What Kind of ROI can I get from Direct Mail? A Behind the Scenes Look


Many business owners assume that no one reads or responds to direct mail anymore. In reality, studies show that over 80% of direct mail gets read, and we have thousands of customers who swear by postcard campaigns. But you don’t want a testimonial, you want to know what direct mail can actually do for your bottom line. We’re here to give you a behind-the-scenes look at just how effective direct mail can be.

At expresscopy.com, we put our money where our mouth is. Every month, we mail thousands of postcards advertising our services. Here’s a breakdown of exactly how much we earned from direct mail in January of 2015:

Campaign #1: Jumbo postcards sent to current customers

Postcards sent: 8,743

Cost of the campaign: $4,197

Number of orders from the campaign: 106

Revenue generated: $30,331

Pretty incredible, right? We spent just over $4,000 and pulled in $30,000 in sales, giving our campaign an ROI of 6.2. Depending on your industry, your numbers will probably look a little different from ours. Our average order falls somewhere between $100 and a thousand dollars, and we’re set up to handle large quantities of orders. So if you’re in real estate or work as a contractor, you’ll most likely be working with fewer customers – at a higher price point.

Campaign #2: Jumbo postcards sent to inactive customers

Postcards sent: 26,272

Cost of the campaign: $12,611

Number of orders from the campaign: 57

Revenue generated: $15,616

Alright, that figure isn’t quite as exciting, although it still gives us a positive ROI of 1.1. Keep in mind though, many of these previous customers haven’t done direct mail in years…but our campaign got them to come back. By comparison, our email campaigns to inactive customers get an average of about 6 orders each…meaning that direct mail is nearly 10 times more effective than email at winning back customers.

How did we do it?

We’ve been doing direct mail for a long time (since 1992, actually), so we’ve gotten pretty good at it. Here are the things we do that help us get great results from every campaign, including our January mailings.

Send postcards consistently

Sending postcards at regular intervals is hands-down the best way to guarantee that when your recipients are ready to buy, they choose you over your competitors. Doing regular mailings increases your reach and brand recognition. And we’re not the only ones saying so, direct mail expert Jeffrey Dobkin agrees with us. So do marketing pro Zach Heller and the editors at Entrepreneur.com.

Use clean, brightly colored postcard designs

A clean, well-designed postcard not only makes you look more professional, it’s more likely to catch your recipient’s attention. Learn more about designing a great postcard here. Can’t draw a stick figure to save your life? Use one of our 3,000+ free templates.


We’ve had over 20 years to learn what works, and what doesn’t. Luckily, you don’t have to wait 20 years to become a direct mail pro. Just give us a call at 1-800-260-5887 and we’ll share our expertise with you.

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