Mail a key part of complex direct marketing mix, driving e-commerce and high street shopping


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Customer insight firm GI Insight reveals that 47% of UK consumers visit a company website because of marketing that came through the post

Latest research by database and loyalty marketing specialist GI Insight reveals that just under half of UK consumers are driven to visit a company website by an item of direct mail. Despite the growth of email and proliferation of other digital channels, the research shows that online traffic is largely driven by direct mail, with 47% of UK consumers saying that ‘more often than not’ they are prompted to check out a website by something they have received in the post.

Just over a third (34%) of respondents declare that most of the direct marketing they receive, notice and take action on comes through the post, and 33% say they are more responsive to email-only communications – leaving another third who are not driven solely by marketing activity across a single channel, but are more likely to take action if they receive a combination of post and email communications.

The continuing importance of direct mail in a multi-channel era was also highlighted by the finding that more than half of UK consumers (52%) declare that they receive most of the promotions and special offers they redeem in-store or online though the post. And 43% of respondents also say that direct mail items they keep around at home act as reminders to visit the sender’s website or shop when they have the time to do so.

Andy Wood, managing director of GI Insight, comments: “These findings clearly demonstrate that direct mail is still an extremely powerful tool, even in the digital age, and plays a pivotal role in any business’ efforts to contact consumers – despite increasing use of email and regardless of the channel that consumers choose to actually purchase through.”

Additional findings of report include:

• Surprisingly, 53% of digitally savvy 18 to 24-year-olds say they most often go to check out a website because of something they have received in the post – while fewer than half of all other consumers do so

• Over a third of consumers – 35% – say that if they receive a notice through the post that is backed by a subsequent email, they are more likely to take action

• Men are more likely than women to take action because they have received an email reminder as a follow-up to an item of direct mail they were sent – 37% versus 32%

• Close to a third of consumers – 34% – say they regularly receive at least two catalogues containing products they buy, whether in-store or online, with a higher proportion of men getting them than women

• Women are more likely than men to visit a website because of something that they have received through the post – 49% compared to 44%

Wood notes: “The report highlights that the UK customer journey from marketing communication to in-store or website purchase is anything but linear. There may be a number of messages that influence the consumer’s behaviour. Evidently, one of the real drivers of many purchases is the reminder – whether it is a piece of post set aside, or an email sent to reinforce a mailer. To ensure that these reminders are pertinent and part of an organic strategy, all dialogue with the customer must be informed by data and analysis.

“Only by embracing full customer insight and responding aptly to customer behaviour with relevant messages and offers can companies communicate more effectively and personally with individual consumers. By using data and analysis to better understand how customers are making their purchasing decisions, firms can find the most engaging mix of channels for each customer and gain a decisive edge on competitors.”

For further information please contact:
Victoria Smith
[email protected]
020 7402 0510

About GI Insight
GI Insight specialises in database marketing and loyalty schemes, having created and managed more retail loyalty programmes than anyone else in the UK. The Leicester-based company offers a full range of database marketing services including consultancy, database design/build/host, data capture, analysis, segmentation, profiling, campaign execution and measurement, available as a whole or on a ‘pick and mix’ basis. The analysis and interpretation of your sales and customer data enables you to influence customer behaviour. This knowledge helps you to reliably increase profitability by:

• Getting more new customers (acquisition)
• Getting existing customers to:
o Spend more often
o Spend more per transaction
• Reducing Customer Attrition (retention)

For more information, please visit

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