According to recent figures published by Royal Mail, since the Brexit referendum there has been a significant reduction in what we consider ‘junk’ mail.  Royal Mail has reported an 8% slump in advertising mail resulting in a 15% drop in profits.  So it appears that sending junk mail to the UK public is highly profitable for them.

The majority of you won’t be surprised by these latest figures.  If you’re anything like me, when it comes to pulling the array of leaflets from your letterbox your first stop is at the recycling bin.  These figures suggest that businesses are realising paper advertising in this way is a waste of money, time and effort, not just for them but for everyone involved.

Consider this… when you set up your first email account how excited were you when an email popped in to your inbox?

‘You’ve got mail’ was a gratifying notification to receive.  Back then I never had an unread email.  Given that my inbox currently tells me ‘unread messages (536)’ of which probably a third could be deleted or deemed as ‘junk’ the ‘You’ve got mail’ alert isn’t so exciting anymore and more like a notification that will see me unnecessarily logging on during a Sunday morning instead.  So even though junk has apparently lessened our letterbox it has increased in our inbox.

Unfortunately junk mail has become part of our lives but as a personal preference I’d prefer to have junk delivered to me in a digital format.  Why?  Because this way I have better control over it.

For me pizza leaflets and offers to buy my house are all too frequently what pop through my letterbox but in my inbox its completely different.  Besides the usual junk of Viagra sales, the majority of unsolicited email that I receive is often relevant to the job I do, software sales and promotions.  Don’t get more wrong it’s still junk but at least its relevant.

Having junk mail delivered in a digital format does give us more control over what we see and receive (to a certain extent clearly everyone will always receive the Viagra emails).   Unlike paper junk mail, reducing how much we receive is much easier.  We can unsubscribe ourselves from the offending sender’s target list and deleting offending items at the click of a mouse, much quicker and easier than putting the bin out every Wednesday, especially in the winter.

My point is that you’re able to control the advertising and ‘junk’ that you receive. It’s the same with social media, you can block ads, advise Facebook when something’s not relevant and revise what advertising you’re exposed to, so you only see what is of potential interest to you.   Digital advertising has come a long way and its relevance to audiences.  Business are becoming smarter with the intelligence digital advertising brings meaning that they actually know who their audiences are and how to target them better.  I’m not surprised by the recent Royal Mail figures….   If only my local pizza takeaway would get the idea!

Is there any argument to say that paper in this day and age can make you stand out?  Maybe but that depends on the paper, what it has on it and also how relevant it is to the person receiving it.  Sounds confusing and expensive doesn’t it.  It is.  How do you know the end user won’t be me and file the paper straight in the bin….?  Now a parcel.  Different argument.  Who doesn’t love to receive a parcel.  The Royal mail announced a 3% increase in revenue from parcels being sent over the Christmas period but this also brings us back round to the digital world but this time online shopping.  Quick simple, easy and you even get to do it in your PJs.

Considering the way business works… there is still a lot of paperwork required day to day and traditionally, many business are using the postal service to deliver these. Contracts, invoices, quotes, approvals, VAT return. the list could go on.

But in 2017, this can all be done digitally and given that to do so, would significantly reduce the time, cost and impracticalities that paper brings to a business.

Secure software allows businesses to manage documents, invoice on the move and obtain approvals via e-signature, meaning there’s no reason why ‘paperwork’ needs to be physical.  Business software and communication platforms are changing our working environments, freeing up time, saving money and allowing better communication.

So next time you receive some junk mail through your door or in your inbox just think about how many pieces of paper you deal with day to day and whether this could be processed or communicated better.