The Cost vs. ROI of Direct Mail

In a time where digital outreach proliferates across industries, direct mail is still a powerful and cost effective way to reach prospects and customers. Because inboxes can be oversaturated with emails and web page ads, receiving direct mail is a welcome break for many.

According to the United States Postal Service, 79% of Americans read or scan the mail they receive — and according to a survey by Epsilon, 59% of recipients say they enjoy the mail they receive from brands about new products. How do the benefits of mail advertising outweigh the costs? Here, we discuss costs vs. direct mail marketing ROI.

The Benefits of Direct Mail

Physical mail is one of the oldest and most trusted methods of marketing — and for good reason. People love receiving mail — 4 in 10 Americans look forward to checking their mailbox every day. And in the U.S., pieces of mail are kept in the average household for 17 days. 

Unlike email or digital ads, which can pop up any time of the day or night, postcards and other types of mail give recipients the freedom to open and read at their convenience. This is why 73% of consumers prefer being contacted by brands via mail over digital means. 

The Cost of Print Campaigns

One of the most widely asked questions print service providers receive is how much a direct mail marketing campaign will cost. The cost of print marketing can vary widely from project to project and depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Paper choice
  • Special print techniques or finishes
  • Size of the piece, which affects postage costs
  • Variability, such as personalized names, images, and maps
  • Digital campaign integration
  • Required turnaround time
  • Any lists purchased as part of the campaign

A good print service provider will work to understand your goals and your budget and make recommendations to help maximize your marketing spend. Methods like digital printing can save money by eliminating the need to pre-print and enabling fast turnaround times, and we may be able to suggest creative form factors or packaging concepts that will help reduce your postage costs. Ultimately, though, it’s about making decisions that will get you a high return on your investment. 

ROI of Direct Mail

One of the biggest advantages of direct mail is the return on investment. The ROI of print campaigns is on par with — and, compared to certain channels, better than — digital marketing efforts.

According to Marketing Charts, respondents reported that they were 18% more likely to achieve good or very good ROI when their multichannel campaigns included direct mail. Their response rate was also 12% greater than efforts that did not include direct mail. Overall, direct mail efforts show a 29% return on investment.

You can get granular with the ROI you can expect from your direct mail campaigns by using online tools, like our ROI calculator. By entering the number of recipients, how much variable data personalization you plan on using, and the value of a conversion or sale, you’ll be able to determine the impact your campaign will have on your prospects and customers.

Direct mail continues to be an effective and lucrative way for businesses to market products and services. WIth its high response rate and ROI, it’s a surefire way to delight recipients and encourage them to learn more about — and invest in — your business. If you’re curious about how much ROI you can expect from your next print campaign, use our direct mail ROI calculator and determine how cost effective it will be.