Direct mail volume up 16% in Q1 as insurance leads comeback

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Direct mail volume increased 16% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2010 to 6.1 billion pieces in total, according to data from direct marketing intelligence firm Mintel Comperemedia.

The insurance and credit card industries were the strongest drivers of this growth. The volume of credit card-related direct mail increased 36% year-over-year, reaching 1.2 billion pieces in the first quarter. Insurance mail grew 8% from the prior year, reaching 2.6 billion pieces.

The mix of consumer-facing direct mail has changed considerably from a year ago, with insurance-related mailings leading the pack with 43% of all volume, said Andrew Davidson, SVP of Mintel Comperemedia.

“When you look at the mailbox now as compared to a year ago, now insurance is the biggest sector and outmails everything else by a country mile,” he said. “A year ago, credit cards were No. 1, then insurance, mortgages and loans.”

For the rest of 2010, Davidson said that “all signs are pretty optimistic. Even mortgages have seen a slight uptick.”

“I think we will see continued growth, in credit cards in particular, because there have been a few companies, Chase and Capital One, driving the growth,” he noted. “Because of new credit card regulations, some are still holding back, but I think we will see even further growth, although not to the extend of the past boom years.”

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