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Email May Be Most Popular, But Direct Mail is Still Top of the Class

Written By Amber Breeden

February 1, 2022

Marketers tend to favor popular digital channels like email, social, and paid search for their direct response campaigns. But when it comes to return on investment, direct mail is still top of the class. 

According to ANA’s recently released Response Rate Report 2021: Performance and Cost Metrics Across Direct Media, email is the most-used medium, coming in at 82%. Social media is close behind with 74% usage, followed by paid search with 51%. Interestingly, email usage has actually declined 6% since ANA issued the last Response Rate Report in 2018. Given the growth in social media, especially during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that social media advertising is up 17% since the last report, the most significant shift.

While only 38% of marketers are leveraging direct mail in their marketing campaigns, they’re the ones getting the most bang for their buck. Clearly, popularity isn’t everything.

The mail format that produced the best ROI to “house” lists was postcards (92%). Letter-sized envelopes produced the best ROI to “prospect” lists (112%) and saw the highest ROI of all formats. Other notable formats to prospect lists include dimensional and oversized envelopes, both of which surpassed 90% ROI.

“This important study demonstrates that traditional forms of direct marketing continue to be powerful engines for accelerating brand growth,” says ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “The findings will help marketers plan and optimize their marketing mix and drive sustainable long-term growth.”

If you’re looking to integrate data-driven direct mail into your next campaign, we can help. Give us a call to talk about what format would work best for your marketing goals.