Cost Per Lead

Why Direct Mail Performs so Well at Cost per Lead Compared to Other Channels

In News by olga

We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve overheard marketers discussing response rates and how much cheaper email and internet marketing is than traditional methods like direct mail.

We have to smile when we hear these conversations because once again, people are getting it wrong. They should be talking about the metric that really matters and that’s cost per lead.

Identifying what’s relevant

Although comparing email marketing campaigns with direct mail marketing campaigns may seem like a good way of determining the most effective marketing channel, the result will actually be irrelevant. Instead, you need to calculate what it is you want to achieve. Determining how much money each of the different media channels you are using cost and return will be of much more value to you as a marketer.

Cost per lead comparisons

A report by the Direct Marketing Association found that the cost per lead for acquisition campaigns were similar for direct mail ($51.40), email ($55.24) and paid search ($52.58). Funnily enough email actually has the highest cost per lead and there was everyone thinking it was the cheapest form of marketing!

One of the reasons why direct mail has a similar cost per lead to these internet marketing methods, despite the cost of materials required to produce it being higher, is that it produces high conversion rates. According to the Print on Demand Institute, direct mail has the highest conversion rates compared to all other marketing mediums.

Why is direct mail performing so well?

Don’t be fooled by those telling you that direct mail is dead. It’s still very much alive and kicking and using it as part of your marketing strategy will be highly beneficial to your company.

One of the key reasons why direct mail performs so well is that it can be easily optimised to achieve high conversion rates. Mail personalisation is a great example of this. By simply personalising direct mail, addressing it to recipients’ names and including unique special offers, direct mail stands a greater chance at getting recipients to complete that all-important call to action.

Direct mail can also be integrated with technology such as personalised URLs and landing pages, which also help to drive conversion rates.


Just because something’s digital, don’t assume that it’s necessarily cheaper or more beneficial for your company to use. Direct mail may be considered the dinosaur of the marketing industry but the truth is that it is still performing way better at cost per lead compared to all the other channels .

Reduce your cost per lead with direct mail, let Baker Goodchild help with your direct mail project. Call us for a FREE and friendly no-obligation discussion of your needs.

Image Credit: Ken Teegardin