Those who know me understand I’m rarely at a loss for words, but after reviewing the direct mail response rates cited in the recently released 2018 DMA Response Rate Report I was left a little speechless.
Even though we’ve historically seen direct mail lead the pack when it comes to response rates, the numbers were staggering. So staggering in fact, I was reminded of the small type on Jenny Craig ads that reads, “Results not typical.”
According to the 2018 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail response rates come in at 9% to a house list and 5% to a prospect list. The 2017 report showed a response rate of 5.1% to a house list and 2.9% to a prospect list, and the average between 2003 and 2015 was 3.6% to a house list and 1.6% to a prospect list. It also runs laps around any other channel, even if you combined the response rates of all of them. For comparison, email has a 1% response rate to a house list and 1% to a prospect list. Social media and paid search achieved a 1% response rate, followed by online display at 0.30%. However, the survey does make it clear that the sample size for these results was small. We feel compelled to add, “and not typical.”