25 convincing direct mail stats (+ five bonus ones!)

Direct mail marketing may seem like a blast from the past in today’s digital age, but its benefits are anything but outdated. Online digital spaces, including social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, are filled with paid ads and promotions of some kind. But too much of something isn’t always a good thing. Many users are bored with the bombardment of adverts on their feeds.

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What is direct mail marketing?

If you’re wondering what direct mail is, allow me to explain. Direct mail marketing is a type of direct marketing that’s delivered physically to a prospect’s mailbox. Examples of this include postcards, flyers, and catalogues.

Direct mail marketing has a clear advantage over classic marketing methods such as billboards or television ads and even certain paid advertising efforts, as it can offer a higher level of personalisation and has the physical aspect other forms of marketing lack.

We’ve pulled together some stats to show why direct mail marketing sometimes just works and why you should include it in your marketing strategy. Let’s start with our top 5 favourites…

1. Highest ROI on any channel (Lob)

Direct mail marketing is a method that should never be overlooked because it “seems outdated”. After all, over 84% of marketers agree direct mail provides the highest ROI of any channel they use. This is a stat that has increased significantly over the years, which proves just how effective marketers are telling us it is. The key question here is why does it have such a high ROI? Well, this is for three main reasons. Firstly, it’s tangible and allows a physical connection with your audience. It’s able to be personalised to each user which in the world of marketing is like gold dust. Finally, it’s distinct. In a world saturated with ads that are thrown in your face every time you want to watch a YouTube video or scroll Instagram, direct mail stands out.

2. Advertising mail volume has increased by 87% in the last 10 years (Post Grid)

The fact direct mail efforts have increased in the last 10 years is a true testament to its success. A lot of poor marketing techniques eventually die off; gone are the days of keyword stuffing, a technique bound to flop from the get-go. But with direct mail, more and more marketers are realising its potential.

3. Direct mail is kept in a household for 17 days on average (Royal Mail)

When it comes to paid advertising efforts, the user usually sees the ad for a few seconds if the marketer’s lucky and then they scroll past it. Potentially forgotten forever. With direct mail, its physical aspect means it’s more likely to make an impression. Even if it’s sitting around the house or glued to the fridge, family members have more of a chance to look through it and decide if it’s something they need.

4. 72% of prospects read direct mail immediately after or on the same day they bring it inside their home (Lob)

With email marketing, you can delete it without even opening it. With paid ads, you can scroll past. With direct mail, yeah you can throw it in the bin, but you’re more likely to read it first and see what it’s about. This is one of the reasons why direct mail is so powerful. Making a prospect read a piece of advertising has never been easier and more natural.

5. 30% of millennials say direct mail is more effective at getting you to take action, while 24% said email (SmallBizGenius)

A lot of people may think that email marketing is a preferred method of direct marketing as the cost per item is considerably lower. However, the data shows that consumers actually respond better to printed mail than email efforts. If nothing else, direct mail marketing is definitely worth a try.

Some other important stats

Now we’ve covered a few top reasons why direct mail marketing shouldn’t be overlooked, let’s take a look at some other important statistics.

  1. 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail made a purchase (Fundera).
  2. 41% of Americans of all ages look forward to checking their mail each day (Gallup).
  3. 45% of consumers say receiving direct mail from a brand feels more important than receiving an email from a brand (Lob).
  4. Adding a name to your direct mail can increase response rates by 135% (Fundera).
  5. Oversized envelopes drive the highest response rates of 5% (Data & Marketing Association via SmallBizGenius).
  6. 18% of B2B marketers’ budget is assigned to direct mail marketing and print advertising (Hubspot).
  7. 39% of consumers try a business for the first time because of direct mail (Nerdwallet).
  8. 42% of recipients read or scan the direct mail they receive (Fundera).
  9. Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than email (SmallBizGenius).
  10. Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails (Data & Marketing Association via SmallBizGenius).
  11. 57% of email addresses are abandoned because the users receive too many marketing emails (Marketing Profs via SmallBizGenius).
  12. According to a study conducted by Triadex Services, consumers would love to receive direct mail from their preferred brands. (Compu-Mail).
  13. Personalization holds tremendous power, and 70% of people believe direct mail is more personal than email. The mere fact that their names are printed on mail increases response rates by 135%. (Compu-Mail).
  14. The response rate to direct mail is as high as 37%. This is because people perceive a physical piece of mail as more “real” compared to the digital ones sent to their inboxes (Compu-Mail).
  15. Direct mail spending reached a whopping $38.5 billion in local advertising spend in 2018 (Mail Shark via Nerdwallet).
  16. U.S. advertisers spend an average of $167 per person on direct mail (Small Business Trends via Nerdwallet).
  17. These US advertisers also earn an average of $2,095 worth of goods sold through direct mail per person (Small Business Trends via Nerdwallet).
  18. 85% of millennials take the time to look through their mail (USPS Delivers).
  19. 82% of respondents are increasing direct mail spending in 2024 (Lob).
  20. 82% of millennials say receiving a handwritten letter, note or greeting card in the mail still has a lot of value for them (USPS Delivers).
  21. 68% of millennials would be upset if they no longer received mail (USPS Delivers).
  22.  52% of millennials are more likely to make a purchase from a company that advertises to them using both direct mail and digital methods (USPS Delivers).
  23. 76% of consumers trust direct mail when they want to make a purchase decision, over digital channels (MarketingSherpa via Postalytics).
  24. A study from Millward Brown and Bangor University found that the tangible aspect of direct mail leaves a deeper footprint in the brain. (Millward Brown via Postalytics).
  25. Direct mail involves more emotional processing than other channels, which is important for memory and brand associations. (Millward Brown via Postalytics).

Contact us directly today!

If you’re eager to include direct mail in your marketing strategy, we’re here to help. To fully leverage the power of direct mail, other channels including organic and paid should be included in a strategy. At Embryo, we can assist with all of these channels thanks to our full-service capabilities. If you’d like to learn how Embryo can take your direct mail marketing strategy to the next level, please get in touch today

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