Direct Mail Products

Crunching the Numbers: Direct Mail Statistics

Direct mail statistics can help inform your marketing strategy when you’re looking at how it performs when competing with other channels.


Marketers today deal with many challenges, but maybe one of the biggest is proving to colleagues or clients that an investment in direct mail is worthwhile. Budgets are tight, so it can be a tough sell when stakeholders may be much more familiar with digital marketing. Including mail in your marketing plan counters myths and misinformation when it’s based on the right direct mail statistics.

Here are some direct mail statistics and findings from studies that make the case for this channel’s effectiveness in getting attention and driving good-to-great ROI.

Industry Size Statistics

Direct mail spending in the U.S. will reach $39.36 billion in 2023. 

According to the Winterberry Group 2023 survey, postage now represents 48.4% of expenditures, an increase that requires a rebalancing of spending across the channel.

Marketing Mail volume reached 67.1 billion pieces in 2022.

That’s a slight dip from 2021, according to USPS figures, and is out of a total of 127.3 billion pieces for the year.

Printers forecast direct mail annual growth of 3.8% to 5.2% over the next 3 years.

PRINTING United Alliance’s 2023 Commercial Printing Print Business Outlook expects that their capital investments will include spending for inkjet and mailing and fulfillment capabilities.

37% of marketers say omnichannel activation will be a core driver of direct mail purchasing decisions over the next year.

The 2023 Winterberry Group survey noted that enhanced targeting (36%) and personalization (34%) will also be top factors in direct mail investment.

Statistics by Demographic

75% of millennials say that personalized mail makes them feel special.

Surveys by USPS show that this generation – the 80 million Americans born between 1982 and 2002 – love receiving mail. This fits with their affection for other physical media, like vinyl records. In addition, 62% of respondents said they had visited a store in the past month based on information received in the mail.

71% of 40-55 year olds like direct mail for getting better deals.

SG360’s Future of Direct Mail 2023 survey notes that this preference is the highest of all cohorts, and that these consumers are also very responsive to TV/video ads and marketing emails.

63% of Gen Z consumers are more excited about receiving mail than a year ago.

According to RRD’s 2022 Macro Marketing Report, these consumers prefer direct mail, which they view as more personal, trustworthy, and likely to catch attention than email.

60% of 35-54 year olds expect their mail to be personalized in some way.

This is the highest of any consumer age group surveyed in Lob’s State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights 2023.

Direct Mail Response Rate Statistics

64% of consumers say direct mail has inspired them to take action.

Of that total, 65% of respondents in Lob’s State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights 2023 said that the offer or promotion was the biggest motivator driving direct mail response.

69% of marketers report response rates of greater than 3%.

Also in SG360’s Future of Direct Mail 2023 survey: 11% say they have greater than 7% response rates.

Direct mail has a 9% response rate (for house lists), and 5% for prospect lists.

Those are much higher response rates than for digital channels, according to marketers surveyed for the most recent ANA Response Report. Customers and donors like and trust direct mail compared to email or other messages that get lost in the clutter. Both figures have trended up in the last several years, mostly likely due to better target audience data.

Omnichannel Direct Mail Statistics

83% of marketers always or frequently include a digital call-to-action with a direct mail piece.

And according to Keypoint Intelligence’s 2023 Business Survey, of that total, respondents reported a 9% increase in their response rates for those direct mail campaigns.

67% of direct marketing leaders plan to use less email in the next 12 months.

In addition, the SG360 Future of Direct Mail 2023 survey shows that 48% plan to use less online paid ads in the future compared to the previous 12 months. Higher pricing, digital fatigue, and privacy regulations are among the factors cited in the decline.

64% of marketers currently integrate email with their direct mail marketing.

The NAPCO Research/SeQuel Direct Mail Survey 2022 also revealed that 54% also include paid social in their marketing strategy.

Cost Statistics

Companies spend $167/person on direct mail.

Although it’s an average, this direct mail statistic (from Small Business Trends) is important for several reasons. First, it shows confidence in the ability of direct mail to reach the desired audiences. Second, for companies that focus on campaign analytics, they have a benchmark to optimize their campaigns and achieve better ROI as well as long-term customer value.

64% of direct mail companies use at least one USPS promotion.

Lack of mail provider support, according to SG360’s Future of Direct Mail 2023 survey, accounts for not participating in the postage savings programs.

Return on Investment (ROI) Statistics

74% of marketers say direct mail delivers the best response rate, conversion, and ROI.

Lob’s State of Direct Mail Report for 2023 noted that this statistic was up from 67% in 2022.

50% of marketers who use an automated direct mail platform can accurately measure the ROI of their campaigns.

The Lob survey also shows that 46% of marketers are able to determine the ROI of their direct marketing campaigns by measuring customer activity.

Direct Mail Lifespan Statistics

71% of consumers read their direct mail on the same day they receive it.

For audiences 55+, that rises to 78% according to Lob’s State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights 2023 report.

Consumers keep direct mail for 17 days on average.

Wherever they put it – a desk, fridge, or drawer – people tend to set mail aside for further consideration or review for several days. The staying power of a physical mail piece dwarfs the average consumer’s experience with an email, text, or other digital message that vanishes with a single tap.

80% of people share direct mail with their friends and family.

According to Lob’s State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights 2023 report, a mail piece is especially shareable when it includes separate coupons, free offers, and QR codes. Another bonus? These mailers can be tracked, and help attribute response.

Psychological Statistics

Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media. 

In a study by market research firm True Impact, direct mail messaging was found to be easier to understand and more memorable.

75% of study participants were able to recall brand names from a direct mail ad.

However, only 44% could recall details from a digital ad.

Direct Mail Postcard Statistics

Postcards are a very successful format in direct mail campaigns say 41% of marketers

That’s just behind folded self-mailers, the most recent ANA survey also reveals.

When mailed to house lists, postcards produce a 92% ROI. 

That’s a return comparable to email’s reported 93% ROI, as noted by the ANA.

Wrapping it up 

These stellar direct mail statistics demonstrate this channel is a very effective way to reach customers. Direct mail can deliver personalized and relevant messages, and build engagement like digital but also offer a singular tactile presence that the digital experience can’t match. And it enjoys a high response rate compared to those channels. But to achieve a good ROI, you’ll have to keep an eye on all your numbers: production costs, postage, and so many more.

How we can help

At, our data management and mailing services teams have decades of expertise in creating successful direct mail. Call or contact us – we’d love to help you put together a complete and cost-effective direct mail campaign to accomplish your goals quickly.

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