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About 70% of People Have Acted Based on Direct Mail
Men and Women Show Differences in Their Responses to Expressions in Direct Mail

February 9, 2017

DigitalHybrid Company TOPPAN FORMS CO., LTD. (TOPPAN FORMS, hereunder) has conducted different voluntary surveys to learn the reality and awareness of consumers.
TOPPAN FORMS has recently conducted a survey on the recipients of direct mail, focusing on the events after receiving the mail such as whether they open and read it, the words or the condition of the mail that encouraged them to open it, and their actions after opening it.
This survey found that consumers were more willing to open direct mail if it were easy to open and contained bargain offers. Postcards with easy-to-open stickers and envelopes with a sample product enclosed also appeared to be effective.
Among the expressions of discounts that drew attention from survey respondents that received direct mail offering discounts on products or services, “1,000-yen discount on a 5,000-yen product” was more popular than “20% discount on a 5,000-yen product.” Women preferred direct expressions such as “1,000-yen discount,” which was different from men.
Personalized (variable) advertising that clearly indicates to the recipient that the direct mail is relevant for him/her is considered to be a good information delivery tool that can generate a certain effect.
Approximately 70% of the respondents had acted based on direct mail, which suggests that it is effective in promoting action.

Overview of survey results

  • 1. Direct mail that was most tempting to open was “envelopes with a sample product inside.” The second and third most tempting to open were both sticker-type mail.
  • 2. Approximately 70% of the respondents had taken some kind of action after receiving direct mail. The survey found a cross-media effect, such as an internet search.
  • 3. For direct mail offering discounts, a “XX yen discount” is preferred to a “XX% discount.” More than double the amount of difference was found even between similar expressions.
    The results also showed differences of interest in expressions by gender and by age group.
  • 4. Direct mail optimized (personalized) using accumulated data on individual purchase history, preferences based on age and gender, etc. that offers useful information is likely to be perceived positively by more than 40% of the recipients and constitutes a good information delivery tool.

A detailed report of the survey can be downloaded from the following page.
URL: http://labolis.toppan-f.co.jp/knowledge_dl/

TOPPAN FORMS’ marketing support solution, LABOLIS, will continue to study communication techniques focusing on appropriate information delivery, taking into account the findings of this survey.

LABOLIS

We identify and plan optimal solutions through services using scientific approaches such as consumer surveys, eye-tracking, and customer data analysis for issues in planning the communication of our client companies with their customers.
■Follow the link below for details.
URL:http://labolis.toppan-f.co.jp

Overview of survey

  • Method:
    Online questionnaires provided by Neo Marketing Inc.
  • Respondents:
    Residents of Japan aged 20 and above who open more than 30% of their direct mail and have subscribed to an email magazine.
  • Valid responses:
    1,000 (100 men and 100 women in each group of respondents aged between 20 and 29, 30 and 39, 40 and 49, 50 and 59, and 60 and above)
  • Period:
    September 2 to September 8, 2016
  • * The survey results are rounded to the first decimal place in this news release.
  • * Direct mail is defined in this survey as postcards and letters providing information on products and services, which are sent by mail from companies or stores to consumers. This does not include email magazines, etc. sent by email.

< Request for crediting TOPPAN FORMS in a citation or reproduction >
Please be sure to clearly credit TOPPAN FORMS in the citation or reproduction of this press release.
e.g., “According to a LABOLIS survey by TOPPAN FORMS...”

  • * LABOLIS is a registered trademark of TOPPAN FORMS CO., LTD.

Annex: Survey Results

  • 1. Direct mail that the respondents were most tempted to open was “envelopes with a sample product inside.” The second and third most tempting were both sealed-type mail.

The respondents were asked how tempted they were to open each type of direct mail (see Table 1), and the type that received the largest percentage, 70%, of the answer “somewhat tempted to open” was “envelopes with a sample product inside.” Sealed-type mail (pressure-bonded postcards) came in second and third. They are likely to be opened because their shape allows for easy-opening by hand. Meanwhile, the percentages of the answers “not tempted to open” and “not really tempted to open” were high for catalogs and newsletters, suggesting a particular need for efforts to encourage the recipients to open them.

Table 1: Levels of Temptation to Open Each Type of Direct Mail

Annex: Survey Results

  • 2. Approximately 70% of the respondents had taken some kind of action after receiving direct mail. The survey found a cross-media effect, such as the internet search.

The respondents were asked whether they had acted in response to direct mail they had received (see Table 2), and the result indicates that approximately 70%, excluding those who answered “never taken any particular action,” had taken some kind of action. Among the actions taken, the most selected answer, or more than 50% of respondents, both men and women, was “checked the product/service on the internet.” In addition to the internet search, the graph below reveals other cross-media effects such as information about physical stores and word of mouth, including introduction to family and friends. The largest difference between men and women was evident in the answer “requested informational material," which was selected by 10.0% of the men, nearly twice as many as 5.6% of the women who selected this answer.

Table 2: Actions after Receiving Direct Mail
  • 3. For direct mail offering discounts, a “XX yen discount” is preferred to a “XX% discount.” More than double the amount of difference was found even between similar expressions. The result also showed differences in interest in expressions by gender and by age group.

The question on direct mail offering discounts on products or services had an interesting result. More than half of the respondents expressed their interest in “a 1,000-yen discount” on “a 5,000-yen product,” which was more than twice the number of those who selected the second most popular answer, “a 20% discount,” despite the identical discount rate (see Table 3). Further, expressions of direct discounts on products, including “a 20% discount,” were preferred by nearly 80% of the respondents.

Table 3: Expressions in Which Respondents Would be Most Interested

Annex: Survey Results

Comparisons of the expressions that most interested men and women and among different age groups revealed that nearly 60% of the women in all age groups preferred “a 1,000-yen discount” (see Table 4). In particular, this was selected by 67.0% of the women in their 50s.
In contrast, the percentage of men in their 20s and 30s who selected “a 20% discount” was higher than the average percentage (23.0%) of all men. The expressions that draw attention, therefore, vary depending on gender, age, and how a discount is expressed. Customization of the discount methods presented in direct mail according to the target consumer group is likely to increase the advertising effect.

Table 4: Expressions in Which Respondents Would be Most Interested by Gender and by Age Group
  • 4. Direct mail optimized (personalized) using accumulated data on individual purchase history, preferences based on age and gender, etc. that offers useful information is likely to be perceived positively by more than 40% of the recipients and constitute a good information delivery tool.

The survey found that direct mail would be perceived positively by more than 40% of the recipients if it were “useful information” (see Table 5). In particular, approximately 50% of those in their 20s answered they “would not mind/would like (such direct mail).” This suggests that “direct mail optimized (personalized) using accumulated data” would be a good information delivery tool that could generate a certain effect.

Table 5: Impressions of Direct Mail Optimized Using Accumulated Data
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General Affairs Division
TOPPAN FORMS CO., LTD.
1-7-3 Higashi Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8311, JAPAN
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