6 Significant Statistics from the DMA on the Current State of Direct Mail

By eleventy marketing group

56.9% of total mail volume was direct mail in 2014—up from 39.9% in 1990.

Direct MailAfter countless “deaths” and “resurrections”, direct mail is still alive and kicking. For many businesses and nonprofit organizations, traditional mail remains an integral part of their marketing strategy. And that’s probably not going to change anytime soon.

While the total number of direct mail pieces sent out each year has steadily declined over the past decade, there’s still great marketing opportunity with direct mail. Especially as organizations continually learn to better create and target mailings to speak to the individual.

In today’s post, we’ll explore the current state of direct mail by looking at some interesting and eye-opening figures and findings from the 2015 DMA Statistical Fact Book.

About the 2015 DMA Statistical Fact Book

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) produces the Statistical Fact Book annually as a resource for marketers. 2015 marks the 37th edition of the Fact Book, which collections and presents data on mobile, social, direct mail, email, online, and other marketing channels. You can purchase the 2015 DMA Statistical Fact Book in the DMA Bookstore.

Six Fascinating Direct Mail Figures from the DMA Fact Book

Here are some figures on the usage and effectiveness of direct mail from the 2015 DMA Statistical Fact Book that we found interesting…

$46 billion was the amount U.S. organizations spent on direct mail in 2014—up from $44.8 billion in 2013

U.S. Direct Mail Marketing Spend

$9.3 billion is the estimated amount organizations will spend on data for direct mail in 2015, an increase over the previous two years

Total data spend for direct mail

19.1 is the average number of mail pieces a household receives per week (down from 24.7 in 2008)

Average number of mail pieces received per week

42% of recipients read or scan direct mail pieces

Treatment of Direct Mail

14.1% of individuals age 45-54 respond to direct mail pieces, making them the demographic most likely to respond

Response to direct mail piece by age

50.9% of recipients find postcards useful, making them the favored type of direct mail piece by consumers

Usefulness of direct mail pieces

A Few Key Takeaways to Keep in Mind Moving Forward

What can your organization learn from the figures on direct mail in the 2015 DMA Statistical Fact Book? A few things…

With the number of overall mail pieces households receive down, there is more opportunity for your piece to stand out among the clutter. The key is targeting and personalization, which will make your mail efforts both more affordable and more effective.

While it’s largely perceived that older generations respond to direct mail the best, the numbers tell a little bit of a different story. Most notable is the big jump in response to mail pieces by 18-21 olds (rising from 4.1% in 2012 to 12.4% in 2013).

Individuals are far more likely to respond to direct mail if it comes from a company where they were previously a customer. Mail is a great way to win back customers. That’s something you should definitely keep in mind as you construct your direct mail strategy moving forward.

Response to direct mail based on familiarity with organization