Marketing — Tools
Measure the impact of Direct Mail
Direct mail is the perfect way to make a personalized connection with each of your customers. It’s an interaction that can be completely integrated with your digital and broadcast brand experiences—to drive more sales with new prospects and loyal customers. Best of all, direct mail is a smart way to use your marketing dollars. How smart? Use this calculator to find out.
How to use the Direct MailMarketing Impact Calculator
Enter your estimated budget, campaign, and product numbers in each field. Once every field has been completed, your return on marketing dollars will be calculated automatically.
Not sure what to enter? Select a field and guidance for that selection will appear in this space.
Need more assistance? Click the button below, enter your information, and a USPS Direct Mail Representative can help you.Connect with a USPS expert
The type of direct mail campaign you choose can impact overall costs and response rate. Here’s some guidance to help you choose the best option for your business.1 “6 Reasons Postcards are So Powerful,” businessknowhow.com, 2015
2 “2005 Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations,” USPS, 2005
This is the total number of mailpieces you’ll send out in a campaign.
To increase volume beyond your current customers, you may need to purchase a mailing list.
Most mailing list vendors will not rent fewer than 5,000 names at a time. Price breaks typically occur for higher volume mailings.
This is the total amount you would like to spend on your direct mail campaign. This includes purchasing mailing lists, design costs, printing, postage, and other fees.
Here’s some guidance on how to determine your budget:
Studies find that marketers spend 26.8% of their total marketing budget on direct mail. 3
Your budget may need to be adjusted based on the mail type you choose, the print and paper quality, and any special production needs.
Note: In the calculation we will allocate 30% of your total budget toward the costs to write and design your direct mail. This is based on industry averages. You may be able to improve your return on investment (ROI) percentage by finding a less expensive design option such as designing it yourself in-house. For a calculation that lets you specify more variables such as design costs, please connect with a USPS Direct Mail Representative.3 “How much should you spend on digital marketing?” snapagency.com, 2016
This is the gross price a typical customer will pay for the product or service you’ll be promoting in your direct mail.
This is the net profit margin for each product or service contract you sell.
For every 100 people who will receive your direct mailpiece, how many do you expect to visit your brick-and-mortar or online store or call you for more information? That’s your response rate.
According to Direct Mail News, in 2016 the average response rate for direct mail was 5.3% for house lists and 2.9% for prospect lists. 4 Both rates are considerably higher than industry expectations and surging past the email response rate of just 0.12%.
These mail types typically get the highest response rates: 5
Larger than letter-size mail
Flyers (also known as self-mailers)
5 “Postcards Advertising is a Winner,” mailingmethods.com, 2014
This is the percentage of responding customers that you project you will be able to convert to paying customers.
For example, if you send out 1,000 direct mailpieces and get a 5% response rate, that will be 50 customers who will visit your store or call you on the phone.
If your close ratio is 50%, you’ll get 25 new sales from your direct mail campaign.
Look at the sales numbers from your previous marketing campaigns to set a benchmark for this number.
Return On Marketing Dollars
Did you get a positive return?
Congratulations. This is the percentage of net profit you’ll realize from your direct mail campaign.
For more advice that will help you save money and create a direct mail campaign that's optimized for your budget and objectives, consult a USPS direct mail expert.
Did you get a negative return?
Based on the numbers you entered, we’ve calculated a negative return on your direct mail campaign. This can be caused by many factors including response rate, conversion rate, mail type, volume, and costs.
Consider the following:
Check your numbers, make adjustments, and try again. For example, consider choosing a less expensive and more impactful mail type, such as a postcard.
Also consider the lifetime value of your campaign. Although your first campaign may yield a negative result in terms of immediate sales and return on investment, the overall lifetime value may yield a positive result through increased customer awareness of your business and the products or services you offer.
For more advice that will help you save money and create a direct mail campaign that’s optimized for your budget and objectives consult a USPS direct mail expert.
Ready to start making an impact with direct mail?
Whether you need some direct mail advice or are ready to get your campaign going, our team of USPS experts is ready to help:
- Refine your return on investment (ROI) analysis.
- Inspire your creativity with examples of the latest innovations in direct mail.
- Get you up to speed on proven ways to improve customer engagement.
Get started by giving us a bit of information at the link below and we’ll contact you soon.
Connect with a USPS expert
This report is an estimate based on your input only. A complete analysis will be provided by a USPS Direct Mail Representative when you request an audit. Postal rates are based on USPS rates published in January 2016. Subject to change.