Success by the Numbers:
Comparing Your Package Results to Typical Industry-Wide Direct-Mail Response Rates

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) recently published a comprehensive study that provided direct-marketing response rates for 2003. They looked at 12 different media, including direct mail, telephone sales, dimensional mail (which includes three-dimensional mailings, videotapes, audiotapes, diskettes, and promotional items), catalogs, and e-mails. The medium with the highest overall average response rate (regardless of the campaign objective) was the telephone (7.44%). Dimensional mail (3.88%) had the second highest overall response rate, and direct mail came in third at 2.55%.

Let's look more closely at the direct-mail stats. When the objective of the marketing campaign was to solicit and close the sale, direct mail produced average and high response rates of 1.61% and 8.88%, respectively. However, when the objective of the campaign was to generate leads, direct mail produced average and high response rates of 2.56% and 15.00%, respectively.

Once one of your promotions is complete, gauge its results against the DMA's benchmarks to see if it came in above or below these standards.

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Published: January 12, 2004

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