USPS Household Diary Study

Direct mail marketing read and response rates have been on the rise for the past decade. A recent USPS Household diary study of 5,428 U.S. Households reported that about 85 percent of direct mail is at least skimmed over before being discarded or saved.

One of the main reasons a person will choose not to read a direct mail piece is because of the volume of mail they’ve received.  Because over the course of the past decade the number of direct mail pieces has decreased, the average number of households reading their mail has increased.  The reverse logic is also true for email.  Throughout the past 10 years, email open rates have been on a steady decline due mostly to the volume of emails that the average person receives everyday.

The USPS Household Diary Study also showed that about 35 percent of people say they will respond to a direct mail piece at some point.  Direct mail pieces such as catalogues are read by a little over half of all respondents and skimmed by more — only about 18 percent of people said they discarded a catalogue without reading any of it.  Another interesting fact generated from this study is that households with higher incomes responded more frequently to the direct mail pieces they received — claiming they’ll respond to 2-4 direct mail piece every week.

Direct mail is a powerful communication tool and can break through the clutter of a person’s everyday life.  It has the power to capture your audience’s attention and engage them with your brand’s message.

Timothy Freeman


Print & Graphic Communications Association


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