The latest response rate report from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reveals that direct mail remains the most effective channel, although it has declined 25 percent overall during the past nine years. Direct mail has an average response rate of 4.4 percent, compared with 0.12 percent for email, or up to 10 to 30 times that of email and even higher for online display, depending on how one crunches the numbers. For displays, only 6 percent converted as a result of the immediate action of the click, which means 94 percent of conversions happened at a later date.
Direct mail could be more effective now than ever because consumers are continually bombarded with digital messages they do not want. “Because of the proliferation of emails and the onslaught of display ads everywhere, there is an advantage of going through direct mail,” said Yory Wurmser, director of marketing and media insights at the DMA. “Direct mail in a way has become less cluttered.” In terms of ROI, email is the most cost-effective channel at $28.50, compared with $7 for direct mail. The DMA analyzed transactional data from Bizo and Epsilon, in addition to data collected through an April 2012 email survey.