Live from ACC: DMA Releases Response Rate Data

San Francisco–When mailing catalogs to their house file, marketers average a 4.08% response rate, according to a soon-to-be-released report from the Direct Marketing Association. That compares with a 0.96% response to promotional e-mails sent to the house file.

What’s more, the revenue per catalog mailed is $4.40 on average, while the revenue per e-mail is $0.87. But the cost per contact of the e-mail averages $0.03, while the cost per contact for the catalog is $0.61.

The statistics are from the DMA’s “2003 Response Rate Study,” based on data from 156 catalogers. The study was conducted during the first quarter of the year. The average response rate to catalog mailings to prospects is 1.62%, with revenue per catalog of $1.58. For e-mail messages sent to prospects, the average response is 0.13%. Revenue per e-mail is $0.13.

While the cost per catalog order among house file names averages $21.23, among prospects it’s $78.69. The discrepancy between customers and prospects is even more dramatic when it comes to cost per e-mail order; $4.28 among house file names compared with $115.50 among prospects.

Except for catalogs, e-mail was the most popular medium among the mailers surveyed. Nearly 38% of respondents said they send promotional e-mails.