Britain’s direct mail sector enjoyed healthy expansion in 2002, but there are signs that growth is slowing.

According to the Direct Mail Information Service, volumes jumped 5.9% during 2002 (the same rate as in 2001). The fourth quarter, however, saw more modest year-on-year growth of 3.7% to 1.3 billion items – well below Q3’s 7.7% rise.

Expenditure on the sector jumped by 6.6% to £2.4bn for the full year, but again the fourth quarter showed a slower pace, rising 3.9% to £666.7 million.

“The signs that percentage growth is levelling off year-on-year may signal the end of ‘boom growth’,” declared DMIS managing director Jo Howard-Brown, who explained that the increasing use of targeted mailings would affect direct mail volumes.

Howard-Brown added that there had been “around a three to five per cent shift in marketing budgets from above-the-line to below-the-line methods.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff