Email Vs Junk Mail

In the world we live in today, digital marketing is taking over the traditional, paper-based options. From door-drop marketing and direct mail, we’re now moving to email marketing – and lots of it.junk mail vs junk email

We receive, on average, 121 marketing emails each day. If you think that’s scary, let’s break it down further…

  • Around 205 billion emails are sent every day in the UK, with 56.52% of them being email marketing (as of March 2016).
  • This equates to over 115,866,000,000 pieces of email marketing sent each day.
  • With a worldwide population of 7.4 billion, that’s enough emails to send 16 to every person on the planet.

Post, on the other hand, is a different story…

  • In 2005, there were 19.7 billion letters sent, according to the Royal Mail*. 6.17 billion of these were direct mail – in other words, marketing.
  • By 2012, 19.7 billion had fallen to 13.8 billion – 4.4 billion were direct mail.
  • By 2023, that makes a forecasted 8.3 billion – 3.1 billion will be direct mail.

*These figures, however, don’t include door drop leaflet distribution (unaddressed promotional marketing) that is delivered separately and so should be counted separately.

On top of this, an individual receives 650 pieces of direct mail each year (according to a 2013 City of London estimate); on average two per day.

What do the response rates look like?

Open rates

The majority of direct mail that’s sent is opened – at 56% – according to the CMO Council.

The open rates of emails are much lower, at an average of 22.87%.

The result: Direct mail is twice as likely to be opened and therefore gives you more chance of delivering a message to your audience.

Response rates

Direct mail’s response rate is 3.4%.

Email’s response rate is 0.12%.*

The result: Direct mail is more likely to encourage responses than marketing emails. In addition to this, the most brand recollection comes from door drop marketing (88%), compared with direct mail (60%) and internet adverts (36%).

*Figures from 2012

Email vs Direct Mail

As the amount of postal mail in general is decreasing, in terms of marketing, direct mail will continue to be a useful investment for businesses.

The choice of direct mail – with higher open rates, response rates and recall rates –  can make you stand out from your competitors.


  • Data Talk study for ITV Sept 2009, 3,000 UK