Let’s discuss the findings of the Direct Marketing Association’s 2013 Statistical Fact Book. Despite new postal regulations, significant postage price hikes and the growth of digital as a marketing medium, direct mail remains the undisputed king of direct response.
CPL.Cost per lead for direct mail ($54.10) is still lower than email ($55.24), and more than half that of online display advertising ($138). For house files, direct mail CPL is even lower ($19.35).
Response Rate. According to a 2013 DMA study, direct mail delivers an average response rate of 1.28% (3.40% for house files), compared to email’s average of 0.03% (0.12%. for house files). Direct mail letters get an average response rate of 1.44% (3.40% for house files), while oversized mailers achieve a response rate of 1.44% (3.95% for house files). Email response rates, on the other hand, average a paltry 0.03% (0.12% for house files). Online display advertising receives a 0.04% response rate.
Purchase Preference. A 2012 channel preference survey conducted by ExactTarget asked consumers if they’d ever made a purchase as a result of a marketing message they’d received. Surprisingly, direct mail outperformed digital channels among 15-17 year olds. Among 18-34 year olds, direct mail outperformed all digital media except email. And among consumers 35+, direct mail was the top marketing channel.
ROI. According to the DMA, the average Return on Investment for direct mail is a little over $12 for every $1 invested (Lifetime Value). That’s an ROI of over 1200%.
And yet, businesses surveyed have made websites, email, social media, SEO, paid search, mobile and online display a bigger priority than direct mail.
But if companies don’t get it, consumers do. A 2012 study by the USPS revealed that 60% of consumers would prefer to get offers by mail than any other form of advertising. And in the era of 1:1 marketing, a Compu-Mail study revealed that 70% of Americans believe postal mail is more personal than digital.
To be clear, digital is a valuable and game-changing marketing tool – one that must be part of any effective marketing mix. But direct mail still rules the direct response jungle.