The latest quarterly results reveal that 6.5% of mail (including Direct Mail, Business Mail, Partially Addressed Mail and Door Drops) prompted a purchase in the crucial Christmas trading period. Half of these purchases were transacted online.

Despite continued challenging trading conditions for retailers, mail has played its part in delivering significant commercial returns for those who chose to invest their media budgets in the channel in Q4 2023.

  • 5% of mail prompted a purchase in Q4 2023 - up from 4.8% in Q4 2022. These purchases reflected the shift in online shopping behaviours to ecommerce, with 3.3% of mail driving an online purchase.
  • Mail plays a vital role in driving consumer action throughout the digital path-to-purchase: 8.4% of mail prompted a website visit in Q4, 4.8% an account look-up and 3.3% an online purchase. This purchase rate reflects a healthy 40% conversion rate from site visit to purchase, and at a time when performance marketing is struggling to make an impact, the role of mail in driving vital customer acquisitions calls for a significant reappraisal of the channel.
  • Additional digital actions now tracked by JICMAIL reveal that mail prompts online searches (2.6% of mail), emails to advertisers (1.1%) and app download and usage (1%).
  • Mail’s role in driving sales in bricks-and-mortar retail stores should not be forgotten however, with 2.3% of mail prompting an in-store purchase in Q4. Real-life brand experiences still play a highly important role for consumers in an increasingly digital world (even D2C digital brands such as Asos and Deliveroo opened up physical stores last year), and mail is equally adept at driving consumers to these experiences in the real-world as it is online.
  • In the second half of 2023, just under a quarter of Direct Mail was used for cold acquisition purposes. By comparison, 88% of Door Drops reached new prospects as opposed to existing customers.
  • Mail attention has stabilised on a quarterly basis, although still recorded growth year on year. The average piece of Business Mail is interacted with for well over two and half minutes across a 28 day period, compared to one minute for the average Door Drop. However, as noted in last year’s The Time We Spend With Mail study, Door Drops are the most attention efficient mail channel.
  • Tesco, NHS and FarmFoods continue to command a disproportionately large share of attention compared to their share of mail volumes. They have been joined by Cotton Traders in Q4 which accounted for 7% of DM volumes, yet 10% of time spent with mail (out of the top ten mail advertisers).
  • Key mail metrics for Q4 2023 can be summarised as follows:




Item Reach



Direct Mail

4.4 interactions

1.1 people

7.1 days

124 seconds

Door Drops

3.1 interactions

1.1 people

5.8 days

62 seconds

Business Mail

4.7 interactions

1.2 people

8.3 days

168 seconds

Partially Addressed

4.1 interactions

1.1 people

6.1 days

78 seconds

% of ALL Mail…

Read / looked / glanced at


Filed Away

Prompted a purchase

Prompted a website visit

Prompted a discussion

Q4 2023







Q4 2022







Source: JICMAIL Item Data Q4 2023 n=10,083 Direct Mail, Door Drop, Partially Addressed and Business Mail items

Mail interactions captured by JICMAIL panellists take many forms and range from opening and reading mail, to passing it on to someone else, putting it in the usual place, putting aside to look at later or taking it out of home (amongst a list of many other actions). In addition, JICMAIL captures the industry category and advertiser details of almost every mail item in its 304,000 strong mail item database.

Ian Gibbs, JICMAIL, Director of Data Leadership and Learning, said “The challenges faced by the British high street in Q4 have been well documented of late. For those advertisers who invested budget in mail however, the channel did its bit – driving both in store and online purchases at a time when it’s getting harder and harder to stimulate immediate response from performance marketing activity. A 40% conversion rate from site visit to purchase is the type of performance that should catch the attention of digital growth marketers.”

Mark Cross, Engagement Director of JICMAIL added, “This latest set of results across the critical trading period of the year, continues to demonstrate the value to be unlocked from including mail in the mix. A triple win of high engagement, high attention and high conversion to transaction with rich interactions physically and online." 

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