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9 Direct Mail Marketing Stats That Prove It Works

We’ve written before about how direct mail marketing isn’t dead, but is still very much alive – and very powerful.

Still, some businesses don’t believe that direct mail marketing can work. They think it’s old-fashioned, antiquated, or surpassed by the Internet. They think people just throw away “junk mail” and watch the product of many hours and dollars fall into the trash, never to be seen again.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Direct mail marketing works, and we have the stats to prove it.

Consumer Preferences

• 70% of American consumers believe direct mail is more personal than anything received via the Internet. This is a key stat because personalization sells. The more personal a message is, the better it’ll be received. Online messages can be very impersonal, but direct mail can be made more personal by being highly relevant to the recipient.

• 50% of all consumers would rather receive direct mail than email. Email is touted as the digital successor to direct mail, but people would rather receive something in the mailbox over the inbox.

• 56% of consumers think direct mail marketing is the most trustworthy type of marketing.

This is probably because it’s clear that more time was invested in a direct mail piece than an email, an online ad, etc. Plus, a mailer is something you can hold and touch. That psychologically gives it more weight and trustworthiness.

• 70% to 80% of consumers say they open just about anything that arrives in the mail – even what they consider to be “junk.” Contrast this to email. How many of us open anything we get in our inbox? Most of us are very selective about what emails we actually read. It’s not the case with snail mail.

Consumer Influence

• Over 60% of consumers who received direct mail were influenced to go to a website promoted by the piece – especially for first-time shoppers.

You can promote a website via direct mail. This is actually an old-school way to generate new-school traffic to an online portal. Plus, it’s an easy way to track the ROI of a mailed campaign. Create a landing page just for that mailing campaign and voilà – you can see how many people visited that page and what actions they took once they were there.

• 39% of consumers try a business for the first time thanks to direct mail.

This is a powerful stat because new customers are the lifeblood of a business – but they’re notoriously hard to get. It’s easier to convince an existing customer to buy more than to get a new customer through the door. Yet, direct mail can grab these new customers very effectively.

• Consumers who received direct mail bought 28% more products and spent 28% more than people who didn’t receive direct mail.

According to the USPS, direct mail influences people to buy more and spend more. That’s a pretty potent reason to consider direct mail.

• 48% of consumers who receive direct mail keep it around for future reference

We can’t overstate how important this is. Direct mail has longevity, or “stickiness.” An email is viewed and deleted within seconds. Even a great email only sticks around for so long. An ad lasts for seconds and only dwells in someone’s brain for a few minutes at the most. But a direct mail piece hangs around for a long time.

Bottom-Line Results

In 2014, U.S. businesses spent $167 per person through direct mail marketing and received $2,095 worth of products and services sold. This represents a 1,300% ROI.

Here’s the main stat that speaks to bottom-line results. ROI for a well-executed direct mail campaign is astronomical compared to other marketing methods. You have to do it the right way, though; otherwise, it’s easy to waste money.

But assuming you have a well-planned and well-executed strategy, you can reap some impressive rewards from taking advantage of direct mail marketing.

At the end of the day, that’s the most convincing reason to give this old-school marketing method a try.


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