30 Direct Mail Statistics Worth Knowing

Posted on  by Compu-Mail

It’s that time of year again! Once again, we’ve pulled together a brand new list of direct mail stats to show why direct mail is still the best medium for cutting through the clutter and getting your marketing message directly in the hands of your customers.

Direct Mail Still Gets the Best Response

  1. Direct mail household response rate is 5.1% (compared to .6% email, .6% paid search, .2% online display, .4% social media). This is the highest response rate the DMA has ever reported, since coming out with the Response Rate Report in 2003.1
  2. Direct mail median household return on investment is 29% (compared to 124% email, 23% paid search, 16% online display, 30% social media).1
  3. At 6.6%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household response rates over other mediums (followed by postcards at 5.7% and letter-sized envelopes at 4.3%).1
  4. At 37%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household return on investment over other mediums (followed by postcards and letter-sized envelopes at 29%).1
  5. The response rate for direct mail among people aged 18-21 years old is 12.4%.1
  6. The top response rate tracking methods are online tracking such as PURLs (61%), call center or telephone (53%), and code or coupon (42%).1
  7. For every $167 spent of direct mail in the US, marketers sell $2095 in goods.2

The Bottom Line – Direct mail has the greatest impact because it offers a tangible experience for the customer. Oversized pieces stand out the most.

Personalization Boosts the Response Even Further

  1. Adding a person’s name and full color in the direct mail can increase response by 135%.3
  2. Adding a person’s name, full color and more sophisticated database information can increase the response rate by up to 500% vs not doing any of these things.3
  3. Targeting customers on a 1:1 level increases response rates up to 50% or more.4

The Bottom Line – People are even more likely to respond to a marketing message when it feels like it was written just for them.

Click here to see how to use data to power up your customer acquisition

It’s a Multi-Channel World Out There

  1. The average person receives more than 2900 marketing messages a day.5
  2. It can take up to 18-20 touchpoints to reach a customer for the first time.6
  3. The average number of mediums used by marketers is 3.4% (up from 2.7% in last year’s study).1
  4. Only 11% of marketers are just using one medium.1
  5. Single media users are most likely to use email (54%) or direct mail (22%).1

The Bottom Line – Your customers are on multiple platforms. Are your messages clear and consistent across all of them?

Direct Mail and Digital Work Together

  1. 90% visit website first before calling.7
  2. 96% leave without making a purchase.8
  3. Direct mail with digital ads yield 28% higher conversion rate.9
  4. Marketing campaigns that used direct mail and 1 or more digital media experienced 118% lift in response rate compared to using direct mail only.10
  5. Website visitors who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert.11
  6. 26% of customers will return to a site through retargeting.12

The Bottom Line – Direct mail response rate can be difficult to track, because not everyone calls in right away. Most customers head straight to the web to learn more about the product online, rather than calling to speak to a sales representative about the product directly.

It’s Easier to Nurture Existing Interest than Create New Interest

  1. It is 10X harder to create new interest than nurture existing interest.13
  2. It can cost as much as 5-12X more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing customer.13
  3. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, vs. the probability to sell to a new customer at 5-20%.13
  4. A 5% increase in retention yields profit increases of 25-95%.14
  5. The average response rate for direct mail pieces sent to former customers of a given brand is 18.4 percent.15
  6. The household cost per acquisition for direct mail is $26.40 (compared to $10.32 email, $20.32 social media, $16.22 paid search, $24.75 internet display).1

The Bottom Line – Use direct mail to nurture existing interest, keeping current customers and prospects engaged and delighted. While the cost per acquisition is higher for direct mail, average response rate and median return on investment is competitive enough to make up the difference.

Success is in the Data

  1. 40% of a direct marketing campaign’s success is in the data.16
  2. In general, purchased lists have a margin of error as high as 20-30% for various reasons (people move, change jobs, get married/divorced).
  3. 73% of firms aspire to be data-driven but only 29% of firms succeed at turning data into action.17

The Bottom Line – It’s critical to keep an accurate, updated customer database list.
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  1. DMA Response Rate Report https://thedma.org/
  2. Print Is Big http://www.printisbig.com/
  3. Canon Solutions America https://csa.canon.com/
  4. Data & Marketing Association https://thedma.org/
  5. FireSnap https://www.firesnap.net/blog/why-inbound-marketing-has-become-so-popular
  6. How to Kickstart Your Next Omnichannel Marketing Campaign https://compu-mail.com/blog/2017/03/06/kickstart-omnichannel-marketing-campaign/
  7. How to Transform Your Website Into a Marketing Powerhouse for a Mobile World http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ernesto-sosa/how-to-transform-your-website-into-a-marketing-powerhouse-for-a-mobile-world_b_9141792.html
  8. Google Analytics https://analytics.google.com/
  9. Non Profit Pro http://www.nonprofitpro.com/article/doctors-without-borders-uses-remarketing-retargeting-extend-reach/all/
  10. Merkle https://www.merkleinc.com/
  11. Criteo http://www.criteo.com/
  12. Retargeting: The 10 Stats you Probably Didnt Know http://blog.wishpond.com/post/85825723836/retargeting-the-10-stats-you-probably-didnt-know
  13. Invesp https://www.invespcro.com/
  14. Small Business Trends https://smallbiztrends.com/
  15. USPS Household Diary Study https://www.usps.com/
  16. Above the Fold Magazine http://www.abovethefoldmag.com/?q=article/40-40-20-rule-marketing
  17. Forrester Global State Of Strategic Planning https://go.forrester.com/

Data Driven V. Predictive Marketing: BEWARE JETSON’S MARKETING!

The Big Willowby: Charlie Tarzian

My son came to me one day in early December and said:  ‘Hey, Dad, let’s get Mom one of those robotic vacuum cleaners.  You know, the ones you switch on and they vacuum your whole floor!’  He could not contain his enthusiasm – this was going to be great – no one would have to vacuum our floors ever again!!!

So we went to Amazon (of course) and two days later our round disc of a maid showed up via FEDEX.

Come Christmas Day, the robot fully charged, off we went to the kitchen to marvel at what was certain to be a life changing event.  We turned it on and put it down on the floor and the vacuum swung into action.  It crossed the floor, sensed it was coming to a wall, made a pivot, chugged in another direction…and got stuck on the slight incline by the fireplace…then stuck again on the floor mat by the stove…then got caught between a chair and a table and went into a break dance that would make R2D2 jealous.

I bring this up because a colleague sent me this little snippet from the website of a Predictive Marketing vendor:

“Predictive Marketing doesn’t need to be a services heavy engagement to get you up and running. With CompanyX (name of company withheld) and our push button integration, we can integrate with your existing systems and build your predictive model in under a day. – See more at: http://www.companyx.com/what-we-offer/#sthash.vBzkU18n.dpuf

There you have it: Jetson’s Marketing – just push our one little button and off you go:  great leads, great meetings, great website experiences – in fact all your marketing/sales problems solved in ‘under a day’.  All that is left to do is fire your staff, except for that one person in charge of pushing the button when you run out of leads, meetings and website visitors.

Look, I know what I don’t know, but I can tell you this: whatever you’re thinking the new generation of transformative marketing is – one thing it isn’t is automated bliss.  It takes a fair sized village to make things happen.  And herein lies the huge disconnect between data driven marketers and the shiny new object called Predictive Marketing.  Data driven marketers know that data can and should be utilized across the marketing/sales continuum – but it is more about data orchestration than anything else.  Therefore, one button, add water and stir does not take into consideration any of the cause and effect across all the communications and transactive channels that marketers rely on.

Marketing is services heavy (sorry, Company X) because at the nexus of MarTech, AdTech and Sales Enablement sits quite a bit of cause and effect.  And unless you aspire and build towards using predictive data to positively impact all channels aligning as one – then what you are predicting is a very small sliver of what could be.  In other words, if the connectivity and synapsis among outward facing channels are not orchestrated and optimized using predictive data and you are not feeling good that all channels are working in sync – then how can you predict a scaled outcome?  The predictions you are making will reflect a small percentage of the whole – and so instead of widening your funnel and increasing your opportunities along every step in a buying journey, you are narrowing that funnel based on a flawed assumption that you are predicting against a full boat of reliable data.

On the other hand, Data Driven Marketing  sets up to be based on solving for the cause and effect of what is less than optimized (can anyone say, broken?)  It attempts to determine (not predict) what works and doesn’t and then – as a village – cohesively knits together a response to results that can be repeatable but certainly is not a just add water, one button pushed result.

So – are we starting to see a difference:  Predictive Marketing – a push button approach to a complicated set of executional events and response, or, Data Driven Marketing – a human driven (sorry robots!) approach to the cause and effect of humans communicating to other humans about things that may or may not be important to the recipient (we always hope for the former)?

What do you think?  We would love to know.  Have any stories to share – we would love to hear from you.

by: Charlie Tarzian, Founder, The Big Willow

CMO Council: Marketers are struggling with Customer Engagement – Thunderhead

imgresBlog summarizing the CMO Council new report on the good, the bad and the ugly of how marketers feel they are coping with improving customer engagement

Source: CMO Council: Marketers are struggling with Customer Engagement – Thunderhead

The Sales and Marketing Promance (technology not included)

Many businesses lack strong alignment between their sales and marketing organizations. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s important to understand the barriers that prevent alignment. Six common barriers include:

  1. Success in the sales and marketing departments is being measured differently.
  2. Sales and marketing have a different vision of the ideal target customer.
  3. Actionable customer insight sits in disconnected databases.
  4. There is a lack of view of customers and their buying preferences.
  5. Broken processes make it impossible to track what is working.
  6. The technology is too hard to use so that there is limited adoption.


These barriers lead to the disconnect and are making it difficult for organizations to make the most of their sales opportunities and go to market investments. As an example, companies are unable to provide the right offers to the right people, at the right time, because customer insights live in disparate locations and the company’s go-to-market strategies are uncoordinated and inefficient.

To address this disconnect, businesses are turning to applications and new technology to help build cohesive sales and marketing alliances. The common mistake businesses have been making in their rush to technology is that they forget to address their people and process challenges first.

The promises of the digital revolution and emerging technologies are often not in line with management’s expectations. Many mid to large sized companies have rushed to replace older systems that worked, to new and unproven cloud based technologies that are not living up to expectations. Many of these decisions were based on unrealistic, pie-in the sky, cloud in the sky promises (no pun intended) and the pain is just beginning to be felt by customers.

The reality is that many companies launched into cloud based technologies without a good business plan. So perhaps 2015 will be the year many companies awaken to a reality check.

The pendulum is about to swing in another direction. Brace yourselves.

Good times ahead.



LinkedIn Cheat Sheet | Improve your profile

Increasing your visibility and building your network LinkedIn may require a few tweaks to your profile…

From how to frame your LinkedIn profile photo, what words to avoid, and the ideal number of LinkedIn connections to have through to how you can get more recommendations, here is the cheat sheet that can help you build a profile that stands out…

3 Steps to Make Your Business Data Work for Everyone | by Marius Moscovici

b2c_fbOver the past decade, advances in cloud technologies and big data created room for more data scientists in business. At first, specialists seemed like the proper solution — give the best data scientists access, and let them tell the rest of us how to use it.

Unfortunately, funneling data through a few individuals creates over dependence on already overworked specialists and prevents the rest of the company from using the data as effectively as possible. The data scientists might be able to understand the data better than anyone else, but there will never be enough data scientists to go around.

Spread the Data Around

Asking data scientists to act as intermediaries between your other employees and needed information bottlenecks their creative exploration, and it makes average business users wait longer than necessary for answers. As data analytics spending increases, companies need to make the most of the information they already have.

Think of data as a buffet: If you let only three people eat from the buffet and give everyone else ham sandwiches, you’re not making the most of your resources. You want everyone to eat from the buffet — the food is more useful, a bigger variety is consumed, and everyone gets exactly what he needs.

Recommended for you:
Growth Marketing Tactics for 2016

In a perfect solution, users can access the data they need to be more efficient, while data scientists enjoy the freedom to address more complex functions. Following these three simple steps will help everyone in your business use data to its full potential.

1. Add a Push Intelligence Layer

Push intelligence uncovers anomalies in data and alerts users when necessary. If something in your company’s data is changing, you want the right employee to know what it is and what action to take without having to sift through complex piles of data to find out.

2. Educate Employees

The more information employees have to keep in mind when working, the more complex their jobs become. Your employees need to understand the importance of using data effectively and being part of a data-driven business.

3. Use the Right Tools

Look for vendors and tools that can help your business digest data and present it to the company in a shareable, understandable format. The best business intelligence software marries modern BI functions with social aspects to engage employees.

The more efficient your use of data, the better collaboration you will see among team members as everyone gets access to information in real time and makes educated decisions as a cohesive unit.

Your software needs to support everyone in your company, not just a small percentage of specialists.


 Written by: Marius Moscovici

Marius Moscovici is the founder and CEO of Metric Insights. He founded the company in 2010 to transform the way business intelligence is performed so organizations of any size can quickly and easily deploy powerful analytics. Marius has over 20 years of experience in analytics and data warehousing and was previously the co-founder and CEO of Integral Results, a leading business intelligence consulting company that was acquired by Idea Integration.


The Best BPM Platforms for Digital Business

In the last quarter of 2015, Forrester Research identified Pegasystems, Appian, and IBM as leading the field of suppliers of business process management platforms for today’s digital business.

This post focuses on the value that Pegasystems delivers to today that is transforming how their clients engage with their customers throughout each stage of engagement.

photoSource: Pega.com The complexity of today’s business makes it hard to truly know a person across marketing, sales and service. There are too many customers, too many permutations of what they need and too many obstacles. Your customer base has grown, and so has your need for more sophisticated technology that not only understands prospect and customer demands but also helps accomplish your business objectives. Initially, your systems did what you needed: track customers and help you market and sell to them. But as your enterprise acquires companies and systems, technology becomes a barrier to how you engage with customers — across departments, time zones and geographies. Complexity has also brought inflexibility, making it hard for systems to adapt to changing needs, changing markets and changing regulations. It also makes it difficult to train employees because they’re battling systems, not servicing customers..Click here to read more.

The 8 white boarding videos that follow will help you visualize the unique value that Pega is delivering value today to their clients customer engagement management initiatives around the customer experience…

Build for Change: Directly Capture Objectives (DCO)

With Pega 7, you capture the policies and procedures that define your business – including rules, data models, UIs, integrations, reports, and organizational structures – in the model. Pega 7 automates the code generation. As the requirements change, a change in the model equates to an immediate system change.

Build for Change: Situational Layer Cake

Situational Layer Cake™ (SLC) architecture enables organizations to differentiate, specialize, and reuse their business applications. Pilot projects can grow into enterprise transformation programs overnight. Instant reuse dramatically accelerates the time to value for organizations seeking to be more agile in response to changing market and regulatory demands.

Build for Change: Case Lifecycle Management™

When a business person starts explaining their needs for an enterprise, they don’t generally dive into process details. And they certainly don’t describe “transactions.” They think in terms of the case and its stages. Rather than drawing an end-to-end process, Pega 7 provides tools for business people to define the major steps of how work gets done – essentially building the skeleton on which you hang the more detailed process. You establish a business view of the data before debating the details.

Build for Change: Mashup

Traditional service or API-based architectures result in hard-coding the UX logic into each channel independently. Process changes must therefore be made in multiple places, making it impossible to deliver a consistent customer experience. By embedding the Pega UX directly into the mobile or web channels, all of the intelligence and capability of Pega 7’s Case Management is brought directly to the customer touchpoint.

Build For Change: Omni-Channel UX

Pega’s Omni-Channel UX delivers an optimized and consistent user experience in every channel. Learn more at http://www.pega.com/platform

Build For Change: Event Strategy Manager

Pega’s Event Strategy Manager gives you the tools you need to turn streams of customer data into valuable business decisions and actions. Learn more at http://www.pega.com/platform

Build for Change: Pega Live Data

Pega Live Data allows users to quickly and easily define the data required to build the apps they need, and then access that data in their running application – all without having to worry about how and where the data is actually stored and accessed.

Build for Change: Next Best Action

The real value from Big Data and analytics comes when every customer conversation delivers exactly the right message, the right offer, and the right level of service to both give the customer a great experience and maximize the customer’s value to the organization. With Pega’s Next Best Action, business experts develop decision strategies that combine predictive analytics,
adaptive analytics, traditional business rules.


The Forrester Wave™: BPM Platforms For Digital Business, Q4 2015

Key Takeaways: Pegasystems, IBM, and Appian lead the pack

Forrester’s research uncovered a market in which Pegasystems, Appian, and IBM continue to lead the pack. Software AG, Oracle, Newgen Software, OpenText, Bizagi, K2, and DST Systems offer competitive options. Red Hat and TIBCO Software lag behind. The BPM Platforms Market Is Growing As EA Pros Accelerate Digital Transformation The BPM platforms market is growing because more EA professionals see BPM as a way to address emerging challenges for customer experience and digital business. This market growth is, in large part, because EA pros increasingly trust BPM platform providers to act as strategic partners, helping them transform how they use technology to win, serve, and retain customers in the digital age. Differentiators Include Rapid Development, UX Design, And Case Management As legacy BPM technology becomes outdated and less effective, improved delivery speed and process flexibility will dictate which providers will lead the pack. Vendors that can provide fast ramp-up, flexible mobile experiences, and dynamic case management position themselves successfully to deliver speed and business agility to their customers.





12 Great Content Marketing Ideas in 12 Months | Inc.com

getty_109439748_78464Content marketing is an important part of any business, especially if you’re looking to drive traffic and sales through optimizing search engine traffic. So what better time than now to start the new year off by establishing a content calendar? At our business dashboard startup Dasheroo this is exactly what we’ve been working on, and even though this provides a great blueprint for what we’ll need to produce, it’s just the starting point.

Source: 12 Great Content Marketing Ideas in 12 Months | Inc.com

The Importance Of Asking Questions | Ogilvydo.com

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever” – Chinese proverb.

What’s the one thing that the world’s leading innovators share with children? They both learn through asking questions. It’s the simplest and most effective way of learning. Yet somehow we have forgotten this lesson as we get older. We just don’t value questioning as much as we should.

Not asking good or even enough questions has a direct impact on the quality of choices you make. Habituating the art of asking questions enables you to gain deep insight, develop more innovative solutions and to arrive at better decision-making.

Brilliant thinkers and scientists never stop asking questions. “Asking questions is the single most important habit for innovative thinkers,” says Paul Sloane, the UK’s top leadership speaker on innovation.

  • Newton: “Why does an apple fall from a tree but, why does the moon not fall into the Earth?”
  • Darwin: “Why do the Galapagos Islands have so many species not found elsewhere?”
  • Einstein: “What would the universe look like if I rode through it on a beam of light?”

Asking these kinds of basic questions started the process that led to their great breakthroughs. And asking questions is as relevant today. Only by constantly asking why can you find better products. In his book “A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas”, Warren Berger cited the example of Edwin H. Land, who invented the Polaroid camera in response to his 3 year old daughter asking why the camera that they used couldn’t produce a photo immediately. There are plenty of other cases; Airbnb exists as a response to the question “why should you be stuck without a bed if I’ve got an extra air mattress?”

The list is endless, as many companies and even entire industries can be traced back to a single question.

How do we master the art and science of asking effective questions and how do we make it a habit?

  1. Create an environment where curiosity is welcomed and rewarded.
  2. Become a keen observer of everything you see, hear and experience.
  3. Look at the world with fresh eyes, question the familiar, assume nothing is obvious.
  4. Understand the power of different types of questions – how they should be used and when.
  5. Keep asking why till you can go no further.

“Good questioning should stimulate, provoke, inform and inspire” says Sloane, while Berger feels it can “help us learn, explore the unknown and adapt to change”. What could be a great question that could shift the way you or your organisation perceive or think about something that has the potential to act as a catalyst for change?

Source: The Importance Of Asking Questions | ogilvydo.com

Mobile online checkout and AI to be front of mind in 2016: Deloitte | ZDNet

mobileMobile online checkout and cognitive technologies are set to boom in 2016, according to the latest predictions made by Deloitte.In the Technology, Media & Telecommunications 2016 report, Deloitte believes the number of individuals who use a third-party touch-based payment service to make a purchase on their devices — which covers both smartphones and tablets — will increase by 150 percent to reach 50 million regular users.

Source: Mobile online checkout and AI to be front of mind in 2016: Deloitte | ZDNet