15 for ’15: More Direct Mail Statistics

We’ve rounded up fifteen new stats that represent the state of direct mail in 2015. If you’re keen on knowing more about how direct mail gets results, check these out. (By the way, we’ve added new stats for 2017 here.)

It’s Not Going Anywhere.

  1. Direct mail spending grew 2.7% in 2014, exceeding estimates!1 Tweet this.
  2. 82% of marketers expect their direct mail usage to grow or stay the same in the coming year.2 Tweet this.

People Love It, Especially When It’s Personal.

  1. Almost two times as many US adults react positively to receiving mail than negatively.3 Tweet this.
  2. 55% look forward to getting their mail.4 Tweet this.
  3. 67% feel that physical mail is more personal than electronic.4 Tweet this.
  4. 78% of CMOs think that custom content is the future of marketing.5 Tweet this.
  5. But be careful, 50% of consumers report thinking poorly of brands who get their name wrong when marketing to them.6 Tweet this.

It Gets Response…

  1. At 3.7% for a house file, direct mail yields a remarkable median response rate in comparison to the majority of marketing channels. Last year, direct mail’s median response rate was 8.8% higher than in 2012.2 Tweet this.
  2. Overall, oversized envelopes have the best response rate, at 5.0% for a house file.2 Tweet this.
  3. For B2C mailings, catalogs rank the best, with a response rate of 13.8% for house lists. Postcards also perform well with house lists, serving up a cost per response of $14, the lowest among mail formats.2 Tweet this.
  4. Cost per acquisition (CPA) for direct mail, at $19, ranks well with other channels and remains highly competitive.2 Tweet this.

…and Holds Its Own in a Digital World.

  1. Direct mail outperforms all digital channels by nearly 700% in terms of response rates.2 Tweet this.
  2. Direct Mail yields a CPR that is less than half that of Internet ads.2 Tweet this.
  3. Direct mail’s strong ROI of 15-17% is one of the highest reported and outranks those of most digital channels.2 Tweet this.
  4. Direct mail’s overall prospect file response rates were 10 times that of email, which came in at just 0.1 percent.2 Tweet this.

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 Robert Blakelock, Compu-Mail

Robert Blakelock is an intern at Compu-Mail. He is currently a student at Lewiston-Porter High School and is enrolled in the Academy of International Business and Finance. His high school curriculum has included several AP and honors level courses as well. Rob plans on studying Business and Psychology in college.

(Don’t forget! We’ve added new stats for 2016 here and 2017 here.)


  1. The Winterberry Group “Annual Outlook: What to Expect in Direct and Digital Marketing in 2015” (http://www.dmnews.com/marketing-strategy/where-will-marketing-grow-in-2015/article/391699/)
  2. 2015 DMA Response Rate Report. (Some charts here: http://www.marketingcharts.com/traditional/direct-media-response-rate-cpa-and-roi-benchmarks-53645/)
  3. Gallup, 2015. (http://www.marketingcharts.com/traditional/how-do-americans-feel-about-receiving-direct-mail-53522/)
  4. USPS, The Mail Moment Study, 2005. (https://www.pb.com/docs/US/pdf/Microsite/Nonprofit/ed_np_getyourmailopened_05MailMoment.pdf)
  5. Hanley-Wood Business Media via Salesforce. (https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/06/content-marketing-stats.html)
  6. Emailvision “Survey Reveals Bombarding Consumers with Marketing Results in Brand Resentment,” 2013. (http://www.emailstatcenter.com/Personalization.html)

About Karen Renzi

Karen Renzi is the Director of Marketing for Compu-Mail. Karen's experience bridges both traditional and digital marketing, including managing her own online marketing and web design firm for 10 years. She merges her knowledge of both worlds through Compu-Mail's focus on integrated, targeted marketing.
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9 Responses to 15 for ’15: More Direct Mail Statistics

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  3. Debbie Barnett says:

    Do you have any statistics on the best method of mailing? We are sensing that the tri-fold newsletter mail in an envelope with a response card is dated. We have tried doing an unfolded self mailer (magazine style but not plastic wrapped) and it bombed. Twice. We’re wondering if it would improve by plastic (film) wrapping it so it felt more like a magazine. It has a very bold, magazine-like cover.

    Are you familiar with any data analysis on mailing methods? Google is not helping me find any.

    • Tristan Jandrew says:

      Hi Debbie! I actually work for a print company, and I have to say the best form of direct mail we do is the postcard. Cheap to mail, and requires no work by the receiving party to read

  4. Jeremy says:

    I’m glad I found this article, it is great to have some evidence to convince people of the power of direct mail.

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  7. These are all great statistics to steer marketers towards direct mail marketing. The fact that the results seem to only be getting better is quite impressive.

  8. Pingback: 25 Direct Marketing Statistics: Direct Mail Works | Compu-Mail | Compu-Mail

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