Supplier Spotlight

Web Exclusive Articles

« back to listing

The resurgence of lettermail

February 4, 2016

Claire Borsenberger, senior researcher, and Emmanuel Vivet, deputy director, international affairs, Le Groupe La Poste, look at how digital technology is helping to transform the way lettermail is used

Lettermail volumes have been declining in all countries for more than ten years. Since 2005, the volume of addressed letters has dropped on average in the Nordic countries by about 30% and in Western Europe by about 25% (H Nikali, 2013). The general industry consensus is that substitution to electronic communication is the main reason for the decline. The weak economic environment and, in some countries, competition explain also part of the losses incurred by European national postal operators.

However, traditional media hasn’t disappeared. In fact, mail is thriving. Digital technology has only transformed the way mail is used. Digital printing enables mail to be personalized, giving consumers the feeling they are in a one-to-one conversation. Moreover, the costs of producing mail digitally have decreased. Over the past five years, the cost of digitally printed mailings has fallen by 25% (according to Royal Mail studies on the top five British printers, 2014). Mail campaigns can now be launched quickly and can closely follow purchasing trends.

Furthermore, studies show that people still love receiving mail (Royal Mail MarketReach, 2013). Research reveals that consumers don’t want to choose between mail and email – most want both. Consumers are very clear that mail and email have different qualities, which make each suited to different purposes. Email is seen as being quick, informal, suitable for follow-ups and easy to respond to. Mail grabs attention, is considered informative, makes recipients feel valued and gives a better impression (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Royal Mail MarketReach 2013 findings comparing the impact of email and lettermail on recipients

A 2015 neuro-marketing study carried out jointly by the United States Postal Service (USPS) Office of Inspector General and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making in Philadelphia, USA, (RARC Report WP-15-012, June 2015) showed that consumers react differently to physical and digital media in the purchasing process. The emotional response is stronger and the information is better remembered when advertisements are shown in physical form.

Most importantly, the brain area stimulated by physical advertisements is the one responsible for value and desirability for featured products, which can signal a greater intent to purchase. This suggests a complementary effect between the two formats that could provide a powerful way for marketers to optimize their media mix.

February 4, 2016


Video Exclusives

PostEurop releases latest mail and parcel statistics for Europe

PostEurop, a trade association representing 52 posts in 49 countries, has released its latest figures aggregated from its members, giving an overview of the European post and parcel delivery market in 2016.

23 May, 2017

PostNord delivers parcels into customers' homes

Nordic postal operator PostNord has partnered with Swedish lock manufacturer Assa Abloy to offer customers a new service where parcels can be delivered inside their door (full story here).

Customers who posses a digital lock, such as the Yale Doorman, can register for the service, which provides PostNord delivery personnel with a one-time code enabling them to enter the property and place the parcel inside. To view a video of the indoor delivery service, click on the link below.

19 April, 2017

Read Latest Issue

Read Latest Issue

Exclusive Articles

Matthew Robertson, co-CEO of parcel data management platform NetDespatch, comments on the surprise findings of research into the working relationship between retailers and their delivery partners.  May 16, 2017  
Click here to read more

This week Omniva selected Fives to install the sorting system for its new Tallinn hub (story here). Joona Saluveer, the recently appointed chairperson to the Omniva board, speaks to PPTI about the company’s future strategy and the challenges of digitization. May 2, 2017  
Click here to read more

Patrick Armstrong, CEO of IoT developer Snaile, explores some of the restrictions posed by outdated USOs and explains how they can be avoided using modern technology. April 24, 2017  
Click here to read more

Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the postal technology industry. Want to see your company included? Contact for more details.

فروشگاه اینترنتی فروشگاه اینترنتی سیستم همکاری در فروش ماهواره آنلاین اندروید کانال تلگرام ماهواره جیبی اندروید چت روم دانلود فیلم مرکز خرید ایرانیان

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the postal technology community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email