Surprising Print Advertising and Direct Mail Statistics 2022 [Huge Response Rate]

Print Advertising and Direct Mail Statistics

Sure, the world’s gone digital, but print advertising is still powerful and has longevity.

Direct mail effectiveness is experiencing a new high.

Response rates for direct mail are strong and direct mail conversion rates are steady.

The Direct Mail Marketing Association reports direct mail response rates in 2020 hovered around 9% JWM Business Services reports the direct mail return rate is around 0.5 to 2%.

If you post direct mail to 100 people, two will respond and maybe one will buy.

Those are average direct mail response rates. Better send out 200 direct mailers if you want to ensure a sale.

But print advertising and direct mail still work when reaching consumers … just look at the latest print advertising and direct mail statistics.

Response Rate of Different Marketing Channels
Source: Statista

Direct Mail Works

Hey, we all love email, but pulling a physical, printed piece of mail from your mailbox creates a tingling sense of anticipation that digital communication just can’t match.

The latest statistics on direct mail marketing — including direct mail statistics 2021 and direct mail statistics 2022 — show the effectiveness of direct mail.

Is direct mail effective? Yes! Direct mail advertising still works … these direct mail stats don’t lie!

  • 80% of consumers act on direct mail advertising, compared to the 45% action rate for digital media.
  • Direct mail response rates are 37% higher than email marketing response rates.
  • 41% of Americans enjoy getting printed mail every day … except Sunday!
  • 56% of Americans describe getting mail as a “real pleasure”.
  • 55% of US households “look forward” to receiving mail.
  • 67% of Americans believe mail is more personal than online interactions.
  • 58% of American homes receive direct mail marketing.
  • 454 direct mail advertisements are sent to a typical American home each year.
  • In 2018, the average direct mail response rate was 9%.
  • Oversized envelopes generate a 5% customer response — the highest direct mail open rate of all direct mail.
  • 59% of Americans like receiving mail about new products.
  • Business-to-business advertising accounts for 18% of all direct mail spending.
  • Direct mail advertisements stay in a home for an average of 17 days before they are recycled or trashed.
  • 60% of catalog recipients will visit that catalog’s website.
  • 58% of consumers say direct mail makes them think about products and brands.
  • 83% of purchases are influenced by direct mail advertising.
  • People who received direct mail advertising spent 28% more than those who didn’t get the direct mail ad.
  • 73% of Americans prefer direct mail over other types of “opt-in” marketing.
  • Direct mail marketing and postal marketing can return up to 29% on its original investment.
  • 75% of people who receive direct mail can recall the brand, compared to only 44% of people who remember a brand after seeing a digital ad.
  • Direct mail is 21% easier to process than email.
  • 57% of email addresses are abandoned because of digital marketing spam.
  • 42% of high-consideration purchases are influenced by direct mail.
  • 77% of millennials say direct mail grabs their attention.
  • 80% of millennials respond to direct mail impressions, while 50% disregard digital advertisements.
  • 30% of millennials believe direct mail is a more effective advertising medium, compared to 24% of millennials who favored email marketing.
  • 63% of Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands employ direct mail marketing.
  • 23% of DTC brands believe direct mail offers an acceptable CAC for consumer marketing.
  • Consumers respond to direct mail 5–9x times more often than email.
  • 70% of people believe direct mail is more personal than digital communications.

Print Makes an Impression

In a world filled with digital screens, print advertising stands out. Once viewed as “junk mail,” direct mail marketing is experiencing a rebirth of popularity.

The print advertisements you pull from your mailbox are not nearly as annoying as the junk/scam email filling your digital inbox.

In fact, direct mail is pretty useful!

Print ads require 21% less cognitive effort to process and generate a 20% higher motivation response.

Print affects people on a deeply emotional level, drawing you in … demanding you take a closer look …

  • 51% of consumers say direct mail postcards are useful
  • 82% of consumers trust print ads more than other advertising when making a purchase.
  • 92% of people aged 18-to-23 find printed material easier to consume and comprehend than digital content.
  • 49% of consumers paid close attention to print advertising in 2020 compared to only 23% in 2010.
  • 27% of consumers who saw print ads visited the advertiser’s website in 2020, up from 12% in 2009.
  • Consumers who respond to print ads increased their purchase intent by 22% in 2020, up from 7% in 2009.
  • 66% of American brands use postcards and newsletters in their direct marketing campaigns.


Once the main way news and information was disseminated, newspapers have taken a backseat to digital marketing.

Still, newspapers make a big impact despite declining circulation numbers. That’s the power of print!

  • Daily newspaper circulation has dropped from 63.3 million in 1984 to about 28.5 million papers in 2018.
  • Sunday newspaper editions, which are stuffed with print advertising circulars, have experienced a circulation drop of 62.6 million in 1993 to 30.8 million in 2018.
  • Newspaper advertising budgets are expected to drop from $30,255 million in 2021 to $24,986 million in 2025.
  • 25% of newspaper readers are under the age of 35


While the overall circulation of consumer magazines has dropped in recent years, trade publications are still a great way to reach consumers in niche markets.

  • Print readers spend 20 minutes or more with a magazine but leave digital news sites after less than five minutes.
  • 95% of people under age 25 buy and read magazines
  • $13,918 million was spent on magazine print ads in 2021.
  • $10,642 is projected to be spent on print advertisements in magazines in 2025.
  • Magazine revenue fell from $46 billion in 2007 to $26 billion in 2019.
  • Revenue from magazine advertisements is projected to drop from $25 billion in 2012 to $5.5 billion by 2024.
  • $44.2 million will be spent on print advertising in 2021, but those marketing budgets are projected to shrink to $40 million by 2023 and $35.6 million by 2025
Actions Directed by Direct Mail
Source: USPS Delivers

The Combined Power of Print and Digital

“Synergy” is a cheesy buzzword that gets tossed around corporate boardrooms these days like confetti.

But print advertising, including direct mail, and digital ads really are two separate forces that amplify and enhance one another.

Together, print and digital are the perfect “one-two punch” for attracting customers and generating business.

  • The combination of print and digital advertising in online campaigns will increase effectiveness by 400%.
  • Print and digital advertising used together results in a 9% customer direct mail response rate, while strictly digital advertising only yields around 1% customer response.
  • 77% of consumers remember brands that advertise in print compared to a 46% recall rate for digital-only brands.
  • 64% of readers respond to a printed call to action compared to 55% of readers who respond to a digital call to action.
  • US advertisers spent $151.29 billion on digital ads in 2020, compared to $107 billion spent on TV, radio, and print advertising.

How Effective is Direct Mail Marketing?

According to Statista, the majority of global ad spending was generated by US businesses, which spent $13.47 million in 2021.

Japan spent the next highest amount on print advertising at $4.78 million. Germany was next at $3.24 million followed by India ($2.7 million) and China ($2 million). 

Although these numbers are projected to decrease in the next decade, the power of print advertising and direct mail will continue to influence consumer buying decisions.

The direct mail industry is far from dead — in fact, direct mail 2022 is thriving according to the Direct Mail Advertising Association and the Direct Mail Marketing Association

The effectiveness of direct mail advertising suffers from weather conditions (a rainy day and a wet mailbox can ruin all of your hard work) and the efficiency of the postal service. But overall direct mail open rates are still good compared to email marketing.

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