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Direct Mail

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Direct mail marketing touches most of us every day, at home and at work.  The volume of direct mail consumers receive is so high that many refer to it as "junk mail."  Direct mail hasn't disappeared, but has certainly declined in volume over the past 10 years. However, more marketers are adding mail to their array of integrated marketing tactics, because the engagement is growing as the clutter declines.

By definition, direct mail advertising is the process of sending offers or promotions by mail to current customers or others who may be prospects. Direct mail pieces may include a sales letter, brochure, order form and a prepaid envelope. Some companies advertise in a magazine-format piece or collection of inserts, combining with other companies for a more cost-effective effort.

  • 82% of respondents are increasing direct mail spend in 2024.

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • 84% of marketers agree that direct mail delivers the best ROI of any channel used - up from 74% in 2023.

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • 97% of marketers are satisfied with their data for effective execution of direct mail campaigns.

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • 56% of respondents are using a direct mail automation software/technology platform to execute direct mail campaigns.

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • 61% of respondents agree they cannot execute effective direct mail campaigns without the support of AI and/or animation.

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • 94% of respondents who are significantly increasing their direct mail budget agree that direct mail shows the best ROI of all channels used.

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • 45% of consumers say seeing an ad in both print and online captures their attention.

(Source: Vericast, This Direct Mail Moment, 2022)

  • 70% of consumers say direct mail is more personal than online interaction.

(Source: Gitnux Blog, Direct Mail Industry 2023, Trends and Statistics)

  • 63% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past 3 months made a purchase.

(Source: Poor Richard's Press, Direct Mail Marketing, 2023)

  • 71% of consumers regularly read or look at direct mail ads, especially baby boomers, parents, millennial parents, and affluent households.

(Source: Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, January 2023)

  • 66% of consumers say direct mail ads make them aware of neighborhood stores, restaurants, and services.

(Source: Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, January 2023)

  • 42% of consumers said receiving direct mail ads encourage them to go online for more info about the brand.

(Source: Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, September 2022)

  • 51% of consumers agree that direct mail motivates them to try a new store or business (especially parents (64%) and millennial parents (73%)).

(Source: Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, September 2022)

  • 34% said direct mail ads encourage them to go online to purchase from that business.

(Source: Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, September 2022)

  • 89% of marketers have increased or maintained direct mail investments in the last year.

(Source: Sequel Response, The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report)

  • 70% of marketers reported direct mail performance has improved in the last 12 months.

(Source: Sequel Response, The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report)

  • 69% of consumers engage with mail each week.

(Source: Sequel Response, The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report)

  • 54% of consumers keep an interesting piece of mail and refer back to it later.

(Source: Sequel Response, The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report)

  • 45% of consumers state direct mail feels less intrusive than other types of advertising.

(Source: Sequel Response, The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report)

  • 40% of consumers enjoy learning about new brands/products/services through mail.

(Source: Sequel Response, The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report)

  • 91% of marketers believe integrating direct mail and digital channels has a positive impact on campaign performance.

(Source: Sequel Response, The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report)

  • 75% of marketers integrate email with direct mail.

(Source: Sequel Response, The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report)

  • Marketing objectives for direct mail:
    • Brand awareness - 34%
    • Customer acquisition - 43%
    • Lead generation - 38%
    • Lead remarketing - 40%
    • Customer retention - 27%

(Source: Sequel Response, The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report)

  • How often direct mail budgets changed over the years:
    • Significantly increased - 32%
    • Somewhat increased - 50%
    • Stayed the same - 16%
    • Somewhat or significantly decreased - 3%

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • Direct mail experience at any company:
    • Less than 5 years - 46%
    • 5-10 years - 34%
    • 10+ years - 20%

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • How marketers use customer data in direct mail:
    • Personalization of mail pieces - 68%
    • Optimize future campaigns based on past performance data - 64%
    • Trigger mail based on behavior or action - 56%
    • Track customer conversion - 35%

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • Data sources directed with direct mail:
    • Marketing automation platform - 72%
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - 69%
    • Customer Data Platform - 68%
    • Third-party data - 13%

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • Personalized components of direct mail:
    • Format of direct mail - 62%
    • Text/copy within piece - 64%
    • Text/copy on the envelope - 58%
    • Offers/coupon - 56%
    • Imagery - 33%

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2024)

  • Consumers want more messages and offers that:
    • Help them save money - 49%
    • Reward them to their loyalty - 42%
    • Save time or make life easier - 40%

(Source: Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, September 2022)

  • Actions taken from direct mail:
    • 57% visited the brand or service website
    • 53% searched for the brand/product/service online
    • 46% looked up reviews of the brand/product/service
    • 38% visited a retail location to check out a product in person
    • 36% brought a product/signed up for a service
    • 28% visited another website looking for the product or service advertised
    • 20% checked the brand or services social media
    • 16% checked out other media to gauge others thoughts on the brand/product/service
    • 2% other

(Source: Lob/Comperemedia, 2023 State of Direct Mail)

  • 40% of consumers sometimes share direct mail with friends and family.
  • 71% of consumers immediately read direct mail immediately or read it the day they bring into their home. 
    • 58% of consumers keep their direct mail pieces for a maximum of two days 

    (Source: Lob/Comperemedia, 2023 State of Direct Mail)

    The following lists the format consumers are most likely to read by industry:
  • Retail - 55% catalogues/magazines
  • Healthcare - 42% letters & envelopes
  • Financial Services - 46% letters & envelopes
  • eCommerce - 37% catalogues/magazines

    (Source: Lob/Comperemedia, 2023 State of Direct Mail)

  • Direct Mail Attitudes:
    • I expect direct mail I receive from brands will be personalized for me in some way - 55%
    • I became concerned about my personal privacy and security when I receive direct mail from brands I do not know - 51%
    • I prefer brands to only interact with me digitally because it is more sustainable than sending direct mail - 48%
    • Direct mail is an important way for brands to build relationships with me - 48%
    • Receiving direct mail from a brand feels more important than receiving an email from a brand - 47%
    • I am often introduced to new brands via direct mail - 47%
    • It is important to me that brands interact with me beyond the digital space - 45%
    • Receiving direct mail from a brand feels special - 41%
    • I prefer that brands reach out to me via direct mail - 37%
    • I feel overwhelmed by the amount of direct mail I receive from brands on a daily basis - 36%

    (Source: Lob/Comperemedia, The State of Direct Mail 2023)

  • 71% of consumers regularly read or look at direct mail ads, especially baby boomers, parents, millennial parents, and affluent households.
  • 66% say direct mail ads make them aware of neighborhood stores, restaurants, and services

    (Source: Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, January 2023)

  • 42% of surveyed customers said receiving direct mail ads encouraged them to go online for more info about the brand..

    (Source: Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, September 2022)

  • 74% of consumers said that they can be swayed by advertised promotions & sales
  • 71% of consumers ranked saving the most money by “using coupons and discounts” as the second most important thing when going grocery shopping.
  • Affluent consumers love coupons and enjoy using them.
  • 79% of affluent consumers use coupons when planning their shopping.
  • 79% of affluent consumers think it’s exciting to discover a coupon or discount on a product they were already thinking of buying 
  • 64% of affluent consumers state that a coupon or discount helps to speed up their purchase decision

    (Source: 2021 Valassis Consumer Intel Report)

    The pandemic influenced consumer behavior, specifically:

    • 70% regularly read or look at ads they get in the mail. 
    • 61% say that direct mail makes them aware of neighborhood stores, restaurants, and services. 
    • 55% agree that direct mail helps them save money.
    • 47% say direct mail motivates them to try a new store or business. 
    • 42% say an ad in the mail encourages them to go online for more information about that advertiser.
    • 34% say receiving an ad in the mail encourages them to go online to make a purchase from that advertiser.  

    (Source: Vericast, This Direct Mail Moment, 2022)

    Direct Mail Advertising relies heavily on commercial markets with nearly 80% of all revenue coming from such market. The breakdown is:

    • 42% - Retail stores and catalogs
    • 32% - Finance, banking and insurance providers
    • 19% - Government, NGOs and households
    • 5% - Telecommunications and cable service providers
    • 2% - Travel 

    (Source: IBISWorld – Direct Mail Advertising, 2023)

    Direct Mail Revenue

    • In the fiscal year of 2022, USPS gained the majority of their revenue (31 million) with shipping and packages services. Other segments include: 
      • First-class mail - 24 million 
      • Marketing mail - 16 million
      • International - 1.7 million
      • Periodicals - 959 million
      • U.S. Postal Service Mail - 268 million
      • Free Matter for the Blind - 18 million
      • Other - 4.5 million

    (Source: United States Postal Service, FY 2022 Annual Report to Congress)

    For Additional Information on Direct Mail Marketing:
    Direct Marketing Association (DMA): http://thedma.org/
    United States Postal Service (USPS): https://www.usps.com/business/promotions/direct-mail-brochure.pdf