Salt Lake Mailing & Printing Blog

Direct Mail Statistics

The United States Postal Service delivers mail to and from 149,000,000 addresses across all of its states and territories, a greater number than any other nation’s postal service in the world. 98% of mail recipients take in their mail every day and 77% examine it as soon as they bring it into the home or office. Direct mail statistics reveal that the advertising method is still both prolific and efficient.

Does direct mail work? Statistics reveal that 15% of those who receive a catalog and 12% that receive a letter from a company make an online purchase from the sending company. This is an impressive number for the “cold-calling” aspect of much of direct mail. Regardless of income, age, region, or educational level, people who receive catalogs spend more time on the company’s website perusing than those who just stumble across a site online.

The 2010 studies of the United Postal Service found that about 23 million pieces of mail are processed per hour, for about 563 million per day and 171 billion pieces per year. The amount of jobs this provides to both postal workers and direct mail workers is staggering.

Of all the mail that gets delivered in the U.S., 52% is direct mail. Businesses spend about $48 billion annually on direct mail. Customers who receive catalogs by mail will spend almost 30% more and buy 30% more items than those who do not receive a catalog. Direct mail is the cheapest way of obtaining leads and orders, costing about 1/6th as much as telemarketing.

The idea of “snail mail” failing and the U.S. Postal Service collapsing is exaggerated, to say the least. In fact, for the last few years, direct mail has been increasing along with the growth in overall mailing volumes. Contrary to popular belief, the influence of the internet has helped direct mail.  Instead of looking through a catalog and picking up the phone, most people look at a postcard, letter, or catalog and go to the company’s website. If they like what they see, they are very likely to buy.

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