There was an exciting new development for the direct mail industry when, towards the end of January, a new Joint Industry Committee (JIC) for Mail was launched.

What is JICMAIL?

JICMAIL has been created to help users and suppliers of Advertising Mail to understand its use and readership by providing data and metrics to the same standards as television, radio, outdoor and press. This aims to help create a level playing field for all media channels and deliver a clear understanding of their respective values.

JICMAIL’s Board is chaired by DMA Group CEO Chris Combermale and includes representatives from industry bodies and businesses including the DMA, IPA, ISBA, Royal Mail and Whistl to represent both users of the channel and relevant suppliers.

JICMAIL provides robust audience data for mail, measuring the readership, reach and frequency of exposure to each item that comes through the letterbox. This data is captured, in partnership with Kantar TNS, using a diary that follows each piece of mail for 4 weeks in a nationally representative sample of 1,000 households per quarter across the UK.

It has already conducted its first report and here are some of its key findings:

  • 65% of all addressed mail is opened
  • The average household receives 1.3 items of addressed mail each day
  • Each item reaches 1.2 people per household and is read or revisited on average 4.2 times. The more people in a household, the more a piece of mail is shared and passed on
  • Men interact with Utilities, Council and Magazine mail most frequently, whereas Medical and Supermarkets are higher for women

Writing the introduction to this first report, Mike Colling, Founder & CEO, MC&C and IPA Board Member of JICMAIL says: “This is a gold standard currency that gives the ability to all planners to plan mail using the same tools and metrics they use for all other communications channels. This is truly a landmark moment for mail in a digital age.”

An estimated £1.7bn is spent on mail each year in the UK, so this initiative helps ensure businesses can measure and track their advertising budgets better. This helps align it with many of the other channels that benefit from easy tracking and analysis, helping bring direct mail into the wider advertising strategy, instead of being seen in a silo.