Direct Mail Open Rates vs SMS Open Rates – Which One Wins?

By January 25, 2019Uncategorized

Times are changing rapidly, as are the ways we communicate with each other. Texting has become the go-to for greetings among friends and family, but what about for business? Is there enough reason to change old habits into new ones when it comes to communicating with, engaging, and billing customers?

Let’s take a comparative look between SMS text open rates, email open rates, and direct mail open rates to find out which method of contact is preferred by both businesses and customers alike.

SMS Open Rates

Communicating with your customers (and enabling them to communicate with you) is a business basic. Keeping your brand in their thoughts, your sales and promotions in their back pocket, and being at their beck and call for any comment, question, or concern is exactly what customers want these days.

SMS Open Rate

The global average SMS open rate is a staggering 94%.

Other SMS facts:

  • 15,220,700 texts are sent every minute.
  • 73% of people will read every message they receive, regardless of who sent it and even if they don’t recognize the sender.
  • 95% of texts are read within 3 minutes.
  • 78% of consumers wish they could text businesses.
  • 93% of surveyed consumers believe wireless messaging is a trusted communications environment.

Email Open Rates

Email has been the main staple for business communication, marketing, and billing for many years now. In fact, half of the world’s population is predicted to be email users by 2022.

Email Open Rate

Across all industries, as of October 2018, the total open rate of 15.75%. However, emails with personalized subject lines generate 50% higher open rates and if you are sending a welcome email, the average open rate jumps all the way up to 82%.

Other email facts:

  • The open rate of email on mobile and tablets is 39.26% while the desktop open rate is 60.74%.
  • The click-through rate is 7.65% and the bounce rate is 8.89%. Adding videos to your email can increase click rates by 300%.
  • The unsubscribe rate is only 0.02%.
  • For every $1 spent on email marketing, a return of $32 can be expected.
  • 66% of people said yes when asked, “Would receiving due date reminders increase your likelihood of opting to receive bills electronically with no accompanying paper bill at a bank or biller site?”
  • Over half of those receiving paper bills are interested in viewing paperless e-bills at the biller website.

Direct Mail Open Rates

Direct mail is any piece of paper that is sent directly to a recipient’s mailbox and can encompass may different materials designed to inform and engage consumers. It can include postcards, brochures, catalogs, and sales letters. It also includes invoices and billing statements.

Direct Mail Open Rate

Since it’s nearly impossible to measure how many consumers actually open their direct mail, direct mail statistics can only be judged by their response rate.

In 2017, the direct mail open/response rate was 5.1%. When counting the rate for prospective customers only, the rate dropped to 2.9%.

Other Direct Mail Facts:

  • 8,231 million pieces of business correspondence were sent to US households in 2015.
  • The average number of advertising mail pieces received per household is 12.1 per week.
  • 24% of US households don’t read direct mail advertising.


  • Across all income categories, younger households send and receive less transactional mail.
  • In 2015, 13,616 bills were sent via direct mail.
  • Also in 2015, 66.3% of households use direct mail to pay bills.
  • Of these households, they paid an average of 3.8 bills (30%) per month via direct mail.
  • Between the years 2000 and 2015, bills paid by direct mail dropped by approximately 4 pieces per month.

What the High SMS Open Rate Means for Your Business

When all the facts are gathered and considered, it’s pretty plain to see that the outstandingly high SMS open rates are what guarantees that SMS payments are the future of business promotion, customer service communication, and bill invoicing and payments.

If you’d like to learn more about how your company can grow its profits by implementing text to pay, learn more about BlytzPay!