Highest Response in Direct Mail

2012 DMA Response Rate Report: Direct Mail Shows Well-Rounded Performance

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) recently published the latest edition of its landmark survey – the 2012 report. The report collected data from 481 survey respondents as well as newly added transactional data from Bizo and Epsilon – all of which was used to provide in-depth results and analysis on response rates and cost per order or lead from six direct marketing mediums including email, direct mail, paid search, Internet display, telephone and other media.

The results are in, and direct mail performed well across all measurements.  Some key findings from the 2012 DMA Response Rate Report:

  • Direct mail response rates outperform email. Direct mail response now stands at 3.40% for letter-sized direct mail to a house list and 1.28% to the general public or a prospect list. This compares with email response rates at 0.12% and 0.03% respectively.
  • Direct mail has the lowest cost per lead or order of media distributed to lists. At $19.35 per lead, the cost of direct mail is nearly four times less than house-list telephone, which stands at $77.91. The ratio is similar for the general public or a prospect list at $51.40 vs. $190.49.
  • Although the study indicated the sample size is too small to make definitive statements, it did make a point to state the telecom and utilities industries experienced the highest direct mail response rates.

As a whole, the report claims marketers will spend $168.5 billion on direct marketing in 2012, which accounts for 52.7% of all advertising expenses in the U.S.

There are several factors you should consider as you select which channels to use in your next direct marketing campaign. As always, the most successful strategies will utilize a multichannel approach, but the effectiveness and well-rounded performance of direct mail is clear.

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