Which Direct Marketing Medium Gives the Most Bang for Its Buck?

Wed Jul 12, 2017

Rachel Cagle

Your direct marketing clients are likely attempting to cover as many media bases as they can. While it’s good for them to not have all their eggs in one basket, you want to be able to help them reach good ROIs. So, which media is working for direct marketers? The Data & Marketing Association’s Response Rate Report lays out the answers gathered from 592 marketers, agency respondents, suppliers and other positions.

First, let’s talk about how much your clients are spending with a focus on medium cost per response, according to the report:

  • Direct Mail: $26.40
  • Online Display: $24.75
  • Social Media: $20.32
  • Paid Search: $16.22
  • Email: $10.32

With that in mind, here is a look at the median ROIs the DMA found:

  • Email: 124%
  • Social Media: 30%
  • Direct Mail: 29%
  • Paid Search: 23%
  • Online Display: 16%

With those stats, it would seem as if email is the best course of action for a direct marketer to take, hands down. However, the report also measured response rates, and email only earned a 0.6% rate, which tied it for only the second most successful medium, along with paid search. That’s still second best though, and, for as cheap as email is, the ROI suggests your clients should be using the format.

The medium that left all the others in its dust in terms of response rates was direct mail, which came out with a whopping 5.1 percent. That’s not all: that percentage shot up from 3.7% last year. The report also revealed which types of direct mail work the best: oversized envelops had the highest response rate while postcards saw the lowest.

So, the next time your clients come to you for direct marketing advice, let them know that, while direct mail has a high response rate, email is cheap and its fantastic ROI gives them more bang for their buck.

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About Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Brand Research Specialist at SalesFuel. She holds a Bachelors in English from The Ohio State University. She specializes in major accounts research for AdMall.

View all posts by Rachel Cagle