LETTER: E-Mail and Direct Mail Response Rates

Share this article:
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.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Data/Analytics

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

Featured Listings

More in Data/Analytics

MeritDirect Opens San Jose Office

MeritDirect Opens San Jose Office

A force in direct mail, the company looks to expand its digital data services with a footprint in Silicon Valley.

Neustar Decides to Hand Data Over to its Clients

Neustar Decides to Hand Data Over to its ...

AK Media Insights Pro turns data over to marketers to create business-specific aggregations, integrate offline efforts, and probe deeper into their sales funnels.

Arthur Hughes, Who Wrote the Book on Database Marketing, Dies at 86

Arthur Hughes, Who Wrote the Book on Database ...

First published in the early days of the Web, Arthur Middleton Hughes's Strategic Database Marketing remains a bible for direct marketers.