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.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: January 12, 2004

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