DMA Releases New Direct Marketing Response Data

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June 18, 2010

The Direct Marketing Association released their annual Response Rate Trend Report this week, including some interesting findings about direct mail, email, paid search ads, Internet display ads, and telemarketing:

  • “Response rates for Direct Mail have held steady over the past four years. Letter-sized envelopes, for instance, had a response rate this year of 3.42 percentfor a house list and 1.38 percent for a prospect list.”
  • Response rates for B-to-B campaigns were generally higherthan for B-to-C campaigns.  Lead generation and high-end average sale campaigns also had higher response rates.”
  • “Email to a house list averaged:
    • a 19.47 percent open rate
    • a 6.64 percent click-through rate
    • a 1.73 percent conversion rate
    • a bounce-back rate of 3.72 percent
    • an unsubscribe rate of 0.77 percent”
  • “Paid search had an average cost per click of $3.79, with a 3.81 percent conversion rate.The conversion rate (after click) of Internet display advertisements was slightly higher at 4.43 percent.”

Perhaps the most interesting stats involve the costs of producing a lead or sale via different marketing channels. Many companies and marketers focus more on the per-piece cost of the different channels, instead of the end game of actual sales, which may account for the flood of marketing emails in my inbox/spam filter.

According to the report: “Catalogs had the lowest cost per lead/order of $47.61, just ahead of inserts at $47.69, email at $53.85, and postcards $75.32.”

What kind of response and conversion rates are you experiencing? What marketing channels are performing best for you? Share your insights by clicking the comment button.

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