Does Old School Mail Still Work?

by Tricia Allenson


Mail just used to be mail, it was the stuff that came through a slot in your front door or that you picked up at the post office.  There was never any confusion as to what type of mail we were referring to. It was usually in an envelope or it was a flyer or maybe a catalog.

Now we need to distinguish between mail delivered to your door (direct mail) and the stuff you get on your computer (email). You probably get a lot more email than direct mail these days but it begs the question does direct mail still work?

We all get it, we often complain about it and yes it still works wonders.  Who would have ever thought we would be questioning the worth of direct mail? But here’s what you need to know.

The household response rate to direct mail is 5.1% compared to .6% for email and .4% for social media. Those decimals aren’t misplaced, direct mail is still king.

153.9 billion pieces of mail are processed and delivered each year in the US alone. The mail industry employs 7.5 million people.

Mailmen account for over half a million chiropractic appointments each year the week following the Yellow Pages delivery.

For every $167 spent on direct mail in the US, marketers sell $2095 in goods. That’s a lot of Reader’s Digest subscriptions.

Oversized envelopes get the best response followed by postcards.

Adding a person’s name and color in a direct mail piece can increase response rate by 135%.

Even better results are obtained combining direct mail with digital mail. Campaigns that use direct mail with at least 1 or more digital media experienced a 118% response rate over just using direct mail alone.

Okay, so there you have it, the straight goods on direct mail.  Its’ not going away any time soon, so keep a postal worker employed and don’t throw it away without looking at it. You might be missing a great deal.