03 April 2020 Other Voices

You've Got Mail: Direct mail maintains a powerful place in today’s marketing mix, says Kodak

In the age of digital marketing, we might be tempted to think direct mail is dead. Yet, as digital adoption, the proliferation of content, and the spread of personal devices increases with each passing day, it’s important to remind ourselves of the ongoing vibrancy, differentiation and value of print.

From a marketing perspective, print continues to break through the noise, resonating across the generational divide in a human compatible format, improving retention and helping to make brands more memorable.

And, as recent studies indicate, direct mail in particular retains a very powerful place in today’s marketing mix. While total mail volume has declined over the last decade, direct mail remains the most effective marketing channel for new customer acquisition and customer retention, offering response rates that are far superior to even the most successful online advertising.

Here are some other key takeaways that relate specifically to direct mail response. Letter sized direct mail performed best for lead generation with a 15.1% response rate.
The industries using direct mail the most were:
Travel/Hospitality 80%
Nonprofit 75%
Publishing/Media 71%
Financial Services/Banks/Credit 67%
Healthcare 63%
Only 50% of insurance respondents claimed to be using direct mail.

• The most popular methods of measuring response rates include online tracking (53%), code or coupon (45%), and call center or telephone (41%).
• Direct mail is the second most used medium (57%), tied with social media.
• Eighty-one percent of survey respondents plan to maintain or increase usage of direct mail in the next 12 months.
*Source: ANA/DMA Response Rate Report 2018

Why does direct mail deliver such high rates of return? There are a variety of factors, that include better data and more sophisticated modeling allowing today’s marketers to send more tailored offers. But some of the other reasons might surprise you. Find out more about how and why direct mail delivers such high rates of return at Kodak.

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Direct mail

Direct mail

In 2018, the direct mail response rate for house lists was 9%. This is the highest number for house lists since the report started in 2003, and is nearly double that from the previous year.

According to the report, prospect lists receive an average response rate of 5%. That represents a 194% increase since 2006.

Comparatively, email, paid search and social media offer a 1% return. (Source: ANA/DMA Response Rate Report 2018.)