We’ve collected these direct mail marketing statistics for small businesses from a variety of sources.

Last updated: January 8, 2017


  • Some general statistics:
    • A total of more than 150 million direct mail promotions were sent out in 2015.
    • 42 percent of recipients read or scanned the mail pieces.
    • More than 2.5 billion coupons were redeemed.
  • The greatest number, 54 percent, of consumers surveyed said they want to receive mail from brands they’re interested in:

DIRECT MAIL MARKETING STATISTICS - Preferred Way of Receiving Updates and Promotions

  • 59 percent of U.S. respondents and 65 percent of Canadian respondents agreed with the following statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”
  • 56 percent of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing.
  • 70 percent of Americans say mail is more personal than the internet.


  • U.S. advertisers spend $167 per person on direct mail to earn $2,095 worth of goods sold; a 1,300 percent return.
  • One study, “The neuroscience behind the response-driving power of direct mail” found that:
    • Direct mail generates a motivation* score that is 20 percent higher than digital media.
    • Direct mail was found to require 21 percent less cognitive effort. That means your message is absorbed more quickly and effectively.
    • Brand recall was 70 percent higher among participants who were exposed to direct mail ads rather than to digital ones.
  • The average ROI for direct mail campaigns is between 18 and 20 percent.
  • 56 percent of consumers who responded to direct mail went online or visited the physical store.
  • 62 percent of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase.


  • 80-90 percent of direct mail gets opened, only 20-30 percent of email gets opened on a good day.
  • The response rate to direct mail pieces is 3.7 percent, as opposed to 2 percent mobile, 1 percent email, 1 percent social media, and 0.2 percent internet display.
  • 70 percent of consumers preferred traditional mail for receiving unsolicited offers from companies.
  • When asked, “Which is more effective at getting you to take action?” 30 percent of millennials said direct mail, 24 percent said email.

Bottom Line

While many people have predicted the death of email marketing, an even greater number have claimed that direct marketing is already dead. As the direct mail marketing statistics above clearly demonstrate however, this is not true. In fact, the greatest opportunity for marketing success may lie in combining the two marketing tactics in one campaign. Doing so enables small business marketers to offset the weaknesses of one with the strengths of the other.

For direct mail tips, take some time to explore these posts:

* Motivation is “a measure of approach-avoidance behavior, or the feeling of “wanting” that drives urges and decision-making.”

Direct Mail Photo via Shutterstock

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Matt Mansfield Matt Mansfield is the Tech Editor and SEO Manager at Small Business Trends where he is responsible for directing and writing many of the site’s product reviews, technology how-to’s, and lists of small business resources as well as increasing the reach of our content.

8 Reactions
  1. Mail has never stopped delivering business results to those who use it for its strengths. It can speak directly to existing valuable customers, spark new ones to visit a website and it introduces new products and services with specific opportunities to take action.

  2. I really liked your statistic of 80-90 percent of direct mail getting opened versus 20-30 percent of emails. I have been trying to help my aunt find better ways to promote her restaurant. I think that she should look into this option and see if it will help get the word out.

No, Thank You