Sources for Response Rate Statistics

After numerous requests from clients and prospects, I finally broke down and shared generic response rates in a past post entitled  "What Kind Of Response Rate Can We Expect?" 

In this new post, I will give you the best sources for published response rate information. 

Direct marketing consultants are loth to provide response information on specific campaigns because they are simply inaccurate and rarely useful. Inexperienced clients tend to interpret such estimates and accompanying caveats as a response prediction or commitment.

Accurate response rate estimates without the statistics from previous, specific client testing are impossible.

The offer, the product, the channel, seasonality, list selection criteria and political environment (among other things) can make or break a direct marketing campaign. 

Nevertheless, clients need to understand that their direct mail promotion for new customers will not get a 10% response rate. Better to think in terms of .5 to .75% when selling off the page and 2-3% for lead generation. Other channels such as print, DRTV and online are unlikely to make a loosing product win.

Better yet, let me perform a pre-response analysis indicating what response rate you need for breakeven within the selected channel(s). This will allow both the client and consultant to confirm if the campaign idea has any chance of succeeding before committing to the test campaign.

If you are looking for response statistics to give you a better feel for response rates from multiple industries, two studies are available from the National Mail Order Association, NMOA. They are, the DMA Statistical Fact Book, and the Response Rate Trends Report.

Please share your thoughts on this timely subject. How do you respond to corporate executives who insist on a response prediction before launching a new campaign that was not tested?

Posted on December 29, 2010 and filed under Direct Marketing Strategy.