Earnest is the award-winning B2B marketing agency that’s chasing out the humdrum in London and New York.

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Crunching the direct mail marketing numbers

by Joao Barreiros

February 6, 2020

Digital spend is increasing – and rightly so. Direct mail gets you in front of new customers, helps you develop lasting relationships and even improves your existing marketing efforts.

But to really make an impression with prospective customers, your brand presence needs to reach them offline too.

At present, only 50% of B2B marketers use direct mail. This means there exists a huge opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves.

Here are some of the latest insights to help you get to grips with – and get the best from – this underused approach.

What are the benefits of direct mail?You’re less likely to be ignored.

A survey carried out by Royal Mail found that 92% of direct mail gets opened – as opposed to only 0.12% when using email marketing.

Make people’s lives as easy as possible.

Direct Mail requires 21% less mental effort than opening other types of mail – another reason why you should incorporate it into your next campaign.

How does DM affect other marketing activity?It pays dividends across your campaign.

Direct mail lifts response rates of other channels by 450% – so an investment in DM will pay for itself across a campaign.

And when an individual is primed by mail, they will spend 30% longer viewing social ads. Use DM to boost the traction of your online campaign.

What should I consider when making a DM?

At Earnest, there are three basic principles that we consistently abide by when we’re creating a direct mail:


Stimulate the imagination of the busy people that you are sending the DM to. Ask yourself: Would you like to receive it?


Make sure that you’re staying true to what your product or service is. Ask yourself: Would you read this and know what your company does?


You want to make sure you’re moving them along the customer journey. Ask yourself: Is it easy for the customer to make the next step?

How should I use DM?Leave a lasting impression

Direct mail activates areas of the brain responsible for long-term memory encoding 49% more than email and 35% more than social media advertising.

Build a reputation

If you want to please a potential new client, or simply delight your existing ones, DM is a great way to do this. 70% of businesses think better of the sending company when direct mail is opened.

Can I make my DM more sustainable?It’s worth considering

This is, of course, a huge topic and we recently wrote an entire article – which you can read right here – all about how wasteful marketing activities can be and what marketers need to consider from an ecological perspective.

Will it pay off?You bet

Adding DM to a campaign can increase ROI from £2.81 to £3.40 for every £1 spent.

Secure more leads

The response rate of DM can be up to 30% higher than other forms of communications.

I need inspiration

You’re in luck – D&AD compiled some of the best examples of recent DM campaigns which you can watch right here.

Direct Mail makes business sense – it gets you in front of new customers, helps you develop lasting relationships and even improves your existing marketing efforts. What’s not to love?

(Header photo: Tom Barrett on Unsplash)


direct mail