30 Direct Mail Statistics You Can Use Right Now

Here is a list of direct mail stats that show why direct mail is still the best medium for cutting through the clutter and getting your marketing message directly in the hands of your customers.

Direct Mail Still Gets the Best Response

  1. Direct mail household response rate is 5.1% (compared to .6% email, .6% paid search, .2% online display, .4% social media). This is the highest response rate the DMA has ever reported, since coming out with the Response Rate Report in 2003. (Source: DMA)
  2. Direct mail median household return on investment is 29% (compared to 124% email, 23% paid search, 16% online display, 30% social media). (Source: DMA)
  3. At 6.6%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household response rates over other mediums (followed by postcards at 5.7% and letter-sized envelopes at 4.3%). (Source: DMA)
  4. At 37%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household return on investment over other mediums (followed by postcards and letter-sized envelopes at 29%). (Source: DMA)
  5. The response rate for direct mail among people aged 18-21 years old is 12.4%. (Source: DMA)
  6. The top response rate tracking methods are online tracking such as PURLs (61%), call center or telephone (53%), and code or coupon (42%). (Source: DMA)
  7. For every $167 spent of direct mail in the US, marketers sell $2095 in goods. (Source: Print is Big)

The Bottom Line – Direct mail has the greatest impact because it offers a tangible experience for the customer. Oversized pieces stand out the most.

Update: There are new response rates available. Check them out here.

Personalization Boosts the Response Even Further

  1. Adding a person’s name and full color in the direct mail can increase response by 135%. (Source: Canon Solutions America)
  2. Adding a person’s name, full color and more sophisticated database information can increase the response rate by up to 500% vs not doing any of these things. (Source: Canon Solutions America)
  3. Targeting customers on a 1:1 level increases response rates up to 50% or more. (Source: DMA)

The Bottom Line – People are even more likely to respond to a marketing message when it feels like it was written just for them.

It’s a Multi-Channel World Out There

  1. The average person receives more than 2900 marketing messages a day. (Source: FireSnap)
  2. It can take up to 18-20 touchpoints to reach a customer for the first time. (Source: Compu-Mail)
  3. The average number of mediums used by marketers is 3.4% (up from 2.7% in last year’s study). (Source: DMA)
  4. Only 11% of marketers are just using one medium. (Source: DMA)
  5. Single media users are most likely to use email (54%) or direct mail (22%). (Source: DMA)

The Bottom Line – Your customers are on multiple platforms. Are your messages clear and consistent across all of them?

Direct Mail and Digital Work Together

  1. 90% visit website first before calling. (Source: Huffington Post)
  2. 96% leave without making a purchase. (Source: Google Analytics)
  3. Direct mail with digital ads yield 28% higher conversion rate. (Source: NonProfit PRO)
  4. Marketing campaigns that used direct mail and 1 or more digital media experienced 118% lift in response rate compared to using direct mail only. (Source: Merkle)
  5. Website visitors who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert. (Source: Criteo)
  6. 26% of customers will return to a site through retargeting. (Source: Wishpond)

The Bottom Line – Direct mail response rate can be difficult to track, because not everyone calls in right away. Most customers head straight to the web to learn more about the product online, rather than calling to speak to a sales representative about the product directly.

It’s Easier to Nurture Existing Interest than Create New Interest

  1. It is 10X harder to create new interest than nurture existing interest. (Source: Invesp)
  2. It can cost as much as 5-12X more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing customer. (Source: Invesp)
  3. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, vs. the probability to sell to a new customer at 5-20%. (Source: Invesp)
  4. A 5% increase in retention yields profit increases of 25-95%. (Source: Small Business Trends)
  5. The average response rate for direct mail pieces sent to former customers of a given brand is 18.4 percent. (Source: USPS)
  6. The household cost per acquisition for direct mail is $26.40 (compared to $10.32 email, $20.32 social media, $16.22 paid search, $24.75 internet display). (Source: DMA)

The Bottom Line – Use direct mail to nurture existing interest, keeping current customers and prospects engaged and delighted. While the cost per acquisition is higher for direct mail, average response rate and median return on investment is competitive enough to make up the difference.

Success is in the Data

  1. 40% of a direct marketing campaign’s success is in the data. (Source: Above the Fold)
  2. In general, purchased lists have a margin of error as high as 20-30% for various reasons (people move, change jobs, get married/divorced).
  3. 73% of firms aspire to be data-driven but only 29% of firms succeed at turning data into action. (Source: Forrester)

The Bottom Line – It’s critical to keep an accurate, updated customer database list.


Editor’s Notes:

  1. You may have been redirected to this page from “25 Direct Mail Statistics for 2016” “15 for ’15: More Direct Mail Statistics” or “25 Direct Marketing Statistics Prove Direct Mail Works.” Please email marketing [at] compu-mail [dot] com if you are looking for a particular stat from one of those articles.
  2. This is a compilation of statistics we have collected from other sources. Please contact the original source with any inquiries regarding the statistics.

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, variable imaging, and digital retargeting. Compu-Mail can be reached at 800.255.0670 or marketing@compu-mail.com.
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