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13 Statistics About Direct Mail That Will Surprise You

Direct mail is one of the largest channels for ad spend in the United States at $44.2 billion annually. In fact, it’s only second behind teleservices, according to the Direct Marketing Association.

That’s not the only surprising statistic about direct mail. Here are 13 more direct mail statistics for your reading pleasure:

1. Direct mail open rates are up to 90%

This is a great statistic on its own, but when paired with the fact that only 20-30% of marketing emails get opened, it’s incredible.

This is probably due to the fact that the average household receives two pieces of direct mail per day, while they receive and average of 157 emails each day.

2. Average response rates for direct mail are 5.3%

Once again, when compared to response rates for email, direct mail has the upper hand. Emails typically only receive a 0.1% response rate. Even paid search has a response rate of 0.6%, social media has a rate of 0.4%, and online display advertising is at 0.2%.

3. Response rates are tracked mainly by PURLs (Personalized URLs), call centers, and codes/coupons

Today, it’s easy as pie to track the results of a direct mail campaign. According to the Direct Marketing Association’s Response Rate Report, these three tracking methods are the most used.

4. Letter-sized envelopes rate of response is 15.1%

This is the highest response rate for direct mail when sent to a house mailing list, according to the ANA/DMA Response Rate Report 2018.

5. Return on investment for direct mail is 29%

Direct mail has the third highest ROI of all marketing activities! If you’re wondering what came in 2nd and 1st, here they are respectively:  Social media at 30% and email marketing at 124%.  Direct mail is a great option if you are considering diversifying your marketing.


6. 79% of consumers find reading mail more convenient than going online

People like checking their mailbox, and when there’s something new in it to read, it’s more than convenient to at least give it a once-over.

7. 41% of adults look forward to checking their mail every day

Almost half of all Americans over 18 look forward to getting their mail. 56% of those over 65 look forward to it.

national adults

8. 75% of Millennials said receiving personal mail makes them feel special

And, a wide variety of people enjoy checking their mail… even millennials. Although this statistic is for personal mail, think about using some form of personalization in your next campaign to recreate that experience for them.

9. 76% of people said they trust ads/catalogs they receive in the mail when making a purchase decision

Coming in just after print ads in newspapers and magazines and TV ads, direct mail is the highest-trusted advertising channel during a consumer’s evaluation and purchase stage.cchnnel

10. 58% of household with incomes over $65K purchased from Direct Mail

Affluent households are very likely to purchase after receiving direct mail pieces.

11. 42% of 25 to 34-year-olds say that they read mail immediately

Not only do they read it immediately, but they actually find it useful. Don’t count this demographic out of your direct mail campaigns.

12. 64% of people have visited a website in reaction to direct mail

As the ultimate goal of direct mail should be to make money through purchases, the next goal should be brand awareness.

One of the best ways to do that is by having leads or prospects visit a website or a landing page. It offers the chance for them to find out more about your company (more than can fit on a postcard for sure!), and also gives them the opportunity to reach out to you or purchase on their own time, which is preferred by consumers.

The same source identified that 54% of people have engaged in social media and 47% visited a store in reaction to direct mail.

13. Direct mail results can be enhanced by an average of 24-36% with an integrated marketing strategy

In our professional opinion, direct mail works best when integrated with other platforms, such as social media, call tracking, website tracking, and online follow-up.

Did these stats pleasantly surprise you? If so, you should seriously consider leveraging this powerful tool for your next marketing campaign.

Are you planning a direct mail campaign? Click here to learn how to run a successful one. 

Interested in exploring our store of promotional products? Visit to get started!

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BY PRISMAOctober 13, 2020

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