According to survey results from Lob and Comperemedia, more than 7 in 10 consumers open direct mail either immediately or the same day they receive it, and 62% report having taken action after reading a direct mail piece.

And consumers most often visit a brand’s website after receiving a direct mail piece, so it’s critical to ensure every touchpoint in your campaign has consistent visuals and messaging to create an engaging customer experience optimized for conversion.

Preferred Communication Channels by Consumers

Key Findings and Insights

Direct mail is favored when customers don’t know the brand.

2,000+ US adults surveyed were given 4 channel choices (email, direct mail, text messages, and social media messages) and asked about their preferred communication from brands in different situations. For brands that respondents already have a relationship with, email was easily the preferred communication method (52%). Direct mail and text messages trailed distantly, but closely together (20% and 19%, respectively).

For brands that respondents are aware of but do not have a relationship with, the results showed email (42%) and direct mail (39%) as the preferred communication method. But for brands that respondents do not know, direct mail takes the lead (44%) ahead of email (35%), with social media messages (13%) and text messages (8%) trailing.

According to the results, direct mail can be an effective channel for customer acquisition. Indeed, consumers are receptive to direct mail, which can have lower-funnel impacts too: consumers rate it almost as highly as email for driving purchases.

Direct mail offers generate activity.

Promotions motivate action on social media and direct mail, per Lob’s report. The study finds that promotions and offers are the most important factors leading consumers to open or read a direct mail piece. 73% are likely to open or read a direct mail piece from a brand when it contains multiple offers or promotions, and 72% are likely to if it contains a single offer or promotion. Furthermore, offers and promotions are the leading reason for consumers to take action on a direct mail piece: among those who said they have taken action on direct mail, 64% said that it was because an offer or promotion caught their eye.

Although offers are the main driver, elements such as the design and copywriting as well as its personalization are important.

Catalogs and magazines are preferred.

Direct mail formats preferred from brands they know, respondents cited catalogs and magazines (53%) at the top of the list, ahead of brochures (pamphlet/booklet; 43%), letters and envelopes (39%), and postcards (33%). The study authors note that younger respondents (18-34) are considerably more likely than their older counterparts to prefer to receive letters and envelopes, while those ages 35-54 are the most likely to prefer to receive postcards.

Previous research has revealed that letter-sized envelopes sent from a prospect list have a higher ROI than those of oversized envelopes (92.2%), dimensional (92.3%), and postcards (85%) sent from a prospect list.

Need assistance with your direct mail strategy and production? Schedule a call or email Lori Berson at

BersonDeanStevens has been a recognized brand strategy and marketing leader for over 25 years, including over a decade in marketing and sales automation. We work in partnership with you to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. Client list.