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Direct Mail Statistics [59+ Facts You Should Know]

Uncover the impact of direct mail campaigns with these compelling statistics.
Cassie Viele
Published Mar 20, 2022

Considering a direct mail campaign but not sure if it's worth it? Check out this curated list of super powerful direct mail statistics to get your marketing strategy off the ground!

1. Direct Mail Prompts Action

It's true! Direct mail prompts recipients to respond. Want proof? These powerful statistics will get your team excited about your next direct mail campaign:

  • 72% of respondents read direct mail immediately after or on the same day they bring it inside their residence (via Lob)
  • 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase (via Fundera).
  • Direct mail recipients purchase 28% more items and spend 28% more money than people who don t get that same piece of direct mail (via SmallBizGenius).
  • 45% of consumers say receiving direct mail from a brand feels more important than receiving an email from a brand (via Lob)

Data via USPS Delivers

  • 73% of American consumers say they prefer being contacted by brands via direct mail because they can read it whenever they want (via SmallBizGenius).
  • Direct mail recipients purchased 28% more items and spent 28% more money than people who didn t get that piece of direct mail (USPS via SmallBizGenius).
  • 50.9% of recipients say they find postcards useful (Data & Marketing Association via SmallBizGenius).
  • Consumers aged 45-54 are the demographic group most likely to respond to direct mail pieces (Data & Marketing Association via SmallBizGenius).

2. Direct Mail Beats Email

Image by Pharaoh_EZYPT from Pixabay

You may find yourself thinking that an email campaign is always preferable to sending out direct mail simply because it may have a lower per-item cost. However, research shows that consumers actually respond better to printed mail than its onscreen counterpart. There are also ways to cut direct mail costs without sacrificing quality, like utilizing MyCreativeShop's all-in-one direct mail system. So before you go all in on an all digital campaign, consider that:

  • When asked, Which is more effective at getting you to take action? 30% of millennials said direct mail, while 24% said email (DMN via SmallBizGenius).
  • 90% of millennials believe that direct mail marketing is more reliable than email and 24% are likely to share it with other people (USPS via SmallBizGenius).
  • Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than email (via SmallBizGenius).
  • Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails (Data & Marketing Association via SmallBizGenius).
  • 57% of email addresses are abandoned because the users receive too many marketing emails (Marketing Profs via SmallBizGenius).
  • The response rate for direct mail is up to nine times higher than that of email (Data & Marketing Association via SmallBizGenius).
  • Direct mail has an open rate of 90%, a far cry from the 23% open rate of email marketing (via Compu-Mail).
  • According to the Canada Post, people find direct mail more engaging than their digital counterparts. This is because opening a piece of mail is simpler and easier on the mind (via Compu-Mail).
  • On average, the typical American household receives 2 pieces of direct mail each day compared to emails which can come by as much as a dozen. Their relative rarity makes 77% of Americans look forward to opening them (via Compu-Mail).
  • 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% (via Compu-Mail).
  • 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 (via Compu-Mail).

3. Direct Mail is a Smart Investment

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

Let's be honest - no company wants to spend a lot of time and money on a marketing strategy only to get a pitiful return. All marketing teams are aiming to maximize the ROI of their ad campaigns. In this respect, direct mail is often underestimated despite its overall effectiveness simply because of the comparatively (but deceivingly) low per-item cost of an email or digital ad campaign. However, what really matters is quality over quantity. Direct mail gives you the ability to target a specific audience and provide them with something tangible and personal, which gets you the ROI you're seeking. Read on:

  • Direct mail spending at $38.5 billion accounts for the largest portion of US local advertising spending (via Fundera).
  • US advertisers spend an average of $167 per person on direct mail (via Fundera).
  • These US advertisers also earn an average $2,095 worth of goods sold through direct mail per person (via Fundera).
  • Direct mail response rates are five to nine times higher than any other advertising channel (via Fundera).
  • Direct mail offers a 29% return on investment (via SmallBizGenius).
  • 58% of the mail US households receive is marketing mail (via SmallBizGenius).
  • The average American household receives 454 pieces of marketing mail per year (via SmallBizGenius).
  • Direct mail had an average response rate of 9% for house lists and 4.9% for prospect lists in 2018 (via SmallBizGenius).
  • Direct mail postcards have a 4.25% response rate (via SmallBizGenius).
  • Direct mail offers a 29% return on investment (Marketing Charts via SmallBizGenius).
  • Regarding response rate, direct mail offers a 112% return on investment (Data & Marketing Association via SmallBizGenius).
  • 63% of direct-to-consumer brands invest in direct mail marketing (via Compu-Mail).

4. Direct Mail Makes People Feel Special

Image by Ida Damkilde from Pixabay

There's just something about receiving a piece of mail with your name on it that makes you feel just the tiniest bit special. Even if it's a piece of direct mail - it's the name that does it. Check out these stats:

  • 85% of millennials take the time to look through their mail (via USPS Delivers).
  • 82% of millennials say receiving a handwritten letter, note, or greeting card in the mail still has a lot of value for them (via USPS Delivers).
  • 68% of millennials would be upset if they no longer received mail (via USPS Delivers).
  • 79% of millennials look forward to seeing what they ve received in their mailbox (via USPS Delivers).
  • 52% of millennials are more likely to make a purchase from a company that advertises to them using both direct mail and digital methods (via USPS Delivers).
  • 62% of millennials tend to read through the advertising mail they receive, rather than discarding it without reading (via USPS Delivers).
  • 57% of millennials worry less about mail privacy than digital communications privacy (via USPS Delivers).
  • 69% of millennials say direct mail feels more personal than online digital communications (via USPS Delivers).
  • 70% of consumers say direct mail is more personal than online interactions (via Fundera).
  • 54% of consumers say they want direct mail from brands that interest them (via Fundera).
  • Direct mail open rates can reach up to 90% (via Fundera).
  • 42% of recipients read or scan the direct mail they receive (via Fundera).
  • Adding a name to your direct mail piece can increase response rates by 135% (via Fundera).
  • 39% of consumers try a business for the first time because of direct mail (via Fundera).
  • 42.2% of direct mail recipients either read or scan the mail they get (via SmallBizGenius).
  • 41% of Americans of all ages look forward to checking their mail each day (via SmallBizGenius).
  • 59% of US respondents say they enjoy getting mail from brands about new products (Epsilon via SmallBizGenius).
  • 42.2% of direct mail recipients either read or scan the mail they get (Data & Marketing Association via SmallBizGenius).
  • According to a study conducted by Triadex Services, consumers would love to receive direct mail from their preferred brands (via SmallBizGenius).

5. Direct Mail is Memorable

Image by Melk Hagelslag from Pixabay

One of the coolest things about direct mail is its ability to create an impression on the mind of the reader. Not only is direct mail more likely to last longer than a few seconds in a home (while emails are easily deleted without being read!), the recipient will be more likely to recognize the brand later. Read for yourself:

  • Advertising mail is kept in a household for 17 days on average (via SmallBizGenius).
  • Only 44% of people can recall a brand immediately after seeing a digital ad compared to 75% of people who receive direct mail (Marketing Profs via SmallBizGenius).
  • Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than email and creates a higher brand recall (Canada Post via SmallBizGenius).
  • 76% of consumers trust direct mail when they want to make a purchase decision, over digital channels (MarketingSherpa via Postalytics).
  • 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)
  • Direct mail involves more emotional processing that other channels, which is important for memory and brand associations. (Millward Brown via Postalytics)
  • Direct mail generated more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater internalization of the ads. (Millward Brown via Postalytics)
  • The average human attention span is eight seconds. (Digital Information World via Postalytics)
  • Direct mail s motivation response is 20% higher than digital media (Canada Post via Postalytics)


Wrapping It Up

In the end, direct mail has still got it going on! It's definitely not dead (Don't be Fooled - Print is Still Where It's At) and it is still a ridiculously powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. Creating a direct mail campaign doesn't have to be complicated - in fact, MyCreativeShop has created an all-in-one direct mail system that makes the whole process as simple as 1, 2, 3! We make it easy for you to customize your own postcard design (we've got EDDM postcard templates and standard postcard templates!), upload your mailing list or choose a targeted list of recipients by ZIP code and postal route, and schedule your mailing. We even print and send your postcards for you! What are you waiting for?

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