Direct mail: what’s a good response rate?

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:


This entry was posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010 at 1:45 pm and is filed under Direct Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

51 responses about “Direct mail: what’s a good response rate?”

  1. TC/Copywriter Underground said:

    Break-even analysis has proven a useful tool with my clients; it’s an excellent way to get an early warning about mail program costs.

    If you need a 4% response just to break even, you better have a hell of an offer – or look for ways to trim the cost of the program.

    That 2% number drives me crazy; most B2B hasn’t seen an average 2% response in a long time…

  2. Contact said:

    I mailed out 5000 and received one call. Fail

  3. Walt said:

    Even though direct mail and an e-mail campaign are different in many ways I think it is prudent to test your ad copy on an e-mail campaign or on a web site using an ad-words campaign. Direct mail is expensive but with good ad-copy and a good USP you can still generate a decent response. A marketers mantra should be “test, test, test.” And test a cheaply as possible. Walt Marsh Preaching With Power

  4. Monica said:

    I was trying to explain to my boss that the 1% call back rate and 2% response (people just showed up at the event w/o calling first) was not horrendous. The list was COLD! Dead cold! we had a 4% mail return rate & this list was never contacted before (or after). the copy was ok, but obviously not great, and everything had to be out the door in 3 days, with 2 days to spare for the people to receive the mailer.

  5. worldbiznews said:

    It’s very expensive to implement a direct mail to your business. All costs and efforts must be considered before doing it so. That’s the reason why most businesses don’t really go for direct mail as a form to boost their clients.

  6. Bob McCarthy said:

    I agree that break even is a good way to analyze your campaign – assuming the campaign is selling a product or service.

    But most direct mail is designed to generate a lead – not a sale – which means you need to factor in the conversion process.

    So if only one out of four leads convert to a sale (25%), your 2% response rate becomes a 0.5% order rate.

    Personally, I like to use a “cost-per” analysis – cost per response, cost per qualified lead, cost per order – which also allows you to account for the cost of the mailing.

  7. John Idaho said:

    If you generate $1,000 in sales from a $1,000 campaign expese selling 1,000 items that cost you 80 cents to produce, you haven’t broken even. You’ve lost $800.

    Break even would be cost-of-mailing equals profit, not revenue.

  8. Seattle Printers said:

    Great post. That’s True it is very important to measure your direct mail marketing efforts like response rates and ROI to get the best results, otherwise your efforts may go waste.

  9. Gary Taylor said:

    This is a recent infographic about direct mail response rates, pretty useful

    I ave seen other figures from Royal Mail too at around 11.5%

  10. Jack's Customized Fat Loss Review said:

    sometimes out of all the hundreds of mails you send, only a few get a response. but at least you tried. I do hope my email gets replied.

    – Jack Leak

  11. commission commando bonus said:

    commission commando bonus…

    Direct mail: what’s a good response rate? – blog – direct marketing blog…

  12. tv episodes said:

    tv episodes…

    […]Direct mail: what’s a good response rate? – blog – direct marketing blog[…]…

  13. five mistakes said:

    Your blog is really interesting to me and your topics are very relevant. I was browsing around and came across something you might find interesting. I was guilty of 3 of them with my sites. “99% of website managers are committing these 5 mistakes”. You will be suprised how easy they are to fix.

  14. epa-w said:


    […]Direct mail: what’s a good response rate? – blog – direct marketing blog[…]…

  15. interactive online iphone android apps solutions ad4d advertisment festival walk mtr hk said:

    interactive online iphone android apps solutions ad4d advertisment festival walk mtr hk…

    […]Direct mail: what’s a good response rate? – blog – direct marketing blog[…]…

  16. mailing service said:

    Thanks for sharing the blog.The direct marketing is useful to small business.By using this we can get high response.

  17. Jerold Paliotta said:

    Rattling fantastic information can be found on this web site.

  18. Stanley Rao said:

    Direct mail what a good response mail… this is the best post i have read as i found it very subjective and informative enough… this can lead to high response rates

  19. Andy said:

    I agree – a much better measure of direct mail response rates is “break-even.”

  20. Earnest said:

    Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your further post thanks once again.

  21. GET Double CTR, Make PRODUCTS, Create BUYERS with my List Building email/swipes collection! said:

    Magic right here. My business is incredibly fulfilled to check your post. Thanks a great deal that i’m waiting for get in touch with an individual. Are you going to make sure you shed me a send?

  22. GET $1.2 Million In Buyers Traffic For Less Than $100? - Millionaire Marketer Reveals All - Proof Inside said:

    Fantastic post. I have already been interested in such as the following. Good information and facts Let me look for virtually any information regarding Hcg weight loss .

  23.  GET $40 To $200 Per Sale ... With Astonishing, Dynamic Client Demonstration Software! said:

    Hi there, simply transformed into alert to your site through Search engines, and discovered that it’s truly beneficial. I’m going to watch out for brussels. We’re gracious for those who keep on this in future. Various other consumers can be gained out of your creating. All the best!

  24. said:

    Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very
    techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where
    to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? With thanks

  25. Leilani said:

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than judt yoyr
    articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything.
    However just imagine if you added some great picttures or video clips to give your posts more,
    “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this website could undeniably be one of the best in its niche.
    Fantastic blog!

  26. Maryland SEO said:

    I am curious to find out what blog platform you’re utilizing? I’m experiencing some small security problems with my latest site and I would like to find something more safe. Do you have any suggestions?

  27. Robert Walker said:

    How to use QR Codes – Sales Lead Maximizer is one of the best organizations when it comes to knowing how to measure marketing response or use software for building mobile Websites.”increasing the sales pipeline or measuring marketing response. You’ll have the consolation of knowing our group is with all of you the way, ceaselessly upgrading our administration as customer criticism and business sector advancements unfold.

  28. robert Walker said:

    How to increase lead generation – Acquire the in-depth analysis of the current scenario in the industry and increase the leads you get for your business. SLM has been developed to give your business, a path to climb the stairs of success and get the methods for increasing the sales pipeline.

  29. weight loss diets said:

    Thanks designed for sharing such a fastidious opinion, article is fastidious, thats why i have read it

  30. plastic surgery knoxville tn said:

    Make sure you know how long it requires to recover from a plastic surgery
    process ahead of agreeing to it. They use high-end techniques, innovative surgical methods and state-of-art machines
    to deliver excellent result. There is one error:
    the sentence “The heir who wins the windfall will be the one who finds the.

  31. Boca Raton liberty CPA supplies said:

    As a result of the need in controlling and regulating industry through both direct and indirect methods, two steps must be
    carried out. In a photography business in particular,
    here are a number of items that are assets to be listed for your business.
    Understand that when you enter a major tax franchise or chain your taxes are most likely
    being prepared by a trained.

  32. laser therapy for hair loss in delhi said:

    Lawat leaf extracts are traditionally used in preventing
    hair loss, promoting hair growth and releaving itchiness and skin inflammation. A study published in The Journal of Dermatology
    revealed that chlorine causes discolouration and a change in hair texture.
    The step-by-step method of using castor oil for hair loss treatment:

  33. Laser comb Hair regrowth reviews said:

    The beginning of the end came the day Nia’s boyfriend didn’t take up her offer of
    caring for him when he was ill. While some causes of hair loss might be associated
    with how you eat and what your physical health is, not all of them involve good diet and healthy habits.
    She did not seem too enthusiastic about it and claimed that she had just been to the toilet and did
    not feel like peeing any more.

  34. laser therapy for hair restoration said:

    The beginning of the end came the day Nia’s boyfriend didn’t take up her
    offer of caring for him when he was ill. It can affect the appearance,
    confidence, and maybe even the self esteem of a person. The step-by-step
    method of using castor oil for hair loss treatment:.

  35. tiger lily boutique dresses said:

    The proficient team working here has great and immense knowledge in the field.

    This fabric is intended to be loose fitting, but wear it
    too loose and you’ll look fat. It’s nice that at
    least parts of society and media are recognizing that not all women are shaped the same
    and we don’t all need to be a size 6 or smaller.

  36. what is triple net lease said:

    The definitive agreement will contain representations and warranties
    of the parties as attached hereto and incorporated by reference herein as Exhibit B.
    You can stop the rearing by taking her hind legs away from her – here,
    watch me –”He removed the bridle from the horn and
    handed it to me so it wouldn’t get in the way, took the lead and
    sent Foxy around. According to Technomic, the following is the 10 fastest growing restaurant chains in terms of revenue change from 2010 to 2011:.
    I plan to take gleaning full-scale in 2010,
    adding to my free curb stand items foraged from the surrounding neighborhood.
    The primary tax benefits of home ownership
    are the ability to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your
    income on your 1040 Federal Income Tax Return. If you google “Niagara gutter guard” you will see the basic design of
    this low end type of gutter guard. You must use creative techniques like, leases,
    option and taking over mortgage payments.
    Although many builders are trying to defend myself against green standards in their building practices, the local companies constructing these current homes thrive on doing so, which
    appeases the home buyer that’s also eco conscious.
    Do you agree that Realtors and sellers might be much more
    motivated to accept discounted offers when their listing is about to expire.
    As with any other contract, the tenant should KNOW WHAT IT IS SIGNING.

  37. does laser hair therapy comb work said:

    Finasteride on the other hand has been approved by Food and Drug Administration to treat enlargement of prostate.
    Zinc absorption and vitamin C intake could be synergistic.
    By observing all the above tips when faced with the problem of hair
    loss Minneapolis citizens should be able to contain avoidable hair

  38. Scott Mickelson said:

    I used to be a huge proponent of direct mail but it just cannot beat the ROI of email campaigns now.

  39. celebrity Diet said:

    Metabolic syndrome is a combination of high blood pressure,
    high cholesterol, and a problem with sugar metabolism and obesity.
    Using good times ahead for your weight loss situation can give you awesome results each time you want to do
    something effective in making sure you can fit in those pants or that dress for
    the special occasion. People on HCG eating plans notice outcome quickly, also within times of starting
    the program.

  40. Top Hair Care Products In India said:

    Keep the mixture cooled and pat it on your lips as often as necessary.
    Never wash your hair with very hot or very cold water. A number of would say that will sometimes they rarely find time to rinse their hair.

  41. clarisonic Pro sonic skin Cleansing for face and body said:

    If your skin is not properly moisturize, it will dry and age faster.

    The US National Library of Medicine warns against
    ingesting this petroleum product. It must be protected well if the body is to be kept safe and healthy without any serious problems.

  42. hcg weight loss edmonton said:

    Second, you must follow their meal plan (which is incredibly restrictive) both during and
    after the weight loss. While carrying out HCG plan, you are very confined on foods options, items like spelt, or pears will assist you to remain ordinary and feel satiated.

    When finished cooking, you’ll be able to discard veggies, or elect
    to eat just one of them (even as we aren’t permitted
    to mix veggies on phase 2 per Dr S). Sarah has been writing articles online
    for nearly 4 years now.   Most large bookstores
    now have several books about the HCG diet
    and some of the books even include recipes for you to make out of the permitted foods.
    Its accuracy rating is just above 50 percent six days early and it rises gradually from there each day.
    Fad diets are not a long term solution for weight loss.
    When you’re already decided regarding the distressing
    style that meets your preference, you should buy pre-distressed cabinetry or pain them
    yourself. The shakes and ready made meals, either commercial or TV type
    meals fail for many reasons:. In fact, it becomes possible to
    burn off anywhere between 3,000 and 4,000
    calories a day, making it totally feasible to lose a pound every 24 hours.

  43. self tanning moisturizer reviews said:

    You need to apply a main coat, two additional color coats,
    and a topcoat on your nails. They were the first ones to introduce this concept, manufacture innovative products and introduce new techniques to achieve a
    rich and dark golden tan. The idea of sunless tanning products
    started 27 years ago by Gisela Hunter under the name of Giesee.
    While the appearance of tanned skin may make a person feel more appealing, the long term effects of tanning oneself traditionally in the sun are dangerous.
    Turns out there are “spray tans” and “sunless tans”.
    The only ones that have something to hide are the ones who have negative feedback, usually when I see these I just pass on by.
    A dab of petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, avoids the fake tan from sticking and dying your eyebrows and hairline
    a hue of orange. The active ingredient in most sunless tanning
    products is DHA, or Dihydroxyacetone. You simply will not imagine the best way untidy product tanner can be, in actual
    fact you’ll want to primarily extremely utilize this strategy with your bathroom along
    with its useful to pat it from a spray bronze interpreting booth that might be put up inside of
    just minutes. You can also coat your body in baby oil and then take a
    shower using baking soda once again to scrub and exfoliate the
    tan away.

  44. skin care products garnier said:

    As a treatment for hair loss, it primarily promotes good hair growth.
    It may take a little research for you to find the remedy that will work best for your particular situation. Biotin works as an anti aging agent and helps to produce keratin in preventing gray hair and hair loss.

  45. biggest loser said:

    The best part is you do not have to deny your sweet tooth using
    these quick weight loss diets. Physically, because it wrecks havoc to your
    body systems that have to attune different metabolic,
    circulatory and gastrointestinal processes in between relatively short periods
    of time. For this reason, HCG dieters report a feeling and appearance of great health and marvel at
    the loss of negative health risks they had as an overweight individual.

  46. Heath Cirilo said:

    thanks for writing this up, this is very useful for me. Thanks again!

  47. losing weight in hcg phase 3 said:

    have emerged once again as a popular and potential weight
    loss solution. Weight loss products are everywhere, in television and
    radio commercials, newspaper and magazine advertisements and on hoardings and pillars.
    Rolls demonstrates that eating these varieties of meals,
    principally before the main meal, may lead to eating fewer unhealthy calories during the
    following dinner.

  48. ziering hair restoration reviews said:

    If you know your hair loss is likely to be permanent then there are some very stylish and
    flattering wigs available today, which look so realistic no one would be able to tell the difference.
    Hair fall is a condition of losing hair from the scalp leading to the generation of
    new hair. You can get great results at a much cheaper rate by looking for
    hair transplant abroad surgeons.

  49. chloe sims ardell eyelashes 110 said:

    The “Codytan,” a dark liquid, appeared in the
    late 1920s. Simply rub your finger-tips up and down about ten times and then rub them from the corners of your eyes outwards.
    Here is a sample list of 20: abortion, addiction, adolescence, break-ups, crime, death,
    depression, eating disorders, humor, lucky breaks, mental disorders,
    moral dilemmas, pets, poverty, racism, religion, sex,
    suicide, turning points, and war.

  50. Roosevelt said:

    I am really loving the theme/design of your weblog.
    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems?
    A small number of my blog visitors have complained about
    my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great
    in Firefox. Do you have any tips to help fix this issue?

  51. Janita Ask said:

    For anyone who is interested inside the environmental hardships, it could gift all of them are aware that to bring about merely one field hard more than slightly flowing shoots reasoning much better liters pertaining to oil and gas to bring about. dc totally free mommy weblog giveaways family trip home gardening home power wash baby laundry detergent

Leave a Reply