With a wide variety of marketing channels today, including email, social media, search engine optimization, print advertising, trade shows, and conferences, entrepreneurs often overlook proven marketing techniques that still produce results.
Direct mail marketing may be a bit old school, but the direct mail statistics we are going to discuss below will convince you to invest in it.
Most people think of direct mail as a thing of the past. However, considering the amount of time people spend online, it is only natural to think of an offline channel of communication.
Believe us that direct mail is far from dead and has the potential to compete with the latest digital marketing strategies in more ways than you can imagine.
Here are 25 must-know direct mail statistics for marketrs that will persuade you that direct mail marketing is your next best strategy to achieve your business goals.
Key Direct Mail Statistics: Editor’s Choice
- Direct mail accounts for $38.5 billion, the largest portion of the United States’ local advertising spending.
- American advertisers spend an average of $167 per person on direct mail campaigns 70% of people say direct mail feels more personal than online interactions.
- 42% of the receivers either read or scan the direct mail.
- 21% less cognitive effort is required to process a direct mail than an email.
- The recipients of direct mail spend 28% more money than people who don’t get the mail.
- B2B advertisers allocate 18% of the budget to direct mail marketing and print promotions.
- Direct mail offers 29% ROI, higher than any other marketing channel.
- 73% of consumers say they would like direct mail from their favorite brands.
- The response rate of direct mail is 9x higher than other advertising channels.
- Consumers aged between 45 to 54 have the highest direct mail response rate of 14.1%
General Direct Mail Statistics
Let us have a look at 25 must know direct mail statistics for marketers:
1. An average American household receives two direct mails every day
A typical household in America receives 2-pieces of direct mail daily, compared to emails which come in dozens of numbers.
According to the latest data report from USPS Mail Use and Attitudes, direct mail accounts for almost 60% of all mail received by an average American household.
2. 41% of Americans of all ages feel excited to check their mail every day
As per the latest survey from Gallup, there is something invigorating about opening a mailbox to find an item with your name written on it.
The older generation is more likely to enjoy getting mail than the younger generations. Over 41% of Americans of all age groups look forward to checking their mail every day.
3. An average household in America receives 454 marketing mails per year
According to the same report, direct mail advertising is still alive and thriving. The data shows that a typical American household receives 454 pieces of regular marketing mail every year. In addition, 92 non-profit marketing mails land in an average mailbox every year.
4. 70% of people say that direct mail feels more personal than online interactions
According to Small Business Trends, the majority of consumers think that direct mail feels more personal than online interactions, and they prefer getting mail from the brands that interest them.
To tell the truth, 70% of consumers feel like that, so if you are trying to add a personal touch to your marketing strategies, direct mail is the best way to go.
5. 73% of consumers enjoy getting direct mail from their favorite brands
Consumers can go to Google and search for the products they like, but when they receive a new and glossy catalog through direct mail, it makes them feel valued by the brand.
According to direct mail statistics from Epsilon, 73% of consumers say that they like getting direct mail about new products from their favorite brands.
6. In 2018, the average direct mail response rate was 9% for home lists and 4.9% for prospect lists
Thanks to advancements in technology, email marketers are gathering more data about consumer behavior.
The Data and Marketing Association Response Rate Report in 2018 household list response rate was 9%, significantly higher than in 2017 when it was 5.1%.
The response rate for the prospect list also showed a significant increase of 4.9%, compared to the 2.9% rate of last year.
7. B2B marketers assign 18% of the budget to direct mail marketing and print advertisement
Although content and social media marketing are contemporary ways of reaching out to your target clients, B2B marketers still did not manage to push the direct mail list out of the picture.
They still assign 18% of their budget to send catalogs and print ads to existing clients for years after diversifying their marketing channels.
8. 82% of millennials prefer getting printed promotional materials to digital mail
According to USPS, 90% of millennials love receiving direct mail, while 82% place greater value on printed materials compared to digital mail, which can be sent in bulk quickly.
Millennials admire and respect the effort it took to create, print, and send out those direct mails and find direct mail is more engaging than its digital counterparts.
9. Two-thirds of Gen X consumers think positively of the brands sending marketing mail
Gen X is the most ignored generation by marketers, although they spend the most after the baby boomers.
The behaviors and characteristics of Gen X fall between millennials and baby boomers, and around two-thirds of Gen X consumers say that any company sending out relevant marketing mail leaves a positive impression on them.
10. 90% of direct mails get opened by the receivers
Comparing email and direct mail response rates, direct mail wins by a wide margin. With an average response rate of 90%, direct mail is a far cry from the 23% open rate of email.
The rarity of direct mail makes them noticeable, and 77% of Americans look forward to opening them.
Mail recipients, especially millennials, prefer tangible promotional materials, unlike emails which normally get neglected even if it’s from a familiar brand.
11. Over-sized packages have the highest response rates
According to Data and Marketing Association, package size matters a lot when it comes to response rates of direct mail. Some mail formats tend to get a better response than others.
Oversized envelopes have the highest response rate of up 5%, followed by postcards with a response rate of 4.25%, dimensional mailers with 4%, and catalogs with 3.9%. On the other hand, letter-sized direct mails have the lowest response rate at only 3.5%.
12. Consumers aged between 45-54 have the highest direct mail response rate
According to Data and Marketing Association, knowing who and where to target is inevitable to make a marketing campaign successful.
Consumers aged 45 to 54 are most likely to respond to direct mails (14.1%) than Generation Z, who are more approachable via social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
13. Direct mail response rates can be increased by 135% by adding a recipient’s name
The Mail Shark has revealed that adding a name to the pieces of direct mail can increase the response rate by 135%, which is almost double the response.
Taking some time to put the recipient’s name on the mail is the easiest way to optimize and get ahead of your competitors.
14. People tend to throw out advertising mail after 17-days
The direct mail statistics from Mailmen found that an average household keeps an advertising mail for a maximum of 17 days and throws it out afterward.
The 17-day period allows enough time for all family members to review the direct mail and decide whether to keep it or not.
15. 60% of catalog recipients visit the site of the company that sends the catalog
Modern shoppers are very likely to turn to the internet to visit the company’s official site after discovering a new product in a catalog.
According to direct mail statistics from United States Postal Service (USPS), direct mail recipients often visit the website to browse the shop and find further information about the product before making a purchasing decision.
16. Direct mail leads the email with a click-through rate of 80-90%
When it comes to click-through rates, direct mail is the best way to help grow your business. Direct mail has a click-through rate of 80-90%, while emails fall behind at 20-30%.
The main reason behind this is that emails can get spammed, while direct mails are immune to such things.
17. 21% less cognitive effort is required to process direct mail than email
Another advantage of direct mail over email is that it is much easier for consumers to understand than email and has a long-lasting brand recall.
Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process as there is no additional content.
When users see emailed ads, they are often distracted by other open tabs and pop-up ads, but when they read direct mail, it instantly engages them and leaves a lasting impact.
18. 42.2% of direct mail recipients read or scan them
You want people to see the marketing message you send. Email is cheap but gets ignored easily, while direct mail is at least read or scanned by the target group.
The Direct Mail Marketing Association reveals that 42.2% of direct mail recipients passed through materials you sent, while only 22.8% said they never read their emails.
19. Direct mail accounts for the biggest chunk of the U.S. local advertising
Direct mail is one of the most invested local advertising channels in the U.S. The direct mail statistics from the Mail Shark indicate that the direct mail spend has reached a whopping $38.5 billion, the largest portion of the local advertising spend, which says a lot about the level of trust advertisers have in direct mail.
20. American advertisers spend $167 per person on direct mail
The average spending on direct mail varies from person to person, but still, companies invest a lot per receiver.
Direct mail statistics from Small Business Trends show that American advertisers spend an average of $167 per person on direct mail campaigns to earn $2,095 worth of goods.
21. Direct mail marketing brings 1300% return-on-investment
The same report from small business trends also revealed that the ROI of direct mail is significantly higher than any other marketing channel.
Direct mail marketing brings a 1300% return on investment, which means $2,095 in revenue per person, suggesting to marketers that it is worth investing.
22. Direct mail recipients purchase 28% more products than the non-receivers
According to USPS, direct mails have a conversion rate of 28%, which makes them worth a shot.
When there’s a piece of direct mail lying around the house for days, consumers are constantly reminded of the products you are promoting, making them more inclined to visit your website or physical store and buy something.
23. 50.9% of recipients found the postcards useful
Postcards are small in size and come without an envelope. Both these qualities make them stand out, and the receiver quickly notices them in the mailbox.
Data & Marketing statistics show that more than 50% of consumers find postcards useful and one of the most effective direct mail methods available currently.
24. 57% of email addresses get rejected because users receive too many marketing emails
Reaching out to customers by email can be a challenging task. After receiving a flood of unwanted emails, consumers reject 57% of the email address and create new ones. It costs them nothing, but the marketer loses a bunch of quality leads.
On the other hand, direct mailing lists are more dependable as people can’t shift their houses because their mailbox is overflowing with marketing mail.
25. 75% of the direct mail receivers can recall a brand immediately
Marketing Prof’s direct mail statistics said that 75% of consumers remember the brand after receiving a direct mail, compared to 44% of people who see a digital ad.
Direct mail tends to have a long-lasting mark on audiences than digital advertising. People have an unbelievably short attention span for marketing materials, and direct mails are more memorable and easier to process than digital advertisements.
Also Read: 23+ Surprising Home Invasion Statistics
Shefali Jain is a Content Editor & Writer at National Planning Cycles.
After completing her graduation in hospitality, Shefali decided to follow her passion and started writing. Shefali has been writing for two years now and contributes to our website as a skilled editor and content writer with strong research skills. Writing product and service reviews, biographies, and book reviews are some of her key areas, among many others in which she specializes.