Direct mail volume and expenditure continue to rise despite signs of an industry slowdown, claims the Direct Mail Information Service, a Royal Mail-funded lobbyist.

According to the DMIS, direct mail volume rose to 1.25 billion items during the April-June quarter, 4.5% up on the same period in 2000, while expenditure increased by 7.5% to £480 million.

The volume increase was largely driven by an increase in financial services’ mailings. Volume in the ‘banks/building societies/other financial’ category rose from 209 million items to 228 million – a 9% increase. Mailings by insurance companies increased by 4.3%.

However, some sectors showed a year on year decline in mailing volumes, notably the retail sector which recorded almost a 7% drop to 80.9 million items.

Mail volumes by socio-demographic sector highlight an interesting contrast. The affluent ABs actually received considerably fewer mailings year on year – down nearly 15% – whereas DE-targeted mail volumes rose significantly by 25.8%.

Analysis by sex shows that women received more mailings, with volume up 11%, while the male population saw receipt fall by 4.9%.

Comments DMIS managing director Jo Howard-Brown: “The figures are encouraging in that they show continued growth - although it comes as no surprise to see that the growth rate is slowing given the signs of a slowdown in the industry as a whole."

However, Brown struck a note of caution: "The third and fourth quarter statistics will no doubt show us whether the predicted continuing economic downturn in the Eurozone will adversely affect the UK direct mail medium,” she warned.

News source: Direct Mail Information Service