Direct Mail Marketing Response Rates

Are you looking to improve your direct mail marketing response rates? Is your current campaign experiencing fatigue? Are you looking for ways to improve your return on your investment on direct mail marketing spend? Today’s direct mail marketing campaigns are sophisticated, dynamic and remain the most effective & cost-effective way of reaching your target demographic.

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0 %

of Americans say they prefer to be contacted via physical mail

0 %

of Americans look forward to getting their mail every day

Did you know?

Direct mail marketing is a proven tactic to reach an audience, convert them into customers and retain them by building brand loyalty.

Let’s start by defining direct mail response rates and gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of direct mail as a marketing strategy to convert prospects into customers.

What Are Average Direct Mail Response Rates? Is Direct Mail an Effective Advertising Strategy for my Business?

What are average direct mail response rate? Direct Mail response rates vary from campaign to campaign and depend largely on three main factors.


(audience, demographics)


(perceived value)


(design, print quality, paper)

When these factors are covered comprehensively response rates for (national) average direct mail response rates are between 2.7% and 4.4%.

It is extremely important to note that 90% of direct mail gets “opened”, meaning it is touched by a consumer. Direct mail opens and responses are ten to thirty times higher than response rate averages from email marketing campaigns. Successful marketers are deploying both direct mail and digital tactics to reach consumers consistently and across all channels

So why does direct mail remain a tried-and-true advertising strategy for any business? Direct mail is the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with your customer. It instantly creates an intimate conversion with a lasting impression. Direct mail can be used to test and explore audiences. It is also a major driver to your digital channels with personalized URLs, specialized landing pages and QR codes that evoke an action.

Did you know?

Nearly 90% of millennials report they enjoy receiving direct mail in the mailbox.

84% percent of Gen Z have reported receiving physical mail with a QR code to interact with.

And 40% of those companies have a profitable ROI.


Compared to a solid email response which garners a 0.6% response rate, digital campaigns (not run in tandem with direct mail) like Facebook Ads and Google Ads vary from 1%– 5% response (conversion) rates.

What is the relevance of direct mail as a major marketing tactic?

Direct mail marketing is expected to grow $71.57 billion 2021 to $72.67 billion in 2022.

According to the Harvard Business Review there was a 49% increase in sales and a 125% increase in customer responses and inquiries when a company used both email and direct mail marketing.

According to Pew Research 49% of adults aged 18 to 29 have said they’ve tried to cut back on screen time since the pandemic, 27% of those 50-64 and 19% of those 65 and older have said the same. Making direct mail marketing an excellent choice to reach all demographics.

Direct mail marketing will remain an effective marketing strategy for the remainder of the decade (and beyond) for all marketers in a post-COVID world, as studies show that consumers are feeling fatigued from all the screen time.

Best Industries for Direct Mail Response

We know direct mail is an extremely effective tool and part of a healthy marketing mix, which industries benefit the most from direct mail marketing?


Healthcare companies can benefit greatly from direct mail marketing. Whether you are announcing a new facility or service, reminding them of an upcoming appointment or wishing a patient a happy birthday – successful direct mail is anchored on highly personalized messaging to provide the human touch. Direct mail marketing appeals to the haptic senses, igniting a deeper subconscious connection and is perceived as more personable than electronic mail. It’s perceived value drives direct mail marketing open response rates – averaging 66% (up to 90%) of direct mail is opened and read.

Credit Card Companies

Credit card users reached an all-time high in 2022, with credit cards being used for 28% of all payments. Credit card holders exceeded 196 million. Direct mail marketing response rates are significantly higher than email in this market and print pieces can include everything from the physical credit card form to the legal disclaimers to a time-sensitive offer. Effective offers and tactile elements such as providing a “pre-approved” card in the mailer that the user can instantly activate can quickly convert prospects while measuring the validity of an offer. American Litho works with major brands to deliver incredible results with credit card and loyalty programs.

Automotive Vehicle Warranty

If you are trying to reach customers about their vehicle warranty direct mail marketing is an excellent choice. Direct mail reminds consumers that their manufacturer’s warranty is expiring and the time-sensitive offers that are waiting for them. Direct mail marketing allows marketers to tailor their messaging to a specific targeted audience. Car owners and vehicles vary greatly across income brackets, age, location, date of vehicle purchase, used or new car, number of children in a household and geographic indicators like climate. With direct mail you can tailor highly personalized messaging and offers, micro-targeting based on each specific consumer.

Banking and Financial

Direct mail marketing is particularly effective in reaching millennials and seniors looking for banking options and financial services. One major factor with Millennials is that they enjoy receiving mail (the most of any generation) and spend the most time reading the mail. That gives marketers the opportunity to make a more substantial pitch. They also score highly on the ability to quickly filter out non-relevant digital ads. Seniors skew toward direct mail with one-third of seniors say they never use the internet (according to Pew Research). Further in a Financial Literacy Survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and Discover Financial Services, 75% of U.S. adults ages 55 to 64 and 68% of those 65 or older said they could benefit from advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional. Direct mail marking is the ideal choice for reaching this demographic searching for banking and financial advice.


When selling insurance direct mail marketing has proven to be an effective medium for attracting and converting customers. The Insurance industry has a wide range of customers with specific needs. Direct mail marketing allows your business to target customers based on wide variety of demographics like age, geographic location, income and many more.

American Litho serves many industries across all verticals, the example companies listed above are a small sample of who we serve. We know that any business can benefit from well executed direct mail. The numbers support the spend with the average return on investment for direct mail marketing at $4.09 for every $1.27 spent according to Global News Wire. A solid ROI and the flexibility to target specific demographics makes direct mail a smart choice in an overall marketing plan.

At American Litho, we not only print your direct marketing materials, but we can help you optimize your marketing campaign strategy

Improving Your Direct Mail Marketing Response Rates​​

Know Your Audience

Who are your consumers? What generation are they in? Which parts of your audience are the most likely to spend? Segmenting and optimizing your mailing list will allow you to send targeted campaigns based with tailored data specific to your demographic within your campaign for greater success. Ask American Litho about our predictive modeling list service and how we can uncover new prospective audiences for your brand.

Make it Personal

Highly personalized direct mail stays in consumers hands the longest and has the highest perceived value. Targeted direct mail response rates are always higher than general direct mail campaigns because of the personalization to the individual consumer. Address your target audience by their first name and tailor content to their specific needs. Understand the importance of relating to the customer with imagery and design that aligns with which generation are they in. Nuanced specifics like are they a homeowner or a renter? Let them know you are here to fix a problem for your audience or address a pain point.

Send Pleasing and
Useful Material

Send your target audience content that is easy to read and pleasantly laid out is key (remember List/Offer/Creative). Material that addresses a need or pain point are most effective. Keep it simple is the best advice. Most mail is in the recipients’ hands for second or two. Materials that are simple, with a clean design and are easy to understand rank positively.

Utilize Other Tools

Coupons, codes, or QR codes allow your target audience to engage further with your brand and addresses the needs of the detailed oriented customer by providing more information about the offer and your business. Remember that tactile marketing materials allow you to combine tactics to reach a higher conversion rate.

These steps can improve your direct mail marketing response and here at American Litho we can help you reach your marketing goals

Greatest ROI of any marketing channel Response Rates, Direct Mail Conversion Rates and Return on Spend Tracking​

While direct mail marketing response rates are good, we obviously want to seek out direct mail conversion rates. How does direct mail marketing stack up when it comes to conversion rates? Well, as we learned earlier the ROI in direct mail marketing is greatest of any marketing channel and, when combined with internet marketing, direct mail marketing can lead to a significant increase in sales.

There are different tools you can deploy when working on your conversion rates. QR Codes, coupons, and special online offers are a great way to get a consumer on your website and in front of more information. Using these online tools also allows you to track your conversion rate in a far more effective way.

American Litho has a proprietary suite of digital tools we call Amerilytics, which we use to gain insights about your audience, find high intent customers, create trigger marketing programs and to measure & track results of your direct mail and digital marketing campaigns across all channels.

Calculating Return on Investment from Direct Mail Campaign

It is extremely important to consider the return on investment from direct mail marketing. Calculating this stops you from spending unnecessary money and time. The rule of thumb for ROI calculating is to subtract the initial cost from the final value, dividing this new number by the cost of investment, then multiplying this new number by 100.

If you are monitoring your own campaigns, tracking how well your online tools are engaged is a good way to measure return on investment. Tangible actionable items like QR codes, coupons, and welcome deals are all excellent tools to monitor response, measure conversions and to calculate ROI.

How can American Litho help you stay on top of calculating return on investment? Each campaign has different goals, American Litho has a number of tools that we use to help customers calculate return on investment. From Total Cost Per Piece where we analyze every financial aspect of your mailing to Cost Per Customer Acquisition where we provide key response data on the cost and lifetime value of a customer. We can help set up the right performance indicators and provide real-time data for your campaigns.

These steps can improve your direct mail marketing response and here at American Litho we can help you reach your marketing goals

Direct Mail Works with Digital Marketing

We’ve discussed how direct mail marketing can be more efficient than internet marketing, now let’s explore how direct mail marketing and digital marketing can work together to drive a greater response.

Studies show that customers spend up to 25% more when businesses combine email and personalized direct mail in a marketing campaign and a recent Boinet study found that a personalized URL can increase response rates as high as 3X.

One effective tactic to consider when pairing digital with direct mail is a drip campaign. Drip campaigns are a series of emails that are triggered automatically according to how a customer engages with your marketing material. These emails allow you to home in on what exactly the customer is looking for. Measuring the reaction to email will help inform the list, offer and creative effectiveness of a direct mail piece. Your campaign is optimized using digital and direct mail in tandem to gain important customer insights. Further, addressing a specific pain point with a corresponding offer will result in a higher conversion rate and ultimately drive return on investment.

Planning an Effective Direct Mail Campaign​

Planning an effective direct mail campaign is a multifaceted endeavor, which starts and ends with how well you defined your audience. Evaluate your campaign on its creative design, relevance of the offer and timing of delivery.

Here are several audiences related factors to consider.

At American Litho, we not only print your direct marketing materials, but we can help you optimize your marketing campaign strategy.

American Litho is here provide input on all aspects of your next direct mail campaign from list building, targeting, segmentation, format design, data relevance, mail stream placement and trigger marketing, tracking and more

Direct Mail Difference: Direct Mail is Not Considered Invasive. Direct Mail Response Rates can be higher than other types of Marketing Strategies.

How often do you open your email inbox and sigh at the sheer volume of messages that are from brands that you don’t engage with? Conversely, how often do you open your mailbox are instantly delighted by mail from an old friend? Direct mail is positioned to be more like the old friend stopping by for a visit, bringing relevant news into your home. It’s a one-to-one conversation regarding important information about your vehicle warranty, the best place to bank, a coupon for the new dental office, a low interest credit card or an internet-based business, selling a product that you cannot live without.

Direct mail marketing makes taking action as a consumer extremely easy. A customer with a coupon in hand is far more likely to use it compared to cold opening emails which can be scary, problematic and annoying. Consider an integrated campaign and ask us about a process we call “priming the mailbox”. A healthy marketing mix should include consideration for targeted emails, based on the interests of your audience, that trigger a direct mail response – combining digital with direct.

If you are you ready to take your direct mail marketing to the next level with the potential to increase your direct mail marketing response rates and increase sales, American Litho is ready to explore all the possibilities to help you achieve your marketing goals.

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