Go Inspire Group has released new research that offers a comparison of campaign incremental revenue gains from using direct email, direct mail and a combination of both media.


Go Inspire Group’s research found that using a combination of direct email and direct mail outperformed either medium in isolation

The company said the study, titled ‘Hobson’s Choice’ and run on scientific experimental principles, offers marketers objective data on which to plan their channel strategy.

The business established a randomised control trial (RCT), undertaken with a “retailer that has broad appeal across the population” to make sure the offer was not a niche value proposition, to deliver benchmark data on the issue.

“Many people feel that they are receiving too many emails, which makes them switch off to what is in their inbox, or just press delete right away,” said Go Inspire Insight chairman Andy Wood.

“In the UK many consumers in fact have multiple email accounts, with the sole purpose of directing marketing emails to a secondary, less frequently checked, account.

“From a data security and data protection perspective, the requirements of the GDPR are predicted to dramatically reduce the third-party data market, as many email marketing lists do not have informed consent.

“On top of this, one respected information security survey [PwC Global State of Information Security Survey 2017] reports that the number of data breaches attributed to third-party vendors has increased 22% since 2015, further weakening the email data supply market.”

Go Inspire group chief executive Patrick Headley added: “Direct mail costs much more to transmit than direct email; however direct mail has a lifespan of 17 days compared with direct email’s two seconds.

“Click-through rates are 1.56% for direct marketing emails, compared with average response rates for direct mail of 4.4% [according to Digital Doughnut, Direct Mail vs Email, 15 Feb 2017].

“Direct mail is often perceived as a more personalised form of marketing, whilst email is seen to be very quick and informal. At a first glance many would assume that email is a great mechanism for boosting profits fast, yet direct mail helps secure customers.”

He added: “Constructing a randomised control trial allowed us to gather meaningful evidence about the relative performance of these two mediums.

“With a multitude of publicly available figures, it was apparent that it is very difficult to compare direct mail vs email which is why we chose the generated incremental revenue as the yardstick for our findings, thus tracking real business outcomes, from offer, to response, to conversion to value.

“Ultimately, the findings revealed exactly what marketers need to know – the RCT showed that direct mail outperformed direct email in terms of incremental revenue after campaign costs, but a combination of direct email and direct mail then outperformed either medium in isolation.

“Hence the real learning for marketers is understanding the power of both media when used in tandem and the combination adds the power of each together to provide a stronger commercial output where neither medium is overpowering the other.”

Further RCTs will be undertaken by Go Inspire in the future, Wood said.

“The resulting numbers should be taken as indicative only. Other product types and customer bases will result in different outcomes, which we will be looking at further in our research down the line.”


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