Direct mail spending continues to fall dramatically

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New York—The recession, rising postage rates and marketing trends have combined to severely affect direct mail spending in the U.S. Last year, total direct mail spending declined 3%, according to a new white paper by marketing consultancy Winterberry Group.

The report, “A Channel in Transformation: Vertical Market Trends in Direct Mail 2009,” said direct mail spending last year totaled $56.7 billion, down from $58.4 billion in 2007, representing the first drop in total direct mail expenditures in 60 years, according to Winterberry.

The company projects that direct mail expenditures this year will decline 8.6% to $51.8 billion.

The industry that saw the largest decline in direct mail expenditures last year was financial services (mortgages and loans specifically), with spending off 38.8%. Technology (down 16.6%) and travel and leisure (off 4.7%) also declined. Showing increases were telecommunications (up 9.6%) and insurance (up 4.6%).

—Christopher Hosford

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