25 Direct Marketing Statistics Prove Direct Mail Works

With the rise of email and social media, many leap to declare print and direct mail “dead.” But don’t let them fool you! These 25 Direct Marketing Statistics prove that direct mail is still alive and well, and is above all a profitable and worthy component of your integrated marketing strategy. (Want more stats? We’ve added new direct mail stats for 2017 here.)


  1. Direct mail continues to be used heavily, with a 43% share of total local retail advertising.1 Tweet this.
  2. Young adults, 24 years and younger, are among the most direct mail responsive.2 Tweet this.
  3. 92% of young shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions.3 Tweet this.
  4. An International Communications Research survey found that 73% of consumers actually prefer mail over other advertising methods.4 Tweet this.
  5. 59% of U.S. respondents and 65% of Canadian respondents agreed with the following statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”5 Tweet this.
  6. 56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing.6 Tweet this.

The Bottom Line – People love to get mail! That’s right, tangible mail in their mailboxes. Even younger generations, those constantly seen on social media and email sites, like and prefer classic direct mail. Give the people what they want, and receive the benefits of this popular medium.


  1. 70% of Americans say mail is more personal than the internet.7 Tweet this.
  2. A survey of over 1,000 large businesses, across 10 different vertical industries, found that more than 60% of respondents’ campaigns were personalized or segmented.8 Tweet this.
  3. Personalized print media has a more powerful presence than a personalized email, because the audience can recognize that it takes more effort to customize print media than digital.4 Tweet this.

The Bottom Line – Get personal! By customizing your print advertisements, your customers will connect with you on a personal basis, creating a close customer-business relationship. (Need help personalizing your print marketing? We can help)

Direct Marketing and Digital Integration

  1. Nowadays, QR codes and NFC technology make it possible for your print media to directly connect customers to your website.4 Tweet this.
  2. 76% of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of both print and digital communication.9 Tweet this.

The Bottom Line – Integrate! By using new technology such as Quick Response (QR) codes and Near-Field Communication (NFC), you are able to connect your direct mail to the internet, allowing you to maximize the benefits of both direct and digital marketing in one sweep. (Bonus: 7 Surefire Techniques for Successfully Combining Your Print Marketing and Social Media Campaigns)

Response Rates

  1. 40% of consumers try new businesses after receiving direct mail.4 Tweet this.
  2. Some marketers, such as retailers, are seeing dramatically higher response to their direct mail than in the 1980s.2 Tweet this.
  3. U.S. advertisers spend $167 per person on direct mail to earn $2,095 worth of goods sold; a 1,300% return.10 Tweet this.
  4. DMA states that on average, direct mail advertising gives a business a 13 to 1 return on investment.7 Tweet this.

The Bottom Line – Direct mail pays off! Printing and mailing may seem a more costly form of marketing compared to new email and social media techniques, but the Return on Investment (ROI) of this tried and true strategy is impossible to ignore.

Head of Household

  1. 90% determine which mail is kept for review.11 Tweet this.
  2. 81% review financial documents.11 Tweet this.
  3. 84% are the principal grocery shoppers.11 Tweet this.
  4. The study also found that mail is placed where it’s seen and used and that it moves from room to room, allowing consumers to read it at their convenience.11 Tweet this.

The Bottom Line – Mail reaches decision makers! Its tangible nature allows the head of the household to view it, and, if desired, to then pass it on to the rest of the house where it can be viewed by more people and decision-makers.

Mail Time

  1. 98% of consumers bring in their mail the day it’s delivered.11 Tweet this.
  2. Of these, 72% bring it in as soon as possible.11 Tweet this.
  3. 77% sort through their mail immediately.11 Tweet this.
  4. Consumers spend an average of 30 minutes reading their mail on any given occasion.11 Tweet this.
  5. They spend 45 minutes with magazines, 30 minutes with catalogs and 25 minutes with direct mail.11 Tweet this.
  6. 48% of people retain direct mail for future reference.3 Tweet this.

The Bottom Line – Mail Time is an important time! People enjoy going to the mailbox and reading their mail. By using direct mail marketing as a part of your marketing campaign, you are almost guaranteeing that your message will be read, and read quickly. (Bonus: Maximize Value with These Effective Direct Mail Techniques)

Download our eBook: Achieving Personalization Through Variable Data Messaging to learn how to better personalize your direct mail and email marketing efforts.


Research curated by Brenna Donovan, Compu-Mail

Brenna Donovan is an intern at Compu-Mail. She is currently a student at Lewiston-Porter High School and is enrolled in the Academy of International Business and Finance. Her high school curriculum has included several AP and honors level courses as well. Brenna plans on studying environmental engineering in college, starting in the fall of 2015.


  1. http://www.biakelsey.com/webinars/Local-Ad-Dollars-2013-What-Business-Categories-are-Spending-and-Where.pdf
  2. http://beasleydirect-blog.com/tag/dma-2014-statistical-fact-book/
  3. http://www.alphagraphics.com/center_blogs/roseville-california-us552/2014/04/07/ten-print-marketing-statistics-you-should-know/
  4. http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2014/24084/print-marketing-will-thrive-in-2014-and-beyond
  5. http://www.epsilon.com/news-and-events/press-releases/2012/consumer-survey-reveals-notable-difference-channel-preferences-m
  6. http://dma.org.uk/news/consumer-study-reveals-%E2%80%98direct-mail-matters%E2%80%99-connected-world
  7. http://www.cohber.net/#!offset-print/ca5m
  8. http://printinthemix.com/fastfacts/show/715
  9. http://news.pb.com/press-releases/pitney-bowes-survey-76-percent-of-small-businesses-believe-ideal-marketing-mix-includes-both-physical-and-digital-communications.htm
  10. http://www.printisbig.com/
  11. http://www.pb.com/docs/US/pdf/Microsite/Nonprofit/ed_np_getyourmailopened_05MailMoment.pdf

About Compu-Mail

Compu-Mail (www.compu-mail.com) provides end-to-end direct marketing and business printing services to companies across the U.S. and Canada. Headquartered in Grand Island, NY, Compu-Mail services include direct mail, email marketing, data driven marketing with database management, statement rendering, and variable imaging. Compu-Mail can be reached at 800.255.0670 or marketing@compu-mail.com.
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41 Responses to 25 Direct Marketing Statistics Prove Direct Mail Works

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  14. Arshad says:


    Great post, I believe I can add something more to augment the post even further :), I have written this little article after researching for almost three weeks, hope your readers will appreciate it!

    Some facts are coming from well reputed research Journals, work done by Gurus in the field.

    Internet Direct Marketing & Customer Privacy (Fact 7)
    Research indicates [11] that customers who shop by mail, 65% of them are quite concerned about their privacy and rest of the 45% doesn’t care much.

    You may like 30 solid insights on Sales that will push your sales to the Sky!

    Interestingly that 45% doesn’t know almost anything about name removing from mailing list and have the following attributes.

    1. More likely to be young
    2. Less likely to be well educated
    3. Less likely to have shopped by mail
    4. Less likely to be concerned about privacy compared to those who are aware of name removing
    5. More likely to be African-American

    What this research indicates actually is, if you are dealing with a customer who wants his or her named to be removed from your direct mailing list, that individual is more likely to be well educated, old, shops quite often by mail and more likely to be non African American.

    Direct Marketing & Privacy (Japanese Vs American Customer) Fact # 8
    Well I guess Japanese are more educated then Americans (laughs), because research shows that Japanese are more concerned about privacy compared to American Customers [18].

    Direct Mail Open Rate Fact # 9
    Research indicates that 44% of direct mail is never opened [19]! Hmm… so I guess the usual 1.1% to 1.4% response rate for snail mail and 0.03% for email is quite reasonable after all!

    Direct Mail/Email Response Rate Fact # 10
    The usual response rate (according to research of Direct Marketing Association) for snail mail is 1.1 to 1.4% vs email 0.03%, remember that snail mail costs $600 per 1000 pieces while email costs almost nothing! [37]

    Similarly Research at Harvard shows the following response rates for customers from loyalty database or customers who are in loyalty program [21]

    Direct Marketing Type

    Response Rate
    Direct Mail

    Direct Email


    That means if you have huge number of customers in loyalty program then you need to do the math and see which one of the two will result in more net profit!

    1.47 Million Emails Per Month Fact # 11
    That means 44% (in reference to fact # 9) of emails (1.47 million) [20] sent per month (in U.S.) are wasted, complete waste of time, waste of resources.

    For more check this article Direct Marketing 25 Shocking Facts & Profound Insights

    Hope this little effort will be appreciated by your platform readers! 🙂

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  19. Ricky Lopez says:

    I agreed 100% we do Hispanic mailer’s at rossmedia and it works great for our dealerships.

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  28. Direct Mail marketing is very effective. And your statistics are correct. More people respond to direct mail than internet because it’s a more personalized advertising experience. I’ve had much success with DMM in my firm! Thanks for posting these stats, great info.

  29. Jodi Hey says:

    Some of these stats say “Direct Mail…” when direct mail is often used for both print and digital direct mail, like emails. Are all of these stats pertaining to PRINT?

    • Hi Jodi – Thanks for your question!

      I see where the confusion can come in. When we say “direct mail” we are referring to print. We use “email” to denote digital direct mail. Since these are the two main platforms we work with, we haven’t had the need to clarify more specifically than email vs. direct mail.

      I hope that helps!

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  33. gijeet says:

    I find it hard to believe “24 years and younger, are among the most direct mail responsive”. Whenever I see them they are glued to their iphones. I never see them looking up let alone at printed mail. The iphone has their attention and nothing else…..

    • Thanks for your comment gijeet! I know, it is an interesting statistic, isn’t it? I can try to rationalize, since I am within that age group: Since young people are so focused on their phones and other digital things, direct mail is exciting to us–sort of a novelty. People in this age group, like me, are likely to be getting their first apartments/homes where they receive mail addressed to them as opposed to their parents. You might say we’re suckers for seeing our names in print and feeling important. That’s just my point of view, but I can see how taking the leap off the phone into the physical world could attract young people like me.

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  36. Kevin Davis says:

    Great info. Very helpful in understanding your target market as you consider direct mail. I’m a big fan of integrating traditional and online forms of marketing. I disagree with those that think traditional is dead. Thanks for the article.

  37. Stephanie says:

    Great article, tons of useful information and well researched. I love that the sources are included, too. Thanks for taking the time to put it together!

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  39. Phillip says:

    Gorgeous read, stuffed with a lot of information. Thanks, Brenna!

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