Direct Mail Marketing Predictions for 2016

Direct mail is not dead, far from it. With the growth in technology and personalization, direct mail has become an even more powerful player for your ROI. But 2016 will bring tightened direct mail budgets, since marketers need to spread their money farther and farther. Because of that, serious considerations need to be made with direct mail.

The first, of course, is how to improve your ROI. So far the only postage increases announced have been for packages, but we will need to be on the lookout for possible changes in late spring 2016. If postage rates remain the same, that can help to increase your ROI. The post office will also be finishing consolidation which may increase delivery times like we saw last spring. So timing will need to be considered as well.

Here are my five predictions for 2016, so can you continue to grow your direct mail marketing ROI.

  1. Personalized: We will see an increase in customers expecting direct mail that is relevant to them. Offers based on what they want and need are going to be the key to your success. The mail boxes are no longer full of junk, but useful offers they can take advantage of.
  2. Integration: When integrating other channels with direct mail, you create more engaging content and leave a better impression on customers and prospects. The longer you can keep their attention, the greater chance you have to capture the sale. There are many cost effective options you can use to integrate from mobile and email to online content.
  3. Multilayered: 2016 will bring more multilayered direct mail campaigns. The staggering of different pieces going at selected intervals continually. Since, as we know, direct mail is more effective the more often someone gets your offer, this will help increase your ROI.
  4. Enhance your database: Constantly adding information into your database is very important. The more you know about each customer the better able to you are to target them. If you are just starting out and need a little help, you can profile your customer database to find out more information about them. Ask your mail service provider how.
  5. Multiple response devices: The more options you have for people to respond to your offer, the better response you are going to get. So for 2016, add in a new response method. That can be a wide range from QR Codes to texting a response code. Find what you think your customers/prospects are most interested in and try it out.

Consumers are smarter and expect more from companies now. They feel powerful and in the driver’s seat of their experiences with you. In order to compete, you will need to meet or exceed those expectations. Your brand needs to be approachable and knowledgeable about each person. The more information you have in your database about each person the better you can target your messages and offers.

Direct mail can be a very creative way to reach people who are interested in your product or service. Think of all the fun ways you can go beyond imagery to engage people. Having fun with your creativity can be a real boost to your ROI. Make sure you consult with your mail service provider about the design of your piece to make sure that you are not creating a postal problem, which will cost you a lot of money. Let’s make 2016 the best year ever for direct mail marketing!

Originally posted: Jan 14, 2016

Summer Gould

Author's page

A blog about Direct Mail Marketing, tips, tricks and what not to do.

Summer Gould is President of Eye/Comm Inc. Summer has spent her 23 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as a board member for Mailing Systems Management Association of San Diego. She is also a committee member for Visionaries in Philanthropy which benefits San Diego Meals on Wheels.

10 Mind-Blowing Direct Mail Statistics

With the growth of email and the popularity of social media, many marketers are rushing to declare direct mail dead. If you suspect that they’re wrong, you’re not alone. Studies confirm and statistics back up the fact that direct mail is the unsung hero of marketing channels.

Here are some stats that prove direct mail is still alive and profitable.

  1. Being personal is still supremely important in marketing. A staggering 70% of Americans say snail mail is more personal than the Internet, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
  2. Not everyone sorts their mail over a waste basket. About 56% of Americans say receiving mail is a real pleasure, according to DMA research.
  3. Direct mail is also an effective way to woo new customers. 39% of customers try a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising (DMA)
  4. You might be surprised to learn that as many as half of US consumers prefer direct mail over email, according to an Epsilon study.
  5. According to a USPS study, over 60% of direct mail recipients were influenced to visit promoted website – with the greatest influence on first-time shoppers.
  6. Emails are easily ignored. On the other hand, many people actually open envelopes. 70% to 80% of consumers polled by the DMA in 2014 say they open most of their mail, including what they label “junk.”
  7. Direct mail compels action. The USPS found that 23% of direct mail recipients visited the sender's store location.
  8. The USPS study reveals that direct mail recipients purchased 28% more items and spent 28% more than non-direct mail recipients. 
  9. Almost 60% of online shoppers enjoy receiving catalogs, according to the USPS. Score one for creative departments everywhere.
  10. Take nothing for granted. Just because young people dominate the digital sphere doesn't mean they have no interest in good ol' snail mail. Another study found that a whopping 92% of young shoppers say that they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions.

3 Key Takeaways:

  • Despite the proliferation of digital channels, direct mail is still a stronghold. In fact, it’s hard to think of a product or service that couldn’t be promoted through strategic direct mail marketing.
  • Your direct mail and digital marketing efforts should not be separate and unrelated. We’ve found that the most successful marketing campaigns blend multiple approaches.
  • Granted, competing with obnoxious "junk mail" can seem daunting. But a well-crafted direct mail piece, combined with other powerful tools, will stand out, get noticed and build engagement with consumers of all ages.

Posted by Henry Adaso | Jul 16, 2015

15 for ’15: More Direct Mail Statistics

We’ve rounded up fifteen new stats to build on our earlier post, 25 Direct Marketing Statistics Prove Direct Mail Works. If you’re keen on knowing more about how direct mail gets results, check these out.

It’s Not Going Anywhere.

  1. Direct mail spending grew 2.7% in 2014, exceeding estimates!1 Tweet this.
  2. 82% of marketers expect their direct mail usage to grow or stay the same in the coming year.2 Tweet this.

People Love It, Especially When It’s Personal.

  1. Almost two times as many US adults react positively to receiving mail than negatively.3 
  2. 55% look forward to getting their mail.4 
  3. 67% feel that physical mail is more personal than electronic.4
  4. 78% of CMOs think that custom content is the future of marketing.5 
  5. But be careful, 50% of consumers report thinking poorly of brands who get their name wrong when marketing to them.6 

It Gets Response…

  1. At 3.7% for a house file, direct mail yields a remarkable median response rate in comparison to the majority of marketing channels. Last year, direct mail’s median response rate was 8.8% higher than in 2012.2 
  2. Overall, oversized envelopes have the best response rate, at 5.0% for a house file.2 
  3. For B2C mailings, catalogs rank the best, with a response rate of 13.8% for house lists. Postcards also perform well with house lists, serving up a cost per response of $14, the lowest among mail formats.2 
  4. Cost per acquisition (CPA) for direct mail, at $19, ranks well with other channels and remains highly competitive.2 

…and Holds Its Own in a Digital World.

  1. Direct mail outperforms all digital channels by nearly 700% in terms of response rates.2 
  2. Direct Mail yields a CPR that is less than half that of Internet ads.2 
  3. Direct mail’s strong ROI of 15-17% is one of the highest reported and outranks those of most digital channels.2 
  4. Direct mail’s overall prospect file response rates were 10 times that of email, which came in at just 0.1 percent.2 

Originally posted on September 18, 2015 by Karen Renzi

Research curated by Robert Blakelock, Compu-Mail

Robert Blakelock is an intern at Compu-Mail. He is currently a student at Lewiston-Porter High School and is enrolled in the Academy of International Business and Finance. His high school curriculum has included several AP and honors level courses as well. Rob plans on studying Business and Psychology in college.


  1. The Winterberry Group “Annual Outlook: What to Expect in Direct and Digital Marketing in 2015” (
  2. 2015 DMA Response Rate Report. (Some charts here:
  3. Gallup, 2015. (
  4. USPS, The Mail Moment Study, 2005. (
  5. Hanley-Wood Business Media via Salesforce. (
  6. Emailvision “Survey Reveals Bombarding Consumers with Marketing Results in Brand Resentment,” 2013. (

25 Direct Marketing Statistics Prove Direct Mail Works

With the rise of email and social media, many leap to declare print and direct mail “dead.” But don’t let them fool you! These 25 Direct Marketing Statistics prove that direct mail is still alive and well, and is above all a profitable and worthy component of your integrated marketing strategy. (Want more stats? We’ve added new direct mail stats for 2015 here.)


  1. Direct mail continues to be used heavily, with a 43% share of total local retail advertising.1 
  2. Young adults, 24 years and younger, are among the most direct mail responsive.2 
  3. 92% of young shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions.3 
  4. An International Communications Research survey found that 73% of consumers actually prefer mail over other advertising methods.4
  5. 59% of U.S. respondents and 65% of Canadian respondents agreed with the following statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”5 
  6. 56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing.6 

The Bottom Line – People love to get mail! That’s right, tangible mail in their mailboxes. Even younger generations, those constantly seen on social media and email sites, like and prefer classic direct mail. Give the people what they want, and receive the benefits of this popular medium.


  1. 70% of Americans say mail is more personal than the internet.7 
  2. A survey of over 1,000 large businesses, across 10 different vertical industries, found that more than 60% of respondents’ campaigns were personalized or segmented.8 
  3. Personalized print media has a more powerful presence than a personalized email, because the audience can recognize that it takes more effort to customize print media than digital.4 

The Bottom Line – Get personal! By customizing your print advertisements, your customers will connect with you on a personal basis, creating a close customer-business relationship. 

Direct Marketing and Digital Integration

  1. Nowadays, QR codes and NFC technology make it possible for your print media to directly connect customers to your website.4 
  2. 76% of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of both print and digital communication.9 

Response Rates

  1. 40% of consumers try new businesses after receiving direct mail.4 
  2. Some marketers, such as retailers, are seeing dramatically higher response to their direct mail than in the 1980s.2 
  3. U.S. advertisers spend $167 per person on direct mail to earn $2,095 worth of goods sold; a 1,300% return.10 
  4. DMA states that on average, direct mail advertising gives a business a 13 to 1 return on investment.7 

The Bottom Line – Direct mail pays off! Printing and mailing may seem a more costly form of marketing compared to new email and social media techniques, but the Return on Investment (ROI) of this tried and true strategy is impossible to ignore.

Head of Household

  1. 90% determine which mail is kept for review.11 
  2. 81% review financial documents.11 
  3. 84% are the principal grocery shoppers.11 
  4. The study also found that mail is placed where it’s seen and used and that it moves from room to room, allowing consumers to read it at their convenience.11 

The Bottom Line – Mail reaches decision makers! Its tangible nature allows the head of the household to view it, and, if desired, to then pass it on to the rest of the house where it can be viewed by more people and decision-makers.

Mail Time

  1. 98% of consumers bring in their mail the day it’s delivered.11 
  2. Of these, 72% bring it in as soon as possible.11 
  3. 77% sort through their mail immediately.11 
  4. Consumers spend an average of 30 minutes reading their mail on any given occasion.11 
  5. They spend 45 minutes with magazines, 30 minutes with catalogs and 25 minutes with direct mail.11 
  6. 48% of people retain direct mail for future reference.3 

The Bottom Line – Mail Time is an important time! People enjoy going to the mailbox and reading their mail. By using direct mail marketing as a part of your marketing campaign, you are almost guaranteeing that your message will be read, and read quickly.

Originally Posted on July 17, 2014 by Compu-Mail

Research curated by Brenna Donovan, Compu-Mail

Brenna Donovan is an intern at Compu-Mail. She is currently a student at Lewiston-Porter High School and is enrolled in the Academy of International Business and Finance. Her high school curriculum has included several AP and honors level courses as well. Brenna plans on studying environmental engineering in college, starting in the fall of 2015.