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DMA finds direct-mail response rates outperform digital

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New York—While direct mail has been marginalized in favor of digital channels in recent years, direct-mail response rates outperform digital programs, according to a report from the Direct Marketing Association. According to the DMA's “2012 Response Rate Report,” response rates for direct mail to existing customers average 3.40%, compared with 0.12% for email. However, the report found that with higher direct-mail costs, costs per sale and per lead for direct mail, email and paid search remain roughly equivalent. Among other findings, email had the highest return on investment, at 28.5 times cost, versus 7.0 for direct mail, reflecting the extremely low costs of email blasts. The DMA's report was based on an online survey in April that drew 481 responses and was augmented by an analysis of transactional data from more than 29 billion emails and 2 billion online display ad by Epsilon and Bizo Inc.
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