September 25, 2018

Direct Mail consumption through the life stages

In our previous article we explored Royal Mail MarketReach research and looked at Correlation Between Age and Direct Mail Interaction. Now let us guide you further through the research and highlight how mail is consumed through different life stages. 

The study separates the participants by age and also by their life stage:

  • Fledgelings – adults living in their Parents’ home,
  • Sharers – adults living in shared accommodation with other adults,
  • Couples – with no children,
  • Young families – one or more children,
  • Older families – living with at least one child at secondary school,
  • Empty Nesters – no longer living with children,
  • Older retirees – singles or couples with pensions or investment as an income.


FLEDGELINGS – adults living in the home of their patents – 3 million in the UK

It’s easy to assume that as digital natives engrossed in social activities, fledgelings don’t engage with mail. However, 23% bought or ordered something as a result of receiving personalised Direct Mail in the past 12 months. Moreover, 38% agree they are more likely to look at mail printed on high-quality materials and 32% more likely to trust information in print than information on the internet. Although, they are more likely than older groups to respond digitally than by post or the phone.

“Lauren received a catalogue from Capital Hair and Beauty which she shared not only with her friends but also her Nan, who tends to purchase in store.”


SHARERS – adults living in shared accommodation with other adults – 1.9 million in the UK

Like Fledgelings, Sharers report receiving low levels of personalised mail. Many utility companies may send information addressed to the landlord or only one of the roommates, so they receive few bills or statements. For the same reason, 49% more likely to feel reassured about the sender’s service or product as a result. As well as, 45% more likely to find mail memorable and 75% more likely to buy or order something as a result of door drops.

“I do like getting the Chelsea magazine. It’s glossy and does have some interesting articles in it. So, I tend to keep it around the living room for a week or two.” John.


COUPLES – with no children – 6.4 million in the UK

Couples, as well as Sharers, are more likely to say they don’t know who takes responsibility for managing the mail. 22% of them visited a store as a result of receiving personalised mail. And 26 bought or ordered something and 16% looked for more information online.

“I received a booklet from estate agents: a property magazine, and I actually bought my house from the info that it was advertised with – off plan – and I got quite a good deal.” Stephen from Manchester.


YOUNG FAMILIES – one or more children – 8.5 million in the UK

It’s no surprise that Young Families embrace mail. They begin to receive more – they start new relationships with brands, retailers, health and local community organisations. More than 30% of them bought or ordered something because of receiving personalised Direct Mail. More than 23% more likely to have referred to mail whilst online and 24% more likely to go online to make an enquiry/request for more information as a result of mail campaign.

Greg and his wife have two young children. Like others, Greg thought he had very little interaction with mail before keeping his diary, but this proved to be inaccurate. Among the items he looked at and responded to were: an appointment for a flu jab for one of his children, a door-drop for a local guttering company which he enquired about online and then phoned to book, and a voucher for H&M which he shared with his wife and filed for online purchase, among others.


OLDER FAMILIES – living with at least one child at secondary school – 3.7 million in the UK

In most areas, Older Families are above average in their actions and response to mail. They buy or order as a result of it, go to stores because of it, file it, refer to it, follow up any queries using phone or internet, and use the vouchers mail provides.

27% bought or ordered something upon receiving personalised Direct Mail. Moreover, 52% used a voucher they received in the mail, 39% have kept mail they received, and more than 30% more likely to say that advertising helps them choose what they buy.

“I like the occasional new season brochure from Boden/Hush as I like their clothes… brochure is good to bookmark pages but if I buy it’s almost always online. I like the content… nice quality clothing always photographed well.” Heather, London


EMPTY NESTERS – no longer living with children – 10 million in the UK

For 72% of Empty Nesters opening the post is part of their daily routine, on average they spent 18 minutes reading it. 26% bought something because of Direct Mail and 32% renewed a subscription to a product or service as a result of receiving mail.

“A brochure from Cotton Traders a few years ago tempted me to send off by post for clothing and shoes… I have since transferred to online ordering from Cotton Traders which I do fairly regularly.” Jackie, Manchester.


OLDER RETIREES – singles or couples with pensions or investment as an income – 6 million in the UK

They have the highest claimed viewing of TV and the lowest claimed usage of online from all age groups. Older retirees are the group which most keep mail for reference – 43%. 32% of them say they responded to mail in the last year and 72% like receiving mail if it is relevant to them.

To see where they’re going (cruise brochure)  “… And then I did go on their website to look into it from that. But actually, having it in the catalogue, it’s easy to show anyone I want to show it to – where I’m thinking of going.” Dorothy, Lancing.




Source, the life stages of Mail.  Royal Mail MarketReach, June 2018.

Romax Marketing & Distribution has more than 20 years of experience managing membership and client printing and communication services for organisations such as Southbank CentreDKMSand PlusNetContact us for a bespoke Membership Marketing Solution:, +44 (0) 20 8293 8550


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September 18, 2018

Correlation Between Age and Direct Mail Interaction

In the age of digital marketing, there are some questions about how digital natives respond to direct mail, how a consumer’s experience of mail affects the way they respond. And which groups are more likely to respond by mail or telephone, among others. The study “The Life Stages of Mail” by Royal Mail MarketReach responds to these questions and now we will reveal it to you.


The study separates the participants by age and also by their life stage:

  • Fledgelings – adults living in their Parents’ home,
  • Sharers – adults living in shared accommodation with other adults,
  • Couples – with no children,
  • Young families – one or more children,
  • Older families – living with at least one child at secondary school,
  • Empty Nesters – no longer living with children,
  • Older retirees – singles or couples with pensions or investment as an income.


Mail Engagement Across Age and Life Stage

The study shows that there are similarities between all age groups in terms of how direct mail is perceived.

The research on a mail quality shows that improvement could be done towards targeting of the younger generation. Young adults perceive mail as information that is harder to get and mail doesn’t grab their attention as good as other age groups.


In the Royal Mail ReachMarket study “The Private Life of Mail”, it was asked to agree or disagree with the statement “I prefer to read on paper than on screen”. No clear trends were indicated.

The neuroscience research proved that there was no indication that age significantly affected the importance of tactility in encoding or responding to printed material. Moreover, young people were more likely to register a higher level of emotional intensity to mail.

The most notable finding was that younger respondents tended to be more likely to indicate emotional responses to the mail they valued.

How mail impact on response rates

Also, this is probably the most frequent question that we’ve been asked. The study shows that the response channel used by any individual would be based on the technology that each age group was most familiar with. Thus, the oldest people would prefer communication being received by post than the other groups; the older middle-aged would be more likely to prefer the phone conversation; the younger middle-aged would prefer to receive message via PCs or laptops, and the youngest adults would – stand out as the group who were most likely to use mobile devices. Great news that the 15-24 age group enjoys receiving a message by post more, than the 25-34 age group. Such figures prove the revival of direct mail.

The study divided the method of response to mail in the following way:

Royal Mail MarketReach also shows how often different age groups buys or orders something from direct mail campaign over a year.

The category with higher response rate was unsurprisingly the use of mail as a Voucher (49%), following by the Kept For Reference (36.7%) and Bought or Ordered (26.7%) in third place. Moreover, young families have higher response rates in all the categories.



Direct mail becomes popular more than ever. Especially use of mail noticeably higher with younger age group than with millennials. In our next article we will further explore Royal Mail MarketReach and analyse the mail consumption through different life stages.

But before than plan your direct marketing campaign with us. Contact us to get a free quote today!


Source, the life stages of Mail.  Royal Mail MarketReach, June 2018.

Romax Marketing & Distribution has more than 20 years of experience managing membership and client printing and communication services for organisations such as Southbank CentreDKMSand PlusNetContact us for a bespoke Membership Marketing Solution:, +44 (0) 20 8293 8550


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July 25, 2017

Direct Mail Facts & Figures

Written by Nilda Cerna, Marketing Manager at Romax Marketing & Distribution.

Direct Mail

Are you trying to increase the open rate of your emails to bring more traffic to your website and grow sales? What if I told you that Direct Mail delivered a great return on investment (ROI) and creates strong, emotional connections and brand associations? Let’s show you figures from the Private Life of Mail research by Royal Mail Market Reach that supports this. Research based on eighteen months of investigation, which included focus groups, neuroscience and tactility work, and more than 9.5K survey responses.


Mail in the home

“On average, people kept door drops for 38 days.”

The study shows that people commonly keep mail they find useful. 66% of the respondents stated that they keep mail that they considered useful. Financial and tourism sectors mail saw increases on that figure up to 72%. In contrast, a study of the email analytics revealed that 51% of emails are deleted within two seconds.

Kantar Media’s TGI survey confirmed that 80% of adults had kept relevant mail in the last four weeks. On average, the mail was kept for 17 days for advertising mail, 38 days for door drops and 45 days for bills and statements. For the same reason, it is common practice in the transactional mail, to include targeted communications and adverts, Romax’s many utility clients use this strategy to cross-sell other products.

The age group of 15-34 years old (millennials) are:

  • 42% more likely to find mail memorable than the UK population as a whole.
  • 71% more likely to trust the advertising mail they receive.
  • 21% more likely to have switched supplier as a result of mail.

Mail in the heart

“People value something they can see & touch 24% more than something they can only see.”

There are strong reasons why getting consumers to engage physically with a brand is likely to have a stronger effect on them. Multisensory stimulations alter the way the brain processes messages which are key to driving an emotional response to messages or brands.

Physical contact results in a sense of ownership over an item (Endowment effect), therefore mail gains an advantage over email.



In the study, 64% of the responders had opened a piece of mail that day, and the majority who did go on to interact with it. The highest open rates and interactions come from Statement, bill or information updates, brochures and letters with a promotion or special offer.


Mail in the Wallet

“ 87% of the responders were influenced to make online purchases as a direct result of receiving mail.”

The Internet has changed your customer’s behaviour. They research a product online and buy it in one click. Often digital behaviour is the last action, an identifiable part of the process, though generated by offline media.


The Royal Mail research shows that mail is highly effective at delivering ROI. When mail was included in a campaign, the total communications ROI increased by 12%.  Including mail delivers more than just ROI. Incremental reach, the efficient growth of market share and cost per new customer acquisition also perform better.


To summarise, a single piece of mail can represent multiple opportunities for people to engage with a brand, reminding them of it, reinforcing its values, and ultimately becoming part of everyday life. Direct mail creates an instinctive sense of value being exchanged between the sender and recipient, which the latter may not be aware of.

References: Private Life of Mail, Royal Mail MarketReach. 3Bet Media Marketing, Litmus Email Analytics 2013. TGI Kantar Media, 2014.



Romax_tag1Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2C, Direct Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy.

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February 3, 2015

Mailmen – Direct Mail Report Endorsed by Marketing Leaders


Mailmen: Marketing Leaders Endorse Royal Mail MarketReach Direct Mail Report


Robert Senior Comments on the effectiveness in the use of Direct Mail in a marketing campaign

Mailmen: Marketing Leaders Endorse Royal Mail’s MarketReach Campaign endorsed by five influential industry leaders: Robert Senior, Worldwide CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Group; Karen Blackett OBE, CEO MediaCom; Nik Roope, Founder, Poke; Elspeth Lynn, Executive Creative Director, M&C Saatchi and David Robinson, Sales and Marketing Director, The Sun.

No marketing professional will ‘put everything on red’ when it comes to planning a successful marketing campaign, but there has been a reawakening of late in the realisation that the value return made from social media and email campaigns without the combined use of a more tangible and emotive marketing touch point such as printed direct mail, does not create the returns required.


At Romax we are huge advocates of the correct use of data driven marketing to ensure that the message of  your campaigns reach the target audience via their preferred media, but also as importantly allows them to respond by the method of their choice. Increasingly this is by a hand held device, tablet, phone or web device. The marketing stimulant to drive activity on your site is what needs thought – a true multi-media cross media  data driven campaign.

Salvation Army Case Study: There is a great case study in the report from a Charitable perspective. It is important to remember that direct mail is the strongest stimulant for the charity sector, but if your non-charity sector marketing campaign is planned as well you will achieve good results too. The graph speaks for itself.


We thought this was a little extreme, but let’s remember this is a marketing report endorsed by ‘The Sun’ so you would expect an evocative headline. As we believe that direct mail is the epitome of communication with clients we can categorically state that no animals were (or will be) eaten as a result of this report!

Part of the report around the impact of direct mail was around the retained value in the household. Big Brother style cameras were installed to ascertain where and how direct mail was interacted with and acted upon. The opposite plan demonstrates the ‘warm’ and ‘hot’ spots of interaction. Unsurprisingly (some may say surprisingly) 1% of people do actually take their mail to the toilet to open it! Top spots being of course the Living Room and Kitchen. More importantly however this shows that once the mail piece has reached destination, it stays in around the household as a tangible interactive marketing piece for so much longer than a electronic communication which we feel are best used as reminders to jolt a response as part of a campaign.


All reports need a comparison chart and we chose this one to discuss here (there are lots more in the report so if you like a good graph or two, you won’t be deprived!) The open rates for ALL of these mail pieces are all much higher than any email campaign would dream of achieving, (where an open rate of 15% plus is seen as a result!) Interaction again is considerably higher than email alone, where a click through interaction rate of single figures is good. So to download the report to read it for yourself now that we have provided an overview click HERE

OK So there was one more….Again we are very clear that email on its own is the poor relation when it comes to achieving results, we also strongly believe that email should definitely be used in a planned and positive way in conjunction WITH direct mail. Key to this is understanding your data, if you know how your clients currently interact with your organisation, then you can, with confidence, communicate with them using their preferred method enforced through other channels.

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Romax is a full service, data driven direct marketing company; data, digital print, 1-2-1 marketing, mail and email marketing, originally starting as a London Mailing House, and expanding to provide UK and overseas direct marketing services. To contact us, email: or call +44 (0)20 8293 8550