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Direct Mail and Australia – Wide Open Market and Great Resources

Date: April, 2010 --

In Australia, mass media fragmentation is a reality, and a problem, because the communications market is simultaneously moving from mass media to one to one communication. With this change research becomes an important aspect of one's work to obtain consumer intelligence and competitive insights. A useful tool in Australia is a company called Mailpix, a Nielsen subsidiary. The company maintains a national panel of over 2000 homes, selected to be a representative sample of Australia both demographically and geographically.

The panel captures all addressed mail it receives. They hold data from January 2005 to today on advertisers and products, estimated mail quantities, creative execution, and so forth. One of the most interesting uses made of the data is to show the role direct mail can play within a multimedia campaign. Australian telco Telstra has made substantial use of direct mail for cross media linkage in marketing its broadband product.

Australia Post Mail Marketing uses this information to assist marketers in understanding the role and power of direct mail. It has been enormously successful at this and has grown direct mail volume by 45% over the last six years.

Your mail piece will definitely stand out. Even after all that work, the average household only receives 1.9 direct mail letters a WEEK.

The Australia Post website can definitely help you be effective. At http://auspost.com.au/business.html there are numerous pages of advice and assistance for the direct mailer, including tools to help you project responses and ROI. There is a free report available on consumer media preferences covering 19 industry sectors, and 12 channels to help you optimize your marketing budget. Mail is integral in all of these. For example, 62% of people polled said they would be more likely to click on a banner ad if they’d received a mail piece from that advertiser.

In Australia as elsewhere, 70% of promotional mail is read, filed, or passed on. Compare that to an email open rate of 22.5% or so. Oz Post and Mailpix have also provided actual case studies of effective integrated campaigns that include direct mail. For example, among the studies is a mailing by the bank Westpac which targeted customers who were strong prospects for refinancing their loans. There was concern that these prospects might migrate to other banks, and the retention-based campaign achieved 193% of the original retention target and an overall ROI of 545%! Go take a look at what works in Australia at http://www.openuptomail.com.au/index.php and be sure to have your address database cleaned up by Data Services before you mail.