By the Numbers: Myths and Truths About Direct Mail

We’ve previously discussed direct mail’s response rates and how good they are. But there’s a lot more you need to know about direct mail! Below are some myths and truths that are backed by statistics.

Truth: Direct mail has a better response rate than digital.

Direct mail has a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing medium. Its response rate is 5x-9x greater than that of email, paid search, or social media.

Myth: Packaging doesn’t matter for direct mail.

You should follow the numbers and plan your direct mail campaigns accordingly. Oversized envelopes have the highest average response rate at 5%. Postcards get a fairly high response rate at 4.25% followed by dimensional mailers with 4% and catalogs with 3.9%. The average response rate for direct mail in letter-sized envelopes is the lowest at only 3.5%.

Truth: People prefer direct mail to email.

Quantitative data shows that while 80-90% of direct mail gets opened, only 20-30% of email gets opened—and that’s on a good day. But what about those who grew up with digital content? Millennials were asked, and 92% of them think it’s easier to read print marketing than digital content. What’s more, 70% of Americans say direct mail is more personal than the Internet, and studies have shown that print is 43% less annoying than online formats.

Myth: People immediately throw out direct mail anyway.

Mail sticks around households across America. The average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, but direct mail’s average lifespan is 17 days.

Truth: People want to receive direct mail.

In one study, the majority (54%) of consumers surveyed said they want to receive mail from brands they’re interested in. In fact, 59% of U.S. respondents even agreed with the statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”

Truth: People trust that direct mail is legitimate.

Trust is key when it comes to influencing buyers, and 56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing. In fact, consumers trust traditional mail more than digital media: 76% trust direct mail when they want to make a purchase decision.

Truth: Direct mail gives you a direct connection to your target market.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, 77% of people sort through their mail immediately upon pulling it from their mailboxes. And according to a Gallup poll on Millennials, a surprising 95% say they love getting physical mail.

Truth: Direct mail compels people to make purchasing decisions.

According to a U.S. Postal Service study, more than 60% of direct mail recipients were influenced to visit a promoted website, with the greatest influence on first-time shoppers. They also found that 23% of direct mail recipients visited the sender's store location.

Myth: Only older people respond to direct mail.

While it’s true that consumers aged 45-54 are the demographic group most likely to respond to direct mail pieces, Millennials respond to direct mail faster than any other age group. What’s more, over 60% of Millennial respondents went on to make a purchase within three months.

Myth: No one spends money on direct mail anymore.

In a survey of B2B marketers, the top area of marketing spend for 2019 was Direct Marketing & Print Advertising at 25% of budget.

Truth: Direct mail has good ROI.

The average ROI for direct mail campaigns is between 18-20%. If nothing else, listen to this one!

With the diversity of equipment at Master Print direct mail is an excellent fit for us. Contact us today to see how we can help with your next project.