Direct mail marketing may seem outdated in this era of social networks and digital marketing. And you are right. It does sound outdated. But it still works. What’s more, direct mail marketing statistics show that it is on a steady rise.
Sending a physical letter might get better results than sending emails and social network messages. It can even complement digital marketing strategies. Direct mail is anything but obsolete, and it works even for digitally native brands.
Join us to find out more about the latest statistics and it might change your view on things.
Statistics on Direct Mail Marketing (Editor’s Picks)
- The global direct mail advertising revenue will reach $72.7 billion by the end of 2022
- The average American household received 361 pieces of marketing mail in 2021
- 70% of millennials like seeing physical coupons in their mailbox
- Direct mail has an open rate of 90%
- The direct mail response rate has grown by 173% in the past 15 years
- The average return on investment in direct mail marketing is 29%
- On average, retention campaigns often have a higher than 10% response rate
- Email + physical catalog strategy can bump up sales by 49% in ecommerce
Direct Mail Statistics 2022
1. The average American household received 361 pieces of marketing mail in 2021.
That’s almost one per day. The number is slightly higher than in 2020 when Americans found 340 direct mail pieces in their mailbox. Considering that 2020 was the hardest year regarding lockdowns and that most people were home and were great targets for direct mail, you would think that the numbers would drop in 2021.
However, the opposite happened.
2. According to direct mail statistics, RR Donnelley is the leading direct mail advertising company, with 1.25% of the global market share,
RR Donnelley is an integrated communications enterprise from Chicago and is a Fortune 500 member. It is followed by Quad/Graphics, also an American company. This commercial printing enterprise also offers marketing and management services. This good combination was enough to bring it 1.12% of the global market share.
Who Uses Direct Mail Marketing?
Direct marketing mail is widely used across industries. Even digitally native brands like Google, Amazon, Paycom, LinkedIn, Doordash, Uber, Square, and Booking.com use this asset. Direct mail is a great way to bolster digital marketing efforts and vice versa. An email + physical catalog strategy can bump up sales by 49% in ecommerce.
3. By the end of 2022, the global direct mail advertising revenue will reach $72.7 billion, direct mail stats show.
This is a growth of 1.5% when compared to 2021. The US direct mail ad revenue will reach $13.8 billion, which is almost 19% of the global market. This shows how significant the US market really is. It is no wonder that the major players are based in the US.
4. Almost 70% of millennials like seeing physical coupons for restaurants and retail businesses in their mailbox.
According to experts, an average person receives over 120 emails each day and is subjected to over 5,000 digital ads daily. It is overwhelming, and our brains literally start to ignore these ads. Direct mail is different, and that’s why direct mail conversion rate is high.
A study by USPS showed that 69% of millennials said they like coupons for restaurants, and around 65% said they enjoy getting coupons for retail businesses. Furthermore, 58% of millennials view direct mail as safer than digital communication when privacy is concerned.
5. Almost a fifth of B2B marketers’ budget goes to direct mail marketing.
B2B marketers say that 18% of their budget goes to direct mail marketing and print advertising. It shows that they consider direct mail an essential piece of omnichannel marketing. The numbers show that they are right.
Direct Mail Open Rates
6. Direct mail has an open rate of 90%.
If you are wondering about the percentage of opened emails – it’s 23%. It is clear that direct mail leads here by far. One of the explanations is that consumers prefer physical promotional materials—which they can read later while enjoying coffee or tea. Most emails, on the other hand, usually get ignored even if they come from a reputable company.
How Effective Is Direct Mail Marketing?
Direct mail marketing is stronger than ever. Direct mail has an open rate of 90%, compared to 23% of opened emails. Consumers, especially millennials, like tangible promotional materials—which they can read later. In the past 15 years, despite the development of digital marketing, the direct mail response rate has grown by 173%.
7. 1.6% of mail recipients leave the mail open for display, direct mail marketing stats show.
One research has shown that around 57% of consumers open mail envelopes, and immediately look at them in detail. About 24.5% of mail recipients leave it to be read later. Most importantly, 1.6% leave it open for display so other family members can see it or remind themselves to look at it later. When was the last time you forwarded an interesting email to your family member?
What Percentage of Direct Mail Gets Opened?
Direct mail has an open rate of 90%, compared to 23% of opened emails. The most significant percentage reads it carefully after opening, while around one-quarter of recipients leave it for later. Most importantly, 1.6% leave the mail out for display for other family members, roommates, etc. This increases reach and the possibility of a purchase.
8. 86% of mail direct mail recipients in the UK connect with the company online.
One of the most interesting direct mail facts—it can boost a company’s online engagement. A UK study has shown that in the second quarter of 2022, 96% of the mail recipients opened the mail, 86% connected with the sender online, and 87% were influenced to buy something online.
This shows that direct mail gives excellent results when combined with digital efforts. Of course, combining these two strategies may be more time consuming, but it is definitely worth it.
Direct Mail Response Rates
9. The average return rate for direct mail campaigns is from 0.5% to 2%.
This means that you can expect one or 50 to 200 sales per 10,000 pieces of mail. Of course, the numbers can be much higher. It all depends on the product and the marketing material quality. It is best to combine printed material with CTA that encourages digital engagement.
10. The response rates to direct mail have grown by 173% since 2006.
At the same time, the total mail volume in the US has dropped by 50%. What’s the reason for this? Experts say that the digital revolution allowed people to receive and pay bills online, get account statements, etc.
The revolution in the digital world has decluttered mailboxes and allowed more room for direct marketing mail. People are now less worried they will find bills in their mailboxes, so they are actually looking forward to receiving mail.
How to Increase Direct Mail Response Rates?
The best ways to increase direct mail response rates are:
- Define the target audience
- Personalize the letter
- Make the envelopes large and unique – use quality design
- Create a good copy – sell benefits, not features
- Think of a solid Call to Action to give people a reason to respond
- Make your offer clear and easy to understand
- Include the expiration date, and work on that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
11. Direct mail marketing statistics show that the average return on investment is 29%.
The number rises as customers get more exposure to the brand and start to trust it. This number is much higher than online display ads and paid search, which have an ROI of 16% and 23%, respectively.
12. With a 5% response rate, oversized envelopes are table leaders.
Packaging matters, and in this case, bigger is better. However, large envelopes can be costly, especially if you need a copy and graphics on the entire surface. Postcards are a cheaper solution, and they get a relatively good response rate of 4.25%. They are followed by dimensional mailers (4% response rate), and catalogs (3.9%).
Direct Mail Response Rates by Industry
13. Email + physical catalog strategy can bump up sales by 49% in ecommerce.
According to Harvard Business Review, a combination of direct mail and email can lead to a 125% growth in inquiries and a 49% rise in sales. This particular result was achieved by a retail company that sells luxury watches and jewelry.
The company doesn’t own physical stores and sells solely online. This example perfectly shows that direct mail is not beneficial to brick & mortar businesses only.
What Is the Success Rate of Direct Mail Campaigns?
The average return on investment in direct mail marketing is 29%. As a comparison – online display ads and paid search have an ROI of 16% and 23%, respectively. However, combining digital and direct mail marketing is the best way to approach the customer. Namely, this combination can bring up to a 49% rise in sales.
14. Cosmetics brands can get up to 2,600% ROI (return on investment), statistics on direct mail marketing show.
This is not a crazy claim but a real-life example. An online brand called BOOM! achieved a 2,600% return on investment in one of its win-back campaigns. The company sells pro-age cosmetics, and with this company, it tried to re-engage customers who have been idle for more than a month. Their postcard strategy cost $1,500, resulting in $40,000 in sales.
15. A supplement brand Obvi had a 1052% ROI with its win-back campaign.
Direct mail does wonders in reactivating old customers. With its win-back campaign, Obvi targeted its frequent buyers that were dormant for 90 or more days. It was a success and helped one small business grow to a 30 million-revenue company.
16. The average direct mail response rate in retention campaigns is often higher than 10% across all industries.
It is always cheaper to keep old customers than to acquire new ones. The return on investment in retention campaigns is much higher, as the response rate is usually above 10%. As a comparison, anything between 5% and 10% can be considered a good result for an acquisition campaign.
Is Direct Mail Still Effective in 2022?
Yes, direct mail is still effective in 2022. In the second quarter of 2022, 96% of the mail recipients opened the mail, 86% connected with the sender online, and 87% were influenced to buy something online. However, the best results are achieved when direct mail is combined with a digital marketing strategy.
Wrapping Up Direct Mail Marketing Statistics
Despite it sounding outdated, direct mail works and is on a steady rise. We are overwhelmed by the digital world, and we like to have something tangible to read.
Another important thing is that printed material is seen and absorbed. You can’t say the same for most online ads. We often skip them while scrolling for what we really need to find. However, you should keep in mind that the combination of these two approaches gets the best results.
You shouldn’t simply choose one and stick to it — direct mail marketing statistics you’ve seen in our article perfectly show that.