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Direct Mail Response Rates

Direct Mail Response Rate

Direct Mail Marketing is a time honoured method of reaching out to potential customers that has flourished in recent years.

Thanks to the way the brain is wired, direct mail has a distinct advantage over some of its competitors. We are more likely to engage with and remember a physical object that we’ve picked up and handled than we are a non-physical one.

This advantage means that direct mail is almost always acknowledged because, short of letting it pile up by the front door, your potential clients have no choice but to pick it up, even if they’re just doing so to take it to the bin.

In order to understand the potential success of your direct mail campaigns, it is important that you know about response rates.

If you are interested in finding out about response rates for various marketing forms, simply continue reading the content on this page. If you would like to start comparing prices however, then you should complete the form at the top of this page.

Comparing quotes with Approved Index is free, quick and easy, and it could save you as much as 40% on your direct marketing costs.

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Compare Direct Mail Response Rates

A response rate - also known as a completion, conversion or return rate - is a reference to the number of respondents to a campaign, divided by the number of send outs. Although the information on this page will provide business owners with information about direct mail response rates, it is also important to consider this rate of success in comparison other forms of marketing.

According to the DMA, direct mailing is still the most effective form of direct marketing, with a 4.4% response rate. Compared to email's average response rate of 0.12%, this is a clear indicator of the important of mail marketing. This 4.4% response rate includes direct mail marketing campaigns both to B2B and B2C clients, meaning that, whatever your industry or sector, business owners can feel safe in the knowledge that their marketing messages will be reaching a wide range of their target market.

If you are considering a direct marketing campaign in any form, then it is important to bear response rate in mind. Based on the statistics above, a small business sending out to 1,000 people could expect to receive 44 responses. Calculating the effectiveness based on these figures will require a consideration of cost. If your product sells at £200, for example, then 44 conversions could be worth nearly £9,000. Considering response rate in this fashion, can help many businesses to decide whether direct mail marketing is an appropriate form. Similarly, a larger revenue business sending out to 1,000 people might expect an even higher return revenue. A building or installation company, for example, with an average revenue of £1000 per job, might be looking at a return of £44,000.

The table below has been put together based on DMA data to show businesses what kind of response rates they might encounter.

MediaResponse RateResponses per 1000 Recipients
Direct Mail4.4%44 Responses
Email0.12%1 Response
Catalogue4.26%42 Responses
Telephone12.95%129 Responses

As the sable shows, direct mail comes second only to telephone marketing - though it is important to remember that telemarketing is more expensive in comparison, with a whole range of costs influencing the price per recipient.

If you would like to find out a little more about how these response rates might compare to cost per recipient, then you should visit either the direct mail marketing prices or email marketing prices page.

Response Rates - Case by Case

Response Rate is one of the most important factors for people considering whether to conduct a direct mailing campaign. What kind of results can you expect? How many people will respond to your material? What will their response get me? In short - is it worth it?

Direct Mail Response Rates vary depending on the quality of the campaign; it goes without saying that what you put in is almost always equatable to what you take away. What are you offering? What is your target list like? And how well have you conceived and executed your campaign?

Typical Response Rates fall at around 4% on average, with research suggesting that 7% of receivers will take some sort of action - visiting your website, for example - even if they do not translate into a traditional conversion.

It’s important to calculate what kind of response rate you’ll need to break even and then decide whether you can create a campaign strong enough to do it.

Here's an example:

You’re planning to send out a mailer to 2,000 potential customers. The total cost of your campaign including data purchase, design, copywriting, envelope stuffing and postage is £1,500.

The individual sales you make as a result of the campaign will be worth, on average, £50.

In order to break even at this price you would need to make 30 sales, requiring a response rate of around 1.5%. A Response Rate like this - based on the UK average - is very achievable if you use the right data and materials.

Of course, you can adjust this example based on the profit you’d likely make as well as on the prices you will incur. Aside from the measurable financial profit that comes with a successful direct mailing campaign though, you should also bear in mind the benefits that a good campaign can have on your branding and identity.

If you are interested in finding out more about the costs that come with a mailing campaign, then visit our direct mail prices page.

If you are interested in receiving quotes, simply fill out the form at the top of this page and receive up to 4, for free with no obligation.

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Improving your Response Rate

If you want to improve response rate and direct mailing success, there are several steps you can take and checks to be made throughout the process.

  • Ensure your data is targeted, up-to-date and accurate. If it isn’t, then your campaign could lose some of its potential.
  • Personalise your mailings. ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ is one of the best ways to turn a prospect off. Using actual names is a great way to make a connection with a prospective client from the outset.
  • Use an unbranded envelope. Don’t show your hand too early - getting a recipient to open the envelope is half the battle.
  • Use professionals if you cannot complete production stages to a high enough standard.
  • Include a call to action, whether that be a phone number, email address or website.
  • Use your personal signature - recipients will appreciate being contacted ‘in person’.
  • Find an excuse for a PS - people scanning a letter often read the postscript first, so make sure you include one if you can.
  • Track responses. Setting up a unique phone number, or giving a promotional code that recipients can quote gives you a method for tracking your campaign. Doing so may give you some idea on what elements have and have not worked.

Get a quote

Understanding how the cost of your direct mailing campaign compares to the profits you could make is key to making a decision on whether or not to proceed. In any case, the best way to weigh these options is to speak to experts and find out about the services they offer as well as well as the prices they offer them at. Approved Index can help here.

Fill in the simple form at the top of this page to receive up to 4 free, no-obligation quotes to help you consider the costs involved in starting your direct mailing campaign.

Let Approved Index help you find the right Direct Mail company.


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