Studies Show Direct Mail Healthier than Expected
An even better sign of the times?
As measured by the same study above, ALL formats are getting read more, strangely, perhaps in part because mailboxes are less crowded and people prefer the less frantic pace of mail-reading over the technological assault through email, mobile and social media. Letter-size envelopes went up a few points, with 33.4 percent of household prospects reading them; oversize envelopes snagged 39.2 percent, a 10 percent rise.
We're still a majority.
Direct mail represents 52 percent of total mail volume in U.S., the third straight year of being over half of all efforts in the mail. Before 2007, when people used to send letters to each other (I know, dinosaur days), direct mail never accounted for more than 50 percent of total mail volume.
More people actually respond when a courtesy-reply envelope rather than a business-reply envelope is provided. Split into credit card, department store, mail order and publisher merchants, courtesy-reply envelopes got far better "intended response rates." In 2008, department stores got a 15.3 percent response rate for BREs but a stunning 35.3 percent for CREs! In the same year, publishers registered 22.4 percent response rate for CREs compared to a 11.8 percent for BREs.
Email marketers, jealous much? (Kidding.)
Get ready to have jaw hit floor: 79 percent of households either read or scan advertising mail sent to their household. Within that 79 percent, 49 percent are the readers and 30 percent the scanners. Not too shabby.
What mail gets the most respect from the American households?
The federal government, of course. The same study as above revealed that 62.6 percent of household prospects "read immediately" mail from the federal government. The loser? Financial services, of which only 32.7 percent of household prospects read immediately. Merchants? Over half, at 51.1 percent. Social, charitable or political clock in at 42.8 percent. Services garnered 37.6 percent.