The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has released its long awaited 2021 Response Rate Report (membership required) that once again reinforces direct mail ROI as the highest of all channels they studied. Leveraging a multi-format offering across multiple production platforms, direct mail ROI topped the list at 112% ―a stronger return than from any other channel! That may explain why nearly half (46%) of study participants said they planned to increase their use of direct mail in the next twelve months.
The Winterberry Group’s Outlook for Advertising, Marketing and Data 2022 (registration required) presentation points to similar optimism. Acquisition mail volume rose 14.6% in 2021 and accounted for roughly 80% of direct mail volume, while cross sell and loyalty mailings each showed volume increases which led the overall growth in retention mail.
Although we’ve championed direct mail ROI for years, what is most encouraging is the overall performance of the other channels highlighted in the ANA Response Rate Report.
Email Remains Popular
The most popular marketing channel was email, which was used by 82% of study participants. Unlike direct mail, email was most popular with business-to-business (B2B) marketers. The most common use for email by B2C brands was to communicate with existing customers, while B2B brands reported using email for both customer communications and generating revenue.
Response Rate Report participants reported average email open rates of 32% when sent to prospect lists and 37% when sent to house lists. While both of these figures are up compared to results reported in 2020, it is notable that they significantly lag the open rates for Informed Delivery emails that are consistently north of 60%.
Social Media is Strong on Mobile
Social media advertising was another popular channel. The most common purpose for social media ads was brand awareness, with B2C advertisers leveraging social media to make a direct sale, while B2B marketers are more likely to use social media for lead generation. Social media also showed strong performance on mobile devices. More than 80% of respondents also report higher mobile click rates, CPM, and conversion rates compared with desktop, which were the best results among digital channels in the study.
The continuing theme highlighted by both reports is the more the use of sophisticated data and analytics are integrated into the channels in the marketing mix, the more successful the campaign becomes.
Direct Mail ROI Drives a Companion Channel Marketing Mix
As has been reported over and over, all these channels have seen independent success as standalone efforts, depending on how they are focused. The partnering of direct mail with other channels continues to prove to be the catalyst of increased response. The Response Rate Report shows that B2B and B2C marketers use three or more channels to communicate with prospects and customers. We’ve found among our own clients that combining direct mail and email has proven to be the strongest in lifting results as response and click through rates improve greatly when these channels are combined.
Performance based marketing is the focus of many of our clients. By leveraging the solutions we have developed to organize and execute the right mix of channel specific communications, IWCO Direct is delivering the best return on your marketing spend. This is our focus. Drop us a line; we’d love to share some of our thoughts on how we can partner with you to help maximize the results you need to achieve
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