This is a guest blog by Catherine Synan of Dean’s Mailing and List Services Inc.

1. Mail is Trusted by Consumers

Epsilon’s Annual Channel Preference Study finds that direct mail is the most trusted, preferred channel that consumers want to be reached through overall. The preference for direct mail increases for sensitive topics like health, financial and insurance services.

2. Direct Mail Gets Read

The US Postal Service reported in the most recent Household Diary study that 79% of households either read or scan advertising mail sent to their household. As a matter of fact the percentage of households that read the mail has increased from 49% in 1987 to 55% in 2012. Even among households that receive 18 and more pieces of mail per week the percentage of pieces that get read or scanned does not significantly change. Thus, households that receive more advertising mail than others do not appear to be particularly “turned off” by the high volume.

3. Direct Mail Response Rates Still Beat Digital

The intended response to advertising mail is higher than you may think. The USPS Household Diary Study 2012 included this chart:

Response First-Class Mail Standard Mail
Yes 12% 13%
Maybe 13% 19%
No 61% 66%
No Answer 15% 2%

The closest comparison for response to digital channels would be click through rate. A very high estimate for average click through rate is about 5%. The click through would include all yes, maybe and no responses. The 95% of recipients or audience that does not click through compares with the respondents of Direct Mail that gave “no answer”.

Direct Marketing News summarized the DMA’s Response Rate 2012 Report, stating that direct mail yields an overall 4.4% response rate, compared to email’s average 0.12% response rate.

4. Costs Per Lead Not What You Might Think

Marketing Charts summarized the DMA 2012 Response Rate Report to highlight that direct mail’s cost for order or lead to “an acquisition list” was less than paid search and email.

Another summary of the 2012 DMA Response Rate Report stated that the cost per lead or order to a “house list” for direct mail is $19.35 which is less than $77.91 generated using the telephone.

5. The Cost is Not as Large as You Think

One published study listed that the average spent by small businesses on a direct mail campaign is $167 and that yielded sales of $2095. Direct mail campaigns as small as 200 pieces can qualify for standard mail postage rates.

6. Decrease in Volume of Mail is Not Bad

The volume of first class mail has decreased that means that the mail that is in your mail box gets more attention. Think about mail pieces that keep showing up at your house. Companies continue to send mail because it is working. Bed Bath & Beyond is one that quickly comes to mind. They keep sending catalogs and coupon offers because they work and pay for themselves.

About Dean’s Mailing

Dean’s Mailing & List Services, Inc. helps your business or non-profit get the most from your marketing resources and earn more money. Protect your valuable relationships and find new customers or donors using direct mail that increases response rates and improves customer loyalty. Dean and key staff members have been helping businesses and non-profits grow through direct marketing since 1976. Our services include target market definition, customer data analysis,mailing listsgraphic designprinting, and of course sending mail. Email us at info@deansmailing.com or call 602-272-2100.