Report: Direct Mail Spending To Grow 5.8%

By Chantal Tode on January 14th, 2011

Spending on direct mail is expected to increase 5.8% in 2011, driven by a return to acquisition mail, according to a new report from advertising and marketing consulting firm Winterberry Group.

While the economy showed some signs of normalizing in 2010, spending in many traditional media channels continued to decline, according to “Outlook 2011: What to Expect in Direct & Digital Marketing.” Businesses are expected to continue to expand in 2011 but, traditional media won’t be a beneficiary.

It’s a different story for direct and digital marketing. In 2010, spending grew across several direct and digital categories, including direct mail, which was up 3.1%. Overall, direct and digital spending is expected to increase 6.2% in 2011. Even direct response print, which was down last year, is expected to grow by 2% this year.

Direct mail’s rebound follows declines in direct mail spending of 1.4% in 2007, 4.1% in 2008 and 16.7% in 2009. Recession-driven budget cuts, cutbacks in the financial services industry and an ongoing migration to digital channels are some of the reasons why marketers have been shying away from direct mail in recent years.

This started to change in the second half of 2010, however, according to the report, as marketers returned to acquisition mail. In 2011, spending on direct mail is expected to reach $47.8 billion, a 5.8% increase over last year, with financial services, retail and auto leading the rebound in acquisition mail. Mailers are expected to control mail volume and spending through the increasing use of analytics, cross-channel integration and better hygiene.

The spending on marketing data and related services for direct mail, online display and e-mail is expected to increase in 2011 as well.

Marketers increasingly recognize the importance of data management and will be looking for solutions that offer integrated multichannel data for targeting and attribution; can handle an increasing number of variables, and provide cross-channel campaign execution, according to the report.

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