The 90% Open Rate Marketing Tactic Nobody’s Talking About

Marketing is all about getting people’s attention long enough to realize they need your product. In the competitive landscape of open rate marketing, where every brand vies for a moment of consumer focus, the challenge is real. But in the era where digital marketing is pulling everyone’s attention a thousand different ways, it can be hard to get anyone’s attention long enough to make an impression. Luckily, we know a secret: good old-fashioned print mail has a higher open rate than any digital marketing tactic.

Print vs. Digital: How Do the Numbers Compare?

You don’t have to take our word for it. Print beats out digital on practically every metric. We will compare direct mail and email since they have the most parallels, and email is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. One of the biggest leg-ups that print has over digital marketing is that it has far less competition for your attention. Email is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. But the average person receives 121 emails a day. That means your email has to beat out more than a hundred other emails vying for attention. In contrast, USPS reports that the average household receives two pieces of direct mail a day.

Open rate and Read rate

Likely, due to the disparity in quantity, there’s a massive gap in open rates between direct mail and email. Direct mail has an open rate of 90% compared to email, which has an average open rate of 21.33%. In general, people at least sort through and open most mail instead of leaving huge portions unread.

Open rate is one thing, but if you’ve ever clicked through a bunch of emails just to remove the notification, you know it’s not everything. It isn’t easy to assess how long people spend looking at the physical mail they receive, but at least 40% of people read or scan their physical mail. With email, people generally spend an average of 9 seconds looking at an email, a number which has been steadily declining from 13.4 seconds in 2018. And 30% of emails get less than 2 seconds of attention.


This last metric is significant. When you reach out to your customers, you want them to enjoy the experience so they’re left with an overall positive impression of your brand. Thanks to the power of science and neuromarketing research, USPS has officially quantified how much people enjoy physical mail vs digital marketing. They found that participants in the study had a stronger emotional response to physical ads vs digital. Additionally, they placed a greater subconscious value and desire for the products from the physical ads.

The numbers don’t lie. One of the oldest advertising methods is also the most effective. Direct, physical mail makes an impact that newer digital methods can’t compete with. One of the biggest cons of mail compared to digital media is the time, energy, and cost it requires. That’s where Flyleaf comes in. We manage and coordinate the print process from beginning to end, so you don’t have to. Contact us today to find out how we can simplify your print process.