They don’t just capture attention and drive response. They drive customer engagement with other owned channels.

The JICMAIL study concludes that human exposure to advertising can no longer be taken for granted. This is due to ad-blocking, ad frauds, and the widespread fragmentation of consumer attention across various devices combined with programmatic algorithms. This is why it’s so important to keep exploring and measuring human interaction with physical mail.

The organisation JICMAIL is a joint industry committee for Mail Media Metrics in the UK. In their latest report they wrap up the findings from a year-long attention measuring initiative including a panel study of 1000 households combined with video analytics and survey questions. The aim was to find out how much time and attention real people spend directly looking at or engaging with direct mail in their homes.


The report “The Time We Spend with Mail” was released in 2023 and delves into key findings across five essential chapters, providing transformative truths on mail attention, contextual relevance, content planning, performance optimization, and cost efficiency. It’s available for free download at Marketreach

Mail is unquestionably a high attention channel. Here are three highlights from the report, which should be especially interesting for retail chains, supermarkets, and consumer goods retailers:

  • The amount of time spent with an average door drop exceeds the average time spent with an average digital ad or standard TV spot.
  • Around 1/3 of every direct mail prompted a commercial action within the 28 days tracking time frame.
  • Catalogues and magazines get around three to five minutes of attention time on average because consumers like to put them on prominent display in their homes.

A high level of focused attention commanded by mail speaks to the strength of the channel in delivering messages unaffected by background noise. 

A clear relationship between spending time with direct mail and then continuing the buying journey online can also be noticed throughout the study. This underlines the importance of measuring impact cross-media to better understand where the effect comes from, and make the most of all channels.