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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.

  • 66% of consumers say direct mail makes them aware of neighborhood stores, restaurants and services.
  • 45% of consumers say seeing an ad in both print and online captures their attention.

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

  • 75% of consumers have checked printed circulars to compare prices on various items. 
  • 82% of Millennials have used paper coupons they received in the mail.
    • 71% of Gen X 
    • 64% of Gen X
    • 54% of Baby Boomers

(Source: 2020 Valassis Consumer Intel Report)

Direct mail and COVID

The pandemic has allowed people to slow down and appreciate the things they didn't have time to before, including direct mail. According to a Valassis study, consumers have been looking forward to what they'll find in their mailbox.

  • 68% of consumers use coupons they recieve in the mail. 
  • 46% of consumers say an ad in the mail encorages them to go online for more information about that advertiser.
  • 41% of consumers say receiving an ad in the mail encourages them to go online to make a purchase from that advertiser. 
  • 34% are spending more time reading direct mail ads now vs. before the pandemic.
  • 31% are more excited to receieve their mail each day vs. before the pandemic.  

(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:

  • 33% - Finance, banking and insurance providers
  • 29% - Retail stores and catalogs
  • 16% - Government, NGOs and households
  • 11% - Telecommunications and cable service providers
  • 8% - Other
  • 3% - Travel 

(Source: IBISWorld – Direct Mail Advertising, 2021)

Direct Mail Revenue

  • In the fiscal year of 2021, USPS gained the majority of their revenue (33 million) with shipping and packages services. Other segments include: 
    • First-class mail - 23.3 million 
    • Marketing mail - 14.6 million
    • International - 2.2 million
    • Periodicals - 942 million
    • U.S. Postal Service Mail - 280 million
    • Free Matter for the Blind - 20 million
    • Other - 3.9 million

(Source: United States Postal Service, FY 2021 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

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