Direct Mail

Direct mail response rate

By 6 August 2021September 3rd, 2021No Comments
direct mail to send bulk mails

What Direct Mail Response Rates Should You Expect From Direct Mail Campaigns?

Direct Mail Marketing is used by almost every type of business nowadays. It helps make announcements, such as opening a new shop or giving a discount on a service or product, or providing any other necessary information. Direct marketing companies can target small to large audiences, and each campaign offers a different rate of returns as it depends on multiple marketing factors. Whatever the industry or budget is, direct mail can help you reach as many people as possible, increase sales, create brand recognition, launch new products, and other similar benefits. It’s an effective campaign in itself, yet you can add more strategies with it if needed.

direct mail tracking

What Is A Good Response Rate For Direct Mail?

In general, the average return rate on a direct mail campaign is about 0.5 to 2 percent, so if we assume that a campaign has 100 mails pieces, it means that out of them, 2 to 4 people respond, and only half of this number takes action. These numbers increase when you get maximum exposure to your brand, and you target only the specific audience, which can be your potential leads. When you create particular objectives with a compelling call to action like coupons, offers, or discounts, direct mail response rates also increase.

Good direct mail acquisition response rates vary according to each business, and their sales and marketing goals. The average response rate for some marketers is around 2%, but for others, even 1% is also acceptable, and it’s realistic for them. If possible, the company’s old direct mails’ response rate should be used as a benchmark, which is useful for performance analysis.

Let's take a look at some of the direct mail cases with astonishing statistics.

Direct Mail Response Rates by Selected Media

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The direct mail industry gets a higher response rate

We know that a high percentage of people like to get direct mail to sort and see quickly. But do they respond? According to the DMA response rate report, 5% of householders and an unknown percentage of business holders respond. According to a recent report, 4 % of B2B receivers also respond. Direct mail has a 9% average response rate for house lists and 4.9% for prospect lists in 2018, the Data & Marketing Association found compared Less than 1% for Email, Paid Search, Online Display, and Social Media.

After comparison, the average direct mail response rate of well-known online channels was low. The email response rate is around 0.1%, the response rate of paid search is 0.6%, the social media response rate is 4%, and online display marketing has a response rate of 0.2%. 

People can quickly sort through their mail

This is a very good way when you can get your mail back or retrieve it whether you are at home or anywhere else. If you are at home, you would have to go somewhere. If you are above the apartment, you have to come down. Have you ever tucked your mails into such occasions and enjoyed some of your other work? If so, then you are probably in the minority.

According to USPS’s report, about 80% of the people pull mails and sort them in their mailboxes. People have a curiosity to know what is in the mail. And if the package they receive is big, they’re usually found eager to check what’s inside and who sent it to them. A high percentage of people check their mailboxes throughout the day. Like direct mail, no other channel provides the feature to notice your message so soon.

ROI from Direct mail is high

Apart from getting the response after applying all the Direct Mail Marketing Efforts, you would be interested in the audiences turn into paying customers. You may also want the recipients to take advantage of your given offers or discounts in the mailer. But what ROI should you expect? According to the DMA report, the average direct mail response rate for ROI from direct mail is about 30%.

We know that online display marketing is cheap, but if you spend more than that on direct mail, you may get more direct mail returns than banner ads. As a professional marketer, you would want to create a strategy that combines both online marketing and offline marketing. If we talk about online marketing, direct mail marketing is such a method from which you can reap the benefits you cannot take from other methods like email, paid search, SEO, display marketing, social media, and many more.

Direct mail is not annoying like the Internet

It’s a fact that most of the time when we search online for any information, there is a barrage of ads all over the page, which is visible everywhere. Some of which are pop-up ads that ask for an email address. Some commercial videos are also seen, which we don’t care about. When we’re reading something, ads distract us. Thus, a quarter of internet users use ad blockers because it is irritating for some people.

It is also the main reason people give direct mail automation more value because it is not annoying like ads on the Internet.

According to the report of about a decade, prints have taken the most advantage of high ROI and more conversion rates. According to, ads on the Internet are 55% more annoying than printed ones. The USPS reports have also stated that people usually like to find fascinating catalogs, postcards, or thank-you notes in their mailboxes.

Direct mail is an industry of about $50 billion

According to the DMA report, the value of the direct mail industry is about $45 billion. It’s the second-largest channel in the advertising industry. It grows at a higher rate every year. DMA confirms that if $14 is spent on direct mail, then the sale of products or services is about $2095.

According to this, a 1300% return has been received from direct mail, which proves to be a pretty good ROI.

However, ROI depends on how much you’re spending on your design and your mail copy of direct mail. It also depends on whether you’ve purchased any list or printing cost, mailing cost, or others. It also depends on the size, copy, and quantity of direct mail that you deliver. However, whatever the factors are, direct mail provides a high return on investment.

Nonprofits receive more donations from direct mail.

 Consider if you get an email from a nonprofit organization. They ask you for donations for homeless and ill people. So you may open the email once, but you will definitely think, “why should I help them? I have no clue if it’s even legit.”

To get success, the nonprofit organization needs to provide fund security. The donor also needs to believe in the cause; only then she/he might think to donate. That’s where direct mail plays a vital role in nonprofit organizations. About 58% of people rely more on print marketing than other channels. According to USPS reports, those nonprofits using direct mail are getting 40% more donations impressions. Direct mail has proved to be an effective way for nonprofits.

Best Practices to Increase Direct Mail Response Rates

Work on the list

The most valuable asset that can increase the response rate is the list. I hope you have maintained an accurate one. If yes, you can see all your customer’s details and find what you can offer to attract them. The best way to target the right offer to the right people is to play with variable data in your mail pieces. It will create unique mail pieces not only from variable proposals but also from similar images.

Give Offers

More people respond when you give relevant offers on your services or products—increasing the direct mail acquisition response rate. If your campaign’s average direct mail response rate is low, you need to test what offers you’re making to which segment of your targeted audience. You would also need to check all wordings and avoid sending long or confusing proposals. Plus, check if you’re giving the appropriate incentives. Your offer should be relevant and concise to the specific audience. To test, add more new offers in your next campaigns and compare the response rate.

Custom Creative

An interesting thing to note is that your potential customers decide to read or leave before reading any mail piece based on the creative design. So, whatever cover you choose, keep in mind that it should deliver the message before anyone can read the entire mail piece and grab the reader’s attention. A wrong picture can affect the response rate. Sometimes changing the postcard to the letter in the envelope also increases the response. You should test with different formats so that you can choose the right design and also increase the response rate.

These are some essential factors that can increase your direct mail acquisition response rates. Sometimes the timing also matters. But you cannot always control everything. So pay attention to how you can manage and make a good direct mail piece for your customers and prospects. 

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