Direct Mail Statistics for Marketing in 2020

You’ve heard the hype. “Direct mail is dead.” “No one looks at print mail anymore.” These doomsday predictors would have you believe that old-fashioned direct mail is done, and online marketing is the way to go. While online marketing should be an important part of an effective marketing strategy, it doesn’t replace direct mail. The latest statistics show that direct mail is alive and well – and growing!

Direct Mail is Growing

According to a report by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the response rate for direct mail was 4.9 percent for prospect lists. House lists were double that at 9 percent based on the ANA/DMA Response Rate Report 2018. This figure was higher than the previous year. In 2017, the prospect list was 2.9 percent while the house list was at 5.1 percent, which shows a fantastic growth rate.

If you’re wondering why the numbers are going up, it’s due to the use of technology for targeted marketing. For example, when you use list scrubbing, you can remove addresses that are no longer valid or get updated information to ensure your mail is reaching the intended audience. Instead of sending out mail to random people, you’re targeting those who will be interested in your services.

People Like Direct Mail

At one time, people complained about getting so much “junk mail,” but today’s consumer actually enjoys it. According to Gallup, 41 percent of Americans enjoy getting mail. And it isn’t just Boomers or Gen X. The report showed that for those under 30, 36 percent look forward to getting something in the mail.

Over half of the mail people receive is marketing, according to the US Postal Service. Very few get letters or cards, so it’s either bills or marketing mail for most people. If they still say they enjoy getting mail, marketers should pay attention. In the same report from the USPS, it said that the average household gets 454 marketing items in the mail each year. That number doesn’t count the 92 pieces from nonprofits.

What You Send Matters

According to the ANA/DMA report, what you send matters. Postcards have a good response rate at 4.25 percent while oversized envelopes perform best with a 5 percent response rate. However, letter-size mailers still get a 3.5 percent response rate, which is higher than some forms of online marketing.

Don’t let the pessimists tell you that direct marketing is dead or ineffective. If you want to learn more about how to utilize lists and tools to create an effective multi-touch campaign, contact Open Letter Marketing at [email protected] or 978-269-0245.

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