" "

Ultimate Guide To 2016 Online & Direct Marketing Statistics

Direct Mail Copywriting & Graphic Design


Quick Summary

There are many lists of direct marketing statistics available online, and every pay-per-click, social media platform and even personal blog can and does generate an apparently limitless variety of constantly changing online marketing statistics.

Not surprisingly, both professional marketers and business owners can come to feel overwhelmed by this potential information overload.
And truth be told, as easy as it is to find an abstract list of numerous Internet marketing statistics, these may be of little value unless you also know how to interpret and apply them to your own business needs.

Quick Links


Direct Mail

SEO & Content Marketing

Social Media Marketing Advertising Stats & Facts



From the point of view of building a business it’s particularly important to understand how to use relevant statistics to gauge and assess market trends. Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Tool are particularly useful in the planning marketing campaigns.

You will also need to understand how to use statistics to assess the Return On Investment (ROI) of your current campaigns and to predict in so far as is possible the potential ROI of future campaigns. In assessing the success or failures of your campaigns it’s particularly important to be able to compare their performance with that of your competitors.

Ask yourself how your campaigns compare on such metrics as:
  • number of website visits generated
  • website clicks generated from social media platforms
  • typical click-through rates by niche from PPC campaigns
  • opt-in and unsubscribe rates to your e-mail lists
  • typical direct mail response rates

These are just a few examples of potential comparison statistics you can use, but it’s also important to understand that some of the most important and useful information for
your business will be generated by your own campaigns.

Direct Mail

The conventional wisdom is that the rise of online marketing has killed traditional direct mail, but statistics show that carefully targeted direct mail campaigns can still deliver an excellent ROI.

According to the United States Direct Marketing Association:
  • 10.6 million catalogs were mailed in 2015
  • More than 2.5 billion coupons were redeemed
  • A total of more than 150 million direct mail promotions were sent out in 2015
  • 42 percent of recipients read or scanned the mail pieces
  • The response rate to direct mail pieces is 3.7%, as opposed to 2% mobile, 1% email, 1% social media, and 0.2% internet display
  • The average ROI for direct mail campaigns is between 15 and 17%

The response rate is only one relatively crude measure of the success of a campaign. Individuals or businesses which, for example, simply return a proforma postcard or form may prove to have little real interest in your offer. So it’s important to determine your “Qualified Response Rate” by following up with your responders.

Typically this will be done by phone or e-mail, depending on the size and nature of your business, and will usually show a significantly smaller number of qualified leads – perhaps 50%. You can also monitor the number of your direct mail recipients who visit your website.

To run effective direct mail campaigns you need to assess both your initial and qualified response rates, both will merely be initial indicators. You will also need to pay close attention to the percentage of people who make a purchase in immediate response to your campaign.

This is not the most important metric because your real ROI depends on the cost of acquisition of a customer against the future value of that customer.

So to run a profitable campaign, it’s essential to monitor your:
  • Cost of response
  • Cost of qualified response
  • Cost of customer acquisition


Meaningful Results May Not Be Available Immediately

It may be that prospects will first sign up to your e-mail list or purchase a low-cost “tripwire” product, so the ultimate value of any individual customer is hard to predict.

Your long-term ROI will very likely depend on how many leads and “tripwire” customers go on to purchase more profitable products or services.

Of course, you can’t know what these figures will be in the early stages of a campaign, but one of the key advantages to direct mail is the fact that it allows you to connect with interested prospects and customers.

This will allow you to monitor them long-term and dramatically improve your profitability.

SEO & Content Marketing

Although direct mail remains important, there’s no doubt that online marketing is the major growth area.

Industry figures show that Google alone receives more than 1 Trillion searches a month – Google is only around 2/3rds of the total with the rest being made up by Bing and Yahoo.

SEO Internet Statistics 2016 According To Hosting Facts:
  • In December 2015 there were more than 3 billion internet users – over 40% of the global population
  • 64%, or $2.2 trillion of all retail sales are now made online or as a result of online promotions smartphone, tablet and other mobile devices will drive more than two-thirds of all internet traffic by 2017
  • 2.9 billion Google searches are made every day
  • 2.7 million blog posts are published every day


Content Marketing

Content marketing can be defined as the consistent creation and distribution of various forms of content, which may include blog posts, videos, special reports and white papers, with the intention of building an audience of interest to potential customers.

According to a 2016 study by the Content Marketing Institute some 88% of businesses use content marketing.

Social media platforms are the most popular means of distributing content:
  • 93% of responders saying that they use social media
  • 82% also use case studies
  • 81% have blogs
  • 81% distribute e-mail newsletters
  • 81% use in-person events
  • 79% use video and/or website articles
  • 76% use images and photos
  • 71% use white papers
  • 67% use infographics
  • 66% use webinars

In terms of effectiveness, in-person events and webinars were rated most useful, scoring 75% and 66% respectively.

The next most useful were case studies (65%), white papers (63%) and videos (62%). E-mail newsletters (60%) and blogs (59%) that by contrast were a little less effective.

Most Used Social Media:
  • Linkedin 94%
  • Twitter 87%
  • Facebook 84%
  • Youtube 74%
  • Google 62%
  • Slideshare 37%
  • Instagram 29%
  • Pinterest 25%

Perhaps surprisingly, 66% of marketers also rated Linkedin as their most effective content marketing platform, 55% named Twitter and 51% YouTube. Slideshare scored 41%, Facebook 30%, Instagram 22%, Pinterest 20% and Google+ 13%.

  • 48% of marketers support three to five buying stages with dedicated content. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • 52% of marketers support two to four roles and buyer personas with dedicated content. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • 63% of marketers create content by buyer persona; 38% by vertical; 30% by geography; and 30% by account or customer. (Curata)


Buyer Insight:

51% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago.

Type of content used in the past 12 months to make B2B purchasing decisions:
    • White Papers (82%)
    • Webinars (78%)
    • Case Studies (73%)
    • eBooks (67%)
    • Blog Posts (66%)
    • Infographics (66%)
    • Third-party/Analyst reports (62%)
    • Video/Motion graphics (47%)
    • Interactive presentations (36%)
    • 95% of B2B buyers are willing to consider vendor-related content as trustworthy.
    • 47% of B2B buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson.

(DemandGen Report – 2016 Content Preferences Survey)


Top channels used by B2B buyers to share business-related content:
    • Email (97%)
    • LinkedIn (85%)
    • Twitter (62%)
    • Facebook (38%)

(DemandGen Report – 2016 Content Preferences Survey)


Top content That B2B Buyers Are Most Likely To Share With Colleagues:
    • White papers (79%)
    • Webinars (68%)
    • Infographics (67%)

(DemandGen Report – 2016 Content Preferences Survey)



  • 88% of B2B marketers in North America use content marketing. (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • 75% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing. (Curata)
  • Percentage of B2B marketing budget (not including staff) spent on content marketing: 28% on average. (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • 69% of companies report their video marketing budget is increasing. (18% “Increasing significantly” and 51% “Increasing marginally”). (Ascend2 2015 Study)
  • 51% of B2B marketers indicate they will increase their content marketing spending in the next 12 months. (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • 64% of companies with a documented content strategy have a dedicated content marketing budget, while 14% of companies without a documented content strategy have a dedicated content marketing budget. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • 18% of companies allocate 10% of their budget (excluding headcount) to content marketing (majority of responses from 0 to 30%). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • 53% of marketers allocate between 1 and 30% of marketing budget to marketing technology (25% between 1 and 10%). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Marketers’ top investment areas across the content marketing space: Curation & Aggregation (38%); Creation (34%); Workflow (29%). (Altimeter)
  • The percentage marketers will increase their future use of content activities: Original Visual Assets (73%), Original Videos (72%), Original Written Content (69%) and Original Audio (26%) (Social Media Examiner)


Size of Content Marketing Market:

The marketing software market is expected to grow to more than $32.3 billion in 2018. It will be one of the fastest-growing areas in high tech, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4%. (IDC)

Content Marketing Growth:

77% of marketers will increase content production in the next 12 months – end of 2014 into 2015. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
42.5% of companies are increasing their content marketing staff levels in 2016

How To Use Google Analytics Effectively

What you need to know about the 5 main types of report it offers:

    1. Customer acquisition report
    2. Organic traffic landing page report
    3. Email assessment report

  1. Device comparison report
  2. Time of day / day of week transaction report


Social Media Marketing Advertising Statistics & Facts

  1. The share of marketing budgets spent on social media advertising is expected to more than double over the next five years, from 11% today to 24% by 2020. (The CMO Survey)
  2. Another survey predicted the share of overall digital marketing budgets devoted to social media marketing will increase from 9.9% today to 22.5% within five years. (Dazeinfo)
  3. Social media advertising revenue will reach $9.8 billion in 2016. (Link Humans)
  4. 22% of social media marketing activities are performed by outside agencies. (The CMO Survey)
  5. Developing a social media strategy is a more common challenge among small businesses (55%) than enterprises (34%), while securing enough internal resources is a more common problem in larger companies (47%) than in SMBs (33%). (Simply Measured)
  6. 33% of millennials identify social media as one of their preferred channels for communicating with businesses. Less then 5% of those 55 and older agree. (MarketingSherpa)
  7. 74% of salespeople who beat their 2014 quota by 10% or more say they have an excellent understanding about the use of social media for prospecting, nurturing relationships and closing deals. They were over 6x as likely to exceed their quota than sales peers with rudimentary or no social media skills. (Forbes)
  8. 64% of sales professionals reported closing at least one deal in 2014 as a direct result of using social media. (Forbes)
  9. More than half (52%) of marketers say Facebook is “the most important social network they use to grow and market their business.” LinkedIn came in second place with 21%, followed by Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus. (V3B Blog)
  10. 96% of small business owners/marketers use social media marketing, and 92% of those agree or strongly agree with the phrase, “Social media marketing is important for my business.” (Social Media Examiner)
  11. The top three goals for SMB social media marketing programs are brand awareness (74%), website traffic (53%), and lead generaiton (41%). (Simply Measured)
  12. 61% of startups use social media for marketing. (TNW News)
  13. 43% of digital marketers say social media is one of their most effective tactics, but 49% call it one of the most difficult. (TNW News)
  14. Social media is viewed as the second-most effective digital marketing tactic for customer retention purposes, behind only email. (TNW News)
  15. The three characteristics of brand social media posting most important to consumers, in order, are 1) the brand shares new content; 2) the content is relevant to the brand; and 3) the brand engages with its followers. (SocialTimes)
  16. 57% of consumers say they’d be somewhat or very influenced to think more highly of a business after seeing positive comments or praise online, and 16% say they only share positive reviews on social media. (Direct Marketing)
  17. And yet–34% of small businesses have no social media presence at all, and 36% of those who do never respond to customer comments online. (Direct Marketing)
  18. For 2016, Instagram is the top social channel marketers plan to invest more advertising in (72%), followed by Facebook (61%), Pinterest (41%), Snapchat (36%) and Amazon (34%). (MediaPost)
  19. Tumblr has 230 million active monthly users worldwide, and is adding 120,000 new users each day. (Infini Datum)
  20. And yet–Tumblr remains one of the least exploited social networks by marketers and also advertisers, of which there are currently only 150 as of December 2015. (Our Social Times)
  21. The top two uses of Twitter and Facebook by journalists are marketing and promotion of their stories and relationship building. 78% use Twitter for marketing; 74% use Facebook. 62% use Twitter to build relationships. (MediaPost)

First, there are the promoted tweets: a regular tweet that you pay Twitter to promote in hopes of reaching a wider audience, driving traffic, and spreading brand awareness.

Second, there are promoted accounts, which are regular accounts that appear in users’ “Who to Follow” windows in order to gain more followers and reach potential customers.

Finally, there are promoted trends, used for promoting campaigns, usually with a hashtag or keyword, that appears on Twitter’s “Trending Topics” list.



  • Opt-in rates
  • Open rates
  • Unsubscribe rates
  • Rates for responsive/adaptive designs


PPC & Banner Retargeting


“Google was launched in 2000, with pricing based on a flat CPM (cost per impression model). It was relaunched under an auction model in 2002.”
(Search Engine History)


  • An 18-year-old college dropout named Scott Banister is credited with the brilliant, multi-billion-dollar idea of pay-for-placement search listings, an idea later brought to fruition by Bill Gross at IdeaLab. (TechCrunch)
  • About 97% of Google’s total revenues come from advertising. (Google Investor Relations)
  • Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google Economic Impact Report)
  • As of Spring 2011, Google had over 1.2 million businesses advertising on its search network. (AdGooRoo via Perry Marshall)
  • The average click-through rate for an ad in the first position is 7.94%. (AccuraCast)


AdWords Facts

    • Ads in the top position have been observed to get 10 times as many clicks as side-position ads. (Practical Ecommerce)
    • In Q2 of 2012, Google’s revenues rose 35% to $12.21 billion. In the same quarter, aggregate paid clicks went up by 42%. (Business Insider)
    • Google dominates mobile search advertising, taking 97% of mobile search spend. (Search Engine Land)
    • In 2011, Google search and advertising tools generated $80 billion in economic activity across the U.S. (Google Economic Impact Report)
    • The finance and insurance industry spent $4 billion on AdWords in 2011. (Search Engine Watch)
    • Finance and insurance related keywords are among the most expensive in AdWords, with some demanding costs per click (CPCs) over $50. (The 20 Most Expensive Keywords in AdWords)
    • Amazon spent an estimated $55.2 million on AdWords advertising in 2011. (Breaking Down Google’s 2011 Revenues)
    • 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused. (Google Research)
    • For high commercial intent search queries, the top three ad spots take about 40% of the clicks on the page. (The War on Free Clicks)
    • If there is no right-hand column, almost half of people (45.5%) can’t tell the difference between organic and paid search results. (SEO Book)
    • AdWords advertisers can now target by Congressional District. (Google Politics)
    • Google owns the world’s largest online display advertising network, with properties including YouTube, Gmail, and Blogger. (comScore)
    • The Google Display Network serves 180 billion impressions each month, that’s about 6 billion a day! (comScore)
    • Google display campaigns reach 80% of global internet users. (Google Benchmarks and Insights)
    • According to Google, “99% of our top 1,000 clients are now running campaigns on the Google Display Network and YouTube.” (Google Benchmarks and Insights)
    • The average click-through rate of an ad on the Google Display Network is 0.4% — four times as high as the average banner ad in the US and almost ten times as high as a Facebook ad. (Facebook vs. Google Display Network)
    • Consumers exposed to display ads are, on average, 155% more likely to search for brand- and segment-specific terms. (Specific Media)
    • Yankee Candle Company reports that remarketing allowed it to increase conversion rates by 600% while cutting cost per conversion in half. (AdWords Blog)

  • According to Google, campaigns that use the Conversion Optimizer achieve a 21% increase in conversions while decreasing CPA by 14% on average. (Google Conversion



Marketing can be confusing, but here at Ballantine we have prospered since 1966. We have been planning and executing direct marketing campaigns which deliver great returns while also building your brand. We can also help round out your company by working on a digital marketing campaign for you as well.

Contact us to start planning your marketing campaign today.

Website | + posts

I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!