Direct mail statistics tell a story of an enduringly—and even increasingly—successful marketing channel. Though direct mail marketing still carries a connotation of out-datedness, thanks mostly to the “snail mail” it involves, direct mail success statistics are still indisputable. Direct mail works. And if you’re still not convinced, we suggest you take a look at the numbers.
Here are the 12 most surprising direct mail marketing statistics to convince you of this long-standing marketing tactic:
More than any other local advertising channel, direct mail is being invested in. The Mail Shark shared a direct mail statistic that proves this: Direct mail spend reaches a whopping $38.5 billion in local advertising spend. 
Broken down person-by-person, direct mail spending is still pretty impressive: Direct mail statistics from Small Business Trends indicate that advertisers in the US spend an average of $167 per person on direct mail campaigns.  That is a huge investment per receiver, so advertisers must really believe in direct mail success.
And for good reason. Though US advertisers are spending a huge amount per person on direct mail marketing, they’re seeing an even bigger return. According to Small Business Trends, direct mail marketing earns an average of $2,095 in revenue per person. That’s a 1,300% return on investment. 
Small Business Trends also revealed that most consumers feel that direct mail is more personal than online interactions. In fact, 70% of consumers feel this way.  If you’re trying to add a personal touch to your brand’ marketing tactics, then direct mail could very well be the way to do so.
Does a potential customer show signs of interest in your brand? Odds are, they’ll be hospitable to the idea of receiving direct mail from you. A direct mail statistic from Triadex Services shares that 54% of consumers say they want direct mail from brands that interest them. 
You read right—according to Inkit, open rates for direct mail campaigns can be as high as 90% . Compare that direct mail statistic to the open rate for your most recent email campaign, and you’ll understand how astronomically high it is.
And recipients don’t simply open the direct mail they receive from businesses. Many of them read what they open, too. Forbes reports that 42% of recipients either read or scan the direct mail they receive. 
Data Targeting Solutions reported another surprising direct mail statistic: The average response rate for direct marketing campaigns was 4.9% last year. And that’s the highest it’s been since their report started in 2003.  It seems that, as email marketing campaigns become more and more common, the novelty of direct mail could become more enticing for consumers.
To put that 42% response rate into context, consider this next direct mail statistic: That response rate is about five to nine times higher than any other advertising channel.  If your business has a brilliant, persuasive copywriter, then your response rate could reach even higher.
But deciding to go ahead with a direct mail marketing campaign is only the first step: You’ll also need to make sure you’re doing it well. For an easy optimization, try adding a name to your pieces of direct mail. The Mail Shark found that adding a name to your direct mail increases response rates by 135%.  That’s more than double the response, simply because you took the time to find and add recipient names.
Another direct mail statistic from Small Business Trends showed that 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail campaigns within the past three months also made a purchase.  So, that higher response rate that direct mail leads to is just a step toward a huge conversion rate.
Finally, if you’re looking to break into a new market, then direct mail could very well be the horse you ride in on. The US Data Corporation found that 39% of consumers try a new business out for the first time as a result of receiving direct mail from them. 
There you have it—12 direct mail statistics that might make you rethink “snail mail” marketing. All in, if your small business isn’t investing in direct mail marketing campaigns, it’s time to start considering it. The numbers don’t lie—in the digital age, consumers are responding well to the novelty of tangible, mailed marketing materials. Is your business listening to this preference? Or are you just offering more emails that go straight to the spam folder?
Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera.
Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions.