Although 42% of UK consumers were encouraged to go paperless last year, and almost half were offered incentives to do so, only around 24% did so, and only half of respondents were happy to run out of paper.
This is according to research conducted by Royal Mail Marketreach, which was the largest research program of this organization in the last five years with the aim of understanding how companies can use the mail of their clients in the best way.
Evidence suggests that companies would be wise to listen to customer preferences because 88% of people read all or most of their user mail, compared to 76% for email, 58% for text, and 44% for app notifications.
Marketreach commissioned Trinity McQueen to conduct a six-part research program for more than 6,000 consumers and teamed up with Accenture to leverage its extensive experience and insights into all aspects of the business. Unlike Advertising Mail, where the focus is on ‘sales’, the primary goal of user mail is to exchange information, offer support, and develop a relationship between the organization and the named recipient.
Digging further into the research, it turned out that people are twice as likely to say they understand complex information when given in physical mail compared to digital formats, and 57% of respondents say they are less likely to miss something if it comes them in physical format.
Research has shown that all age groups deal with mail, including Generation Z and millennials who value the personal touch marked by user mail. They deal with it more than email: 85% of them open it; 65% keep them for future use; 49% later put them into action; and 40% show it to others in their household.
This does not mean that digital communication has no role in the relationship with customers, according to the Royal Mail Marketreach. In fact, a combination of physical and digital mail is usually the best approach in relation to customers, it is argued.
It was said that his research, especially quality workshops for customers, provided key insights into how brands can best optimize their customer mail to provide a positive user experience, as well as help build brand equity. It was found that the key moments when physical mail is especially effective are when: communication should be read thoroughly; the recipient should act on the information received; information is important or complex; it should be kept for reference or when security or privacy issues are possible.
The strong sense of value associated with customer mail by consumers suggests the vital role of mail as part of a broader approach to customer engagement. Its tangibility, its reliability, the way customers value and communicate with mail make it a channel that offers unique CX benefits. As research shows, customer preferences are not exclusively for the digital experience, so a great user experience should take this into account, and business leaders and decision makers should look at their transformation plans as a whole, beyond just digital channels.
Phil Ricketts, Commercial Director at Royal Mail Marketreach, said: “Our research confirms the importance of customer mail in relation to customers and shows how it can benefit businesses looking to strengthen their CX strategy. It is an incredibly powerful point of contact of the brand, in which consumers invest enormous trust, but one in which there is a huge opportunity to further use its influence as part of the user experience. When done well, customer mail can add both personal value to customers and commercial value to organizations. ”
Are you interested in the world’s leading brands personally discussing such topics? Learn more about World Digital Marketing Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America and Singapore.