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Print in the Mix: Day of the Week, Size Impact Response to Direct Mail

May 2009
Does the day that your direct mail lands on the doormat play a big part in its success? Royal Mail has been asking a consumer panel this question since 1985 in its annual survey conducted by TNS Global that measures all consumer activity in relation to mail received and sent daily. A panel of 1,000 UK households reflects Great Britain’s age and social class and geographic spread, and definitely has interest for those of us “across the pond.” The survey findings were released in April 2009 and cover the January through December 2008 timeframe.

Key findings include:
Mail volumes vary considerably by day, with consumers receiving far fewer pieces of mail on Saturday.

Day / Amount of UK Mail Rcvd. (in millions)
Monday — 629
Tuesday — 508
Wednesday — 637
Thursday — 649
Friday — 658
Saturday — 381

Consumer response to direct mail varies by day. The number of consumers who have done something in response to receiving direct mail is highest on Saturday (29%). Monday mail elicits lower levels of response (26%). Response rates tend to vary less across the week when direct mail items "set aside for reference" are excluded.

UK direct mail response rates from 1998-2008 have continued to average around the 5% level. 

Financial mailings that arrive at the weekend achieve the greatest uplift in response rates. Consumers are more likely to respond to financial direct mail received on a Saturday (22%). Direct mail delivered on a Monday had the lowest response rate (15%).

Other weekday response rates:

Tuesday (16%)
Wednesday (18%)
Thursday (17%)
Friday (16%)

Consumer response rates vary less to financial direct mail when items "set aside for reference" are excluded, although a slightly higher proportion of mail delivered on a Saturday results in a positive reaction (4%, as compared to a 3% response rate on Monday-Thursday, and a 2% response rate on a Friday).

The physical size of the direct mailing piece affects response:

Direct Mailing Size / Response Rate
Large Letter — 6.2%
Packets — 4.8%
Standard Letter — 4.5%

To read this Print in the Mix Fast Fact and additional print market research studies, go to www.printinthemix.rit.edu and search for Royal Mail. Print in the Mix is a free and easily accessible clearinghouse of research on print media effectiveness, published by the Printing Industry Center (http://print.rit.edu") at RIT (http://www.rit.edu) and made possible by a grant from The Print Council (www.theprintcouncil.org).
 

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