What is the average direct mail response rate?

Did you know that the average American is currently exposed to 4,000-10,000 advertisements every day?

From email to online banner ads and social media, people are constantly being bombarded with marketing content in hopes they will take action.

But statistics show direct mail outperforms other types of advertising when it comes to response rates.

Read the research we’ve compiled about direct mail’s effectiveness here…

Consider this:

The USPS says the average household receives 7,750% more emails than mail pieces per day — an average of 2 direct mail advertisements as opposed to 157 emails a day.

Overwhelmed with the ads in their inboxes and social media feeds, people are spending more time looking at direct mail pieces.

So you may wonder:

Exactly how do all the forms of advertising compare in regard to response rates?

The data shows that not only are people spending more time looking at mailers, but they are also more likely to take action in response by making a phone call, sending in an email, or clicking on a website link.

Direct mail is actually more effective now than ever in a sea of thousands of emails, social media ads, and more.

Read the research below and discover just how big an impact direct mail really makes on the average American household.

  • Direct mail has an average engagement rate of 95% and is interacted with at least 4 times at home. MarketReach (2021)
  • Direct mail case studies grouped by WARC showed 70% of people were driven toward an online activity by direct mail, and 35% of consumers made a purchase as a result of direct mail. MarketReach (2021)
  • Direct mail is read more often than email among all age groups, and 71% of all consumers are excited to discover what the mail brings every day. USPS (2021)
  • A record 96% of all mail was engaged with. This is an increase from 2019 which was at 91%. JICMAIL (2020)
  • 75% of business mail stays in the home for over four weeks and is revisited an average of 5 times. MarketReach (2020)
  • Direct mail response rates are 5 to 9 times higher than any other advertising channel. The Data & Marketing Association (2018)
  • 39% of consumers try a business for the first time because of direct mail. The Data & Marketing Association (2018)
  • In 2018, the average American household received 454 pieces of mail. The study revealed that 57% of consumers opened addressed mail envelopes, 48.5% looked at what it is, 24.5% kept it to read later, and 1.6% of the recipients put them in the open for display. USPS (2018)
  • Direct mail’s average response rate increased from 2.9% to 4.9% for prospect lists and 5.1% to 9% for house lists (current customers/database) between 2017 and 2018. The Data & Marketing Association (2018)
  • When compared to email, paid search, and social media, household mail has a higher response rate at 9%, with the former being only at 1%. The Data & Marketing Association (2018)
  • A whopping 31% of all mail items were still at home a month after they were delivered. JICMAIL (2018)
  • One study asked 1,200 consumers which advertising channels they trusted more. 76% of the group said they trust direct mail (postcards, catalogs, etc.), which is just 6% less than the leading group that trusted ads in newspapers and magazines. Marketing Sherpa (2017)
  • 42% of recipients read or scan the direct mail they receive. The Data & Marketing Association (2016)
  • 56% of consumers who responded to direct mail went online or visited a physical store. InfoTrends (2015)
  • 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail made a purchase. InfoTrends (2015)
  • 66% of direct mail is opened, and 82% of direct mail is read for a minute or more. InfoTrends (2015)
  • 3% of people in one particular study said they were more likely to read direct mail than open and read emails, while 22.9% said they leaned toward reading emails. InfoTrends (2015)

If you liked reading this entry, check out this larger article that includes 82 direct mail statistics about many more topics!

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