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BizReport : Email Marketing : June 15, 2012

Direct mail response rates 30 times better than email

The Direct Marketing Association's latest Response Rate Report reveals that direct mail response rates continue to outperform digital alternatives.

by Helen Leggatt

The DMA report is based on survey data from 481 online respondents along with display ad transactional data from Bizo and email data from Epsilon.

It found that, despite a drop in direct mail response rates they continue to be well above those for digital channels. Direct mail response rates were at 4.37% 10 years ago, but today they average 3.4%.

But still, direct mail response rates remain well above the 0.12% for email.

It's not at all surprising to learn from the survey that email and other digital channels produce by far the best return on investment.

The DMA in the UK is launching a campaign to showcase direct mail and boost investment in the channel. Called "the Real Deal", the print campaign focuses on the positive impact direct mail has on the economy and society.

"We are doing a lot of work to demonstrate the value of our industry to the economy and the sheer amount of employment in creates from mailing houses to printers, creative agencies and even post men," said DMA director of communication, Rachel Aldighieri. "We are seeing a bit of a decline from the mailing side of things particularly but those traditional mailing companies are really innovating."

Tags: direct mail, marketing campaign, online marketing, response rates, traditional marketing, UK, US

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  • Were these response rates for existing clients or prospects? Need to know more about the targets to see if there is an apples-to-apples comparison.

  • Kevin Lindsay

    I agree with Mike, integration is key.  Personalized URLs, or PURLs, are a good way to give your response rates a boost.  An example of a Personal URL would be: and when
    "Jim" visits his personal url, the website will usually be customized to
    him.  It also allows the marketer to track who is responding.  Learn
    more at:

  • Mike

    direct mail combined with email works best :-)



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