LETTER: E-Mail and Direct Mail Response Rates

Share this content:
I'm getting tired of e-mail marketing companies inaccurately comparing e-mail response rates vs. direct mail rates, such as in "How to Optimize Your

Opt-In Strategy" (http://www.dmnews.com/articles/2000-08-07/9864.html).

After hailing the "wealth" of e-mail contacts (hopefully they're verified opt-in) and reminding us how inexpensive it is to bombard everyone with commercial e-mail, the author gloats: "... opt-in e-mail's response rate is about 18 percent. Compare that figure with direct mail's paltry 1 percent to 2 percent."

Wait! We're talking click-through response rates. That's like opening the envelope of a direct mail piece and looking at the offer. Unfortunately, there aren't many studies of envelope-opening response rates so we could accurately compare them with clickthroughs.

To appropriately compare direct mail responses to e-mail, we need to consider conversion-to-sale rates. When someone responds to a direct mail piece, it's usually by returning an order form with a check or credit card number, or calling a phone number to place an order with a credit card. That's a sale! When someone clicks through on an e-mail message, they're usually not so committed to purchase at that point.

Next Article in Data/Analytics

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

USAData helps businesses find new customers and grow their current customers through a combination of data and digital marketing services, and easy-to-use SaaS technology products. We enrich customer data so businesses can more effectively target and communicate with customers, and connect them with their best look-alike prospects through digital and traditional channels. We make it easy through simple, self-serve applications and APIs, as well as through full-service programs managed by our Data and Digital experts. 

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above