July 29th, 2010 by Bob Bly
Most people, when discussing direct mail response rates, think in
terms of percentages.
For years, 2% was viewed as an “average” response rate.
The problem is that percentages don’t take into account things
like the cost of the mailing or the price of the product being
A much better measure of direct mail response rates is
“Break even” means the sales generated by a mailing is equal to
the cost of the mailing.
For a mailing that generates 150% of break-even, you make $1.50
in sales for every $1 you spend on the mailing, including printing,
list, and postage.
Here is a free online calculator you can use. It calculates the
percentage response rate your mailing must achieve to reach break
even. That way, you know whether your 1% response rate is good,
fair, or terrible in terms of ROI.
The online response calculator is free ? there’s no cost to use
the calculator as often as you like: