It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Lob: Time to unveil our findings in the 2024 State of Direct Mail report!
We recently hosted our highly-anticipated webinar, sharing the findings of the report on how marketers are leveraging direct mail as a marketing channel and the results they’re seeing. Our host, Stephanie Donelson, Senior Content Marketing Manager, was joined by Meaghan Hinchey, Manager, Primary Research at Comperemedia/Mintel, and our own Summer Hahnlen, Senior Director - Direct Mail Expert in Residence at Lob.
For the 2024 State of Direct Mail, Lob partnered with Comperemedia to interview 250 business professionals who work at North American companies with 1,000+ employees. 75% target both B2B and B2C.
This direct mail marketing study included businesses across the following industries:
Roles included in this survey:
All data was aggregated and anonymized.
Let’s get into the good stuff and recap three key takeaways from the webinar.
This is the third year in a row that we’ve presented the State of Direct Mail Marketing, and it’s been nothing short of extraordinary watching the overall agreement with direct mail as a channel that delivers ROI increase each year.
In 2022, 67% of respondents agreed that direct mail delivered the best ROI of any channel they use. In 2023 we saw that figure grow to 74%, and now here we are in 2024 with a whopping 84% of marketers agreeing that direct mail delivers the best ROI- up 10 percentage points over last year.
Certain industries see this number score even higher, like in insurance, which shows 94% of marketers agree that direct mail delivers the best ROI.
Recommended resources: Check out our one-pagers to see the 2024 State of Direct Mail report’s results by industry.
Hahnlen added that marketers have seen a decline in ROI from their staple digital channels and are looking for new ways to diversify their outreach. Digital exhaustion is a real thing, and marketers need to find new ways to diversify their outbound marketing to reduce the risk of over-investing in an underperforming channel.
Attribution techniques are becoming more fine-tuned and marketers are better able to see the impact direct mail delivers on a marketer’s business objectives and how it also lifts up the response rate of their other channels.
A quick note on attribution: seeing multi-touch attribution used by nearly two-thirds of our respondents shows how far we’ve come as marketers when we struggled with attribution. It speaks to the fact that our attribution models have matured, and the way we are measuring our marketing efforts has evolved to provide us with a clearer picture of how all our marketing activities and channels are working to deliver results.
Hinchey shared that the data suggests that improved ROI tracking through the use of automation or software partners is a major factor influencing these KPIs. Marketers can be more confident in the channel as they are now better equipped to execute and then track their campaigns anecdotally. She added, "I would also say that direct mail just breaks through the noise, unlike some other channels. It's a physical marketing piece that can be a sticky reminder for a customer compared to a digital ad. Personally, I get inundated on social media, streaming platforms, and the like."
This is a staggering increase from 2023, in which 58% of respondents said they were increasing budgets year over year!
And 85% of respondents increased their overall marketing budget.
Budgets are growing and on average, respondents spend about a quarter of their marketing budget on direct mail.
It's always a joke that marketers don't have the data they need to execute campaigns, but the data proves otherwise!
It was shocking to see that 97% of respondents are satisfied with their data.
Hahnlen added, "This stat really surprised me, because my experience in running direct marketing programs and recent conversations with peers and customers continues to reveal there is always room for improvement within data access, usage, targeting, and measurement."
The top three data uses are to personalize mail pieces, optimize campaigns, and trigger sends based on behaviors or actions. 68% of respondents cited personalization as the leading use of data.
Hinchey added, "For example, we see personalization top-of-mind here when it comes to using data attributes. However, this could simply mean putting a name on a piece of direct mail. There's so much more we can do than that. The better-equipped marketers are to ingest and then take action on data. I would expect to see even higher response rates, higher conversion rates, higher retention rates, and more."
Watch the recording to learn more about the state of direct mail marketing this year.
Or, get your copy of the 2024 State of Direct Mail report to review at your leisure.