Direct Mail Marketing Facts

Posted by Martha Johnston on May 14, 2018 5:36:54 PM


We love direct mail! Compu-Mail has proven direct mail is the best medium for cutting through the clutter and getting your marketing message directly in the hands of your customers.  Compu-Mail put together a great list of direct mail stats!

Direct Mail Mania

  • 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 2003.1

  • Direct mail median household return on investment is 29% (compared to 124% email, 23% paid search, 16% online display, 30% social media).1
  • 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%).1
  • At 37%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household return on investment over other mediums (followed by postcards and letter-sized envelopes at 29%).1
  • The response rate for direct mail among people aged 18-21 years old is 12.4%.1
  • The top response rate tracking methods are online tracking such as PURLs (61%), call center or telephone (53%), and code or coupon (42%).1
  • For every $167 spent of direct mail in the US, marketers sell $2095 in goods.2

The Bottom Line – Direct mail has the greatest impact because it offers a tangible experience for the customer. Oversized pieces stand out the most. 17

Personalization is the ultimate fan mail

  • Adding a person’s name and full color in the direct mail can increase response by 135%.3
  • 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.3
  • Targeting customers on a 1:1 level increases response rates up to 50% or more.4

The Bottom Line – People are even more likely to respond to a marketing message when it feels like it was written just for them. 17

Metal meets folk 

  • The average person receives more than 2900 marketing messages a day.5
  • It can take up to 18-20 touchpoints to reach a customer for the first time.6
  • The average number of mediums used by marketers is 3.4% (up from 2.7% in last year’s study).1
  • Only 11% of marketers are just using one medium.1
  • Single media users are most likely to use email (54%) or direct mail (22%).1

The Bottom Line – Your customers are on multiple platforms. Are your messages clear and consistent across all of them? 17

Direct Mail riffs with Digital 

  • 90% visit website first before calling.7
  • 96% leave without making a purchase.8
  • Direct mail with digital ads yield 28% higher conversion rate.9
  • Marketing campaigns that used direct mail and 1 or more digital media experienced 118% lift in response rate compared to using direct mail only.10
  • Website visitors who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert.11
  • 26% of customers will return to a site through retargeting.12

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. 17

The warmup band has a ready built audience

  • It is 10X harder to create new interest than nurture existing interest.13
  • It can cost as much as 5-12X more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing customer.13
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, vs. the probability to sell to a new customer at 5-20%.13
  • A 5% increase in retention yields profit increases of 25-95%.14
  • The average response rate for direct mail pieces sent to former customers of a given brand is 18.4 percent.15
  • 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).1

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. 17

Success is in the Data

  • 40% of a direct marketing campaign’s success is in the data.16

The Bottom Line – It’s critical to keep an accurate, updated customer database list.17



DMA Response Rate Report

Print Is Big
Canon Solutions America
Data & Marketing Association
How to Kickstart Your Next Omnichannel Marketing Campaign
How to Transform Your Website Into a Marketing Powerhouse for a Mobile World
Google Analytics
Non Profit Pro
Retargeting: The 10 Stats you Probably Didnt Know
Small Business Trends
USPS Household Diary Study
Above the Fold Magazine
Forrester Global State Of Strategic Planning

This post supplements 25 Direct Marketing Statistics Prove Direct Mail Works15 for ’15: More Direct Mail Statistics, and 25 Direct Mail Statistics for 2016.


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