach and frequency of customer communications which is what this portion of mail includes.

The report concludes that for Business Mail:

  • Reach for business mail is the highest across all mail categories at an average of 1.2
  • It is least likely to be shared when the letter is addressed to the household coordinator, but still will be shared with a reach of 1.1.
  • Frequency is highest in those categories where it is personally addressed either to the household coordinator or to someone else in the house the household co-ordinator then passes it on to
  • Business mail frequency is highest for Utilities at 5.4.


Want to know more? Download the full report here.


Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2C, Direct Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage, Membership Communication Services and Marketing Consultancy.

Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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