Facts – Direct Marketing

 

Effectiveness

General Facts

EFFECTIVENESS

FACT: “Translated into ratios, direct mail has a response rate of up to 10 to 30 times that of e-mail.” On average, direct mail boasts a 4.4% response rate, while email averages a response rate of just 0.12% (Direct Marketing Association analysis of more than 29 billion emails, and its existing direct-mail statistics; USPS Deliver Magazine 11/20/12).

FACT: “Direct mail may generate the highest response rates of all direct marketing vehicles, but email posts the highest return on investment, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s annual response rate report. According to the study, response rates for letter-sized direct mail sent to house files was 3.4%, more than 30 times the 0.12% response rate for email. But email’s ROI was 28.5% compared to 7% for direct mail” (Direct Marketing Association’s annual response rate report, based on responses from 481 companies and conducted in April 2012; Chief Marketer, 6/22/12).

FACT: Overall, direct mail response rates have fallen 25% over the past nine years, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s annual response rate report. In 2003, the average house file mailing response rate was 4.37% and 2.14% for prospecting. Today, letter-sized mail to prospects gets an average response rate of 1.28%, while oversized direct mail to house lists gets a 3.95% response rate, 1.44% to prospect lists. Catalogs get a 4. 26% response when sent to house lists and 0.94% to prospect lists; postcards get a 2.47% response rate to house lists, and 1.12% to prospects (Direct Marketing Association’s annual response rate report, based on responses from 481 companies and conducted in April 2012; Chief Marketer, 6/22/12).

FACT: The average cost-per-thousand of business-to-consumer letter mailings is $556 while business-to-business is $919 (Direct Marketing Association’s annual response rate report, based on responses from 481 companies and conducted in April 2012; Chief Marketer, 6/22/12).

FACT: Baynote’s (2011) annual holiday shopping survey of 1,000 shoppers found (Tech Crunch, 1/12/12):

  • 62.5% of respondents said email was the most useful way to receive retail promotions.
  • 16.7% said direct mail was best for promotions.
  • 11.8% said engine results were the best for promotions.
  • 4.9% said daily deals were best for promotions.
  • 2.5% said Facebook was the most useful promotion channel.

FACT: Mail has directly influenced more consumers to purchase than any other marketing medium. 76% of consumers have been directly influenced to make a purchase through direct mail (U.S. Postal Service, Deliver Magazine, 8/10).

FACT: Direct mail generated almost $8 of every $10 donated to nonprofits in 2009 (survey of 79 of the largest U.S. nonprofit fundraising organizations; the Index of National Fundraising Performance; Deliver Magazine, 10/10).

FACT: "Response rates for direct mail have held steady over the past four years. Letter-size envelopes, for instance, had a response rate this year of 3.42% for a house list and 1.38% for a prospect list" (Direct Marketing Association "DMA 2010 Response Rate Trend Report," 6/15/10).

FACT: "Catalogs had the lowest cost per lead/order of $47.61, just ahead of inserts at $47.69, email at $53.85, and postcards $75.32" (Direct Marketing Association "DMA 2010 Response Rate Trend Report," 6/15/10).

FACT: What consumers say to the question, "What makes you open and read direct mail?” (CCB fastMAP 2008 marketing-GAP research, Delivery Magazine, 4/10):

  • It’s from a brand or company I know (55%)
  • It’s personally addressed to me (51%)
  • I’m interested in the product or service (50%)
  • I can clearly see it contains a free sample/voucher (39%)
  • It pertains to local services or events (27%)
  • It involves a competition (21%)
  • It’s delivered in interesting packaging (15%)
  • It looks fun and/or humorous (10%)
  • I like the design (6%)
  • It’s delivered in an attractive envelope (6%)
  • I like the color of the mailing (3%)
  • Other (12%)

FACT: 76% of Internet users are directly influenced to buy an item or service because of a direct-mail marketing effort (Exact Target 2009 Channel Preference Study; Deliver magazine, 3/10).

FACT: For in-house mailing lists, direct-mail response rates are currently averaging 3.65% (Direct Marketing Association “DMA 2009 Response Rate Report”).

FACT: For purchased mailing lists, direct-mail response rates are currently averaging 1.65% (Direct Marketing Association “DMA 2009 Response Rate Report”).

FACT: Among retailers who rely mainly on direct sales, 62% say their biggest revenue generator is a paper catalog, according to the latest survey by the Direct Marketing Association of its members. Only a fifth of those retailers said they draw their biggest sales from their Web sites (Wall St. Journal, 10/16/09).

FACT: According to the latest survey by the Direct Marketing Association of its members, 1.3% of the catalogs mailed generate a sale (Wall St. Journal, 10/16/09).

FACT: 37% of those surveyed said they were motivated to try a new business for the first time after receiving direct mail from it. Some 68% said they were motivated to renew business relationships (DMnews/Pitney Bowes online survey of 1,000 consumers in 10 major metropolitan cities, 10/08).

FACT: Direct mail was named "one of the top-three promotional tools of choice" in Promo magazine's 2008 Marketer Trends Survey. It was chosen by 30.4% of the survey population — ahead of both live events and Internet Marketing, both of which received votes of 26.8% (Promo magazine, 10/08)

FACT: For every dollar spent on direct-mail marketing campaigns in 2008, companies earned $15.60 in revenue (DMA survey; Promo magazine, 10/08).

FACT: 67% of the online population is driven by offline messages to perform online searches for more information on a company, service or product. Thirty-nine percent of those respondents then make a purchase (2007 Ipsos survey of U.S. consumers).

FACT: For every dollar spent on catalog marketing in 2008, companies earned $7.22 in revenue. In 2006, they earned $7.19 (Direct magazine, 10/23/07).

FACT: A recent Royal Mail study of United Kingdom consumers found that brands can increase customer spending by up to 25% simply by using a combination of digital channels and direct mail. In addition, 55% of the "confident web users" in the study said they actually prefer to be contacted by a combination of direct mail and digital. Some 42% of web users thought mail was more personal than online communications, and 34% said it was more professional (Brand Republic Marketing Direct, 9/5/07).

FACT: According to the comScore "2007 Multi-Channel Direct Mail Study," consumers who received direct-mail and e-mail marketing messages were nearly twice as likely to purchase from a retail Web site as those who received only an e-mail (United States Postal Service press release, 8/4/07).

FACT: Last year, credit card companies mailed out 6.06 billion solicitations (a record). Of those who received the offers, 18 million responded — about 0.3% (Seattle Times, 7/16/06).

GENERAL FACTS

FACT: Why so many companies have switched from direct-mail to e-mail marketing: The cost to print, prepare and mail a direct-mail effort can average $600 per thousand addresses; the cost to launch an email marketing effort can average $6 per thousand addresses (Chief Marketer newsletter, 5/17/11).

FACT: More than 64% of employed U.S. adults say they find printed materials “easier” and “more comfortable” to read than anything on a computer screen (Harris Interactive study; Deliver magazine, 3/10).

FACT: In general, consumers expect at least a 10% to 25% discount for coupons received in the mail. Some 25% of those surveyed say they require a 50% discount to motivate a purchase (DMnews/Pitney Bowes online survey of 1,000 consumers in 10 major metropolitan cities, 10/08).

FACT: 55% of people surveyed prefer reading direct mail marketing materials more than marketing e-mail (DMnews/Pitney Bowes online survey of 1,000 consumers in 10 major metropolitan cities, 10/08).

FACT: Almost one-quarter of companies said they outsource their direct-mail marketing tasks (Promo's 2008 Marketer Trends Survey; Promo magazine, 10/08).

FACT: More than 65% of companies surveyed said they use direct mail to market to both customers and prospects (Direct magazine, 12/06).

FACT: Companies that rely on direct-mail marketing are spending, on average, 58% of their marketing budget to prospect for new customers, and 42% of it to retain existing customers (Direct magazine, 12/2005).

FACT: The average time for someone to respond to a direct-mail marketing effort is somewhere between three to six weeks (research from DMA, Forrester Research, Gartner Group, 2002).

 

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