Direct Mail Smart Mail

Direct Mail Smart Mail


To understand how direct mail can help them break through this noise, Canada Post

commissioned a major ethnographic study that explored how it factors into the lives

of today’s consumers and thereby influences the purchase journey.

Through this study, and reinforced by a series of additional Canadian consumer

surveys and global research into the topic, they found that by combining the intimacy

of ritual, the impact of physicality and the power of data-driven relevance, direct mail

can mean the difference between contributing to the noise and breaking through

  1. It helps brands stand out (consumers are far more likely to notice, open and

read it); trigger emotional responses (consumers tend to experience it in a mindset

that makes them more open to inspiration from brands); generate a lasting effect

(consumers often keep it, display it in highly visible areas of the home and share

it with others); and, perhaps most importantly, influence consumer behaviour

(consumers are more likely to action it than digital advertising).


In 2000, it was 12 seconds. To put this in context, the average attention span of a

goldfish is 9 seconds.1

So, what’s compressing consumer attention? Content overload, and the constant

noise that comes with it.

The volume of content that consumers are exposed to, and the pace at which they’re

consuming it, has never been greater. In fact, 90% of the world’s data has been

generated in the last two years alone.2

The only way for brands to break through this noise is to differentiate. This means

they need to know (really know) their customers, and serve them experiences that

are unique, personally relevant, meaningful and memorable.

In the quest for differentiation, can the channel in which a message is delivered mean

the difference between adding to the noise and rising above it? Canada Post wanted

to find out. So they partnered with leading market research consultancy Phase 5 on

a two-part, Canada-wide ethnographic research project that explored how physical

and digital mail factor into the lives of consumers – and how the visibility, longevity

and overall impact of each channel compares to one another.

Through this paper, Canada Post details the findings of this research – as well as a

series of additional Canadian consumer surveys and global research into the topic –

and explores their implications for customer relationships, brand value and sales.


ethnographic study commissioned by Canada Post and conducted by market research

consultancy Phase 5.

This foundational study inspired an in-depth review of related secondary research

focused on consumer attitudes towards and responses to direct mail – including,

but not limited to, various Canada Post-commissioned consumer surveys, Canadian

consumer insights from independent market research companies, and direct mail

studies from postal agencies around the globe. Qualitative and quantitative findings

from this body of research are referenced throughout this paper.

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Canada Post has written a lot of information on this and is a great source for your direct mail marketing.  At Welch & Quest we have the printing a mailing capabilities to make all of this happen with ease.


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