Want to know more about how the JICMAIL panel works? See some of the commonly asked questions and answers below or scroll to the bottom of the page and download our presentation.

If you have a question about the JICMAIL panel, or JICMAIL data use, please contact tara@jicmail.org.uk



What does JICMAIL measure and why do we measure it

As with the majority of other Joint Industry Currencies (JICS), JICMAIL is a media planning currency that measures the media consumption habits of key advertiser target audiences. It measures the reach of mail campaigns, the frequency with which audiences are exposed to (or interact with) their mail, the ad impressions generated by mail campaigns, along with a whole host of commercial outcomes for advertisers.

JICMAIL generates mail media metrics that are equivalent to BARB’s measurement of TV viewership, RAJAR for Radio listenership or PAMCO for publisher readership. JICMAIL data is also fused with longstanding media planning surveys, IPA TOUCHPOINTS and TGI.

JICMAIL data allows marketers access to data for media planning and measurement of reach and frequency within defined audiences to allow efficient and effective cross channel media planning, measurement and evaluation.

JICMAIL further measures commercial outcomes taken as a result of receiving mail to allow for more accurate attribution of online browsing, brand discussions in the home and other upper funnel consumer behaviours previously not attributed to mail. Purchases and store visits are also measured.

JICMAIL subscribers also have access to our brand database that allows them to analyse the mail journeys of specific brands and competitors allowing insights by brand (sender) for targeting and outcomes based on actions taken with received commercial mail.


How is the mail usage measured?

JICMAIL together with Kantar have developed a diary-based mobile app that is used by panellists to capture mail activity in the household. The methodology developed has won awards from and been highly commended by the Market Research Society (MRS) and the Media Research Group (MRG).

The diary based app captures the mail activity of people living within 1,000 nationally representative households per month. The panel is divided in to four groups of 250 households, and each of the four groups is assigned a week in the month to track all mail that they receive. They then track everything that they do with this week’s worth of mail over the course of a twenty eight day period.

The household co-ordinator in each household takes a photo of each commercial mail item (i.e. a piece of direct mail, business mail, partially addressed mail or a door drop) that is delivered to the home and records how it is interacted with, by whom, and when – over the course of a twenty-eight day period.

Please follow the link below for a video explanation of the JICMAIL methodology:



How and by whom is the data used

Data is released to the industry quarterly and is available on all major media planning software platforms including Telmar, Kantar Choices and Nielsen IMS as well as free access, subject to registration and training, on the JICMAIL Discovery Portal, www.jicmail.org.uk

The data is used in the Advertising industry by media planners, advertisers, media owners, data suppliers and mailing houses to pitch, plan, deliver and measure more efficiency and effective mail campaigns.

JICMAIL data is also fused with longstanding media analysis tools IPA TOUCHPOINTS and TGI and is available to subscribers on these platforms.


Who is responsible for administering the JICMAIL panel?

The panel is recruited and managed by Kantar, one of the largest research agencies in the world who conduct audience measurement research across many media categories and countries

The JICMAIL panel consists of 1000 nationally representative households matched to the UK population using the National Readership Survey - a gold standard in UK media measurement.



How are the panel recruited? Who can join the panel? Do they perform research for any other media?

Kantar recruits thousands of research panellists every year who are used for media research and consumer insight projects across channels and sectors in the UK and globally.

JICMAIL panellists are recruited by Kantar based on specific criteria related to their household characteristics to ensure representivity on a national UK population basis. Panel Health is monitored carefully by Kantar and approximately 20% of the panel is refreshed on an annual basis.

Panellists are carefully screened by Kantar and trained to ensure they represent normal household behaviours within their demographic and socio- demographic categories.


How are the panellists remunerated?

Panellists receive points that they trade in for vouchers and they are also entered into a monthly prize draw. They do not receive more points for recording more mail activity however (to avoid biasing the data).


Is there a propensity for the panellists to record actions because they are on a research panel? Can we trust the data is accurate?

The JICMAIL methodology was piloted for two years prior to launch to ensure it accurately reflects actual behaviour with mail in the home as closely as possible. The panel are regularly communicated with and it is made clear they are to record their activity with mail to reflect their normal behaviour.

In addition, a series of checks and balances are put in place to check panel “health.” If a panellist starts recording abnormally high or low mail volumes or interactions Kantar investigates directly with the panellist to make sure that their actions are an accurate reflection of reality. On some occasions, panellists and their data have been excluded.


Is the panel big enough to be accurate and should it be bigger?

The 24,000 effective sample is large enough to infer nationally representative mail behaviours by industry sector and audience / demographic type. It is also large enough to measure mail behaviour for larger campaigns with sufficient volumes. Currently over 150,000 mail journeys have been recorded (As at Q2 2020).


What does effective size of 24,000 mean when there are 1,000 households?

We measure the mail activity of everyone in the household (approx. 2.5 people per household). Therefore: approx. 1000 households x approx. 2 people per household x 12 months = approx. 24,000 responses a year.


Is the data collected in the same way as that of other JICs?

No, each media has a unique methodology. Digital data is collected passively using tracking technology; TV is measured using a set top box. JICMAIL is most similar to radio in terms of its methodology by using a diary-based App.


Does the fact that panellists only record mail for one week out of four adversely affect the data? Surely the data would be better if consistently recorded like BARB record TV viewing?

No - the aim isn’t to provide an absolute figure on mail circulation but rather to provide a view on how people interact with mail.

JICMAIL tracks all weeks of the month by dividing the panel of 1000 into 250 households each and asking them to capture all mail that they receive for a week, and everything they do with that mail for a month.

We found in our pilot study that asking someone to record all four weeks resulted in too much panel burden and reduced data accuracy.


How is the data monitored to ensure it is as accurate and representative?

The JICMAIL methodology and oversight is governed by a Technical Committee, chaired by an independent research expert. Oversight is provided by members drawn from the buy side and sell side of the industry and the IPA. The committee monitors the methodology and outputs for compliance, impartiality and accuracy.

Kantar operates an automated monitoring system that will flag any exceptional behaviour and runs a programme of communication with the panellists to ensure they are recording their behaviour accurately and input their data timeously on the App.


JICMAIL welcomes questions about the panel or any other aspect of the data. We also welcome the opportunity to introduce the data to new subscribers or upskill our existing subscriber base. Get in touch with us to find out more at tara@jicmail.org.uk.


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How JICMAIL data is collected

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