Direct marketers in the USA are congratulating themselves on a successful year ... and better to come.

The Direct Marketing Association's annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia heard that marketers are on track to spend $161.3 billion (€135.06bn; £92.19bn) on direct marketing channels this year, up from $149.3bn in 2004.

The DMA's latest figures also show spending on direct marketing is forecast to grow by 6% annually from 2004-09 compared to 2.4% growth over the preceding five years. DM accounted for 47.9% of total US ad spending in 2004, up a full point from 1999.

Proclaims DMA president/chief executive John Greco: "Direct marketing lies at the core of marketing today and is the future of marketing tomorrow."

Over the next five years, spending on internet marketing, along with promotional email, is forecast to grow at least three times faster - at 18% and 19%, respectively - than other direct media.

Total US expenditure on internet marketing is forecast to reach $21.7bn in 2009, up from $12.6bn in 2005. Commercial email spending is slated to hit $600 million, up from $300m.

Greco says the only cloud on DM's horizon is the threat of a regulatory crackdown on the use of consumer information.

The DMA has announced a policy that calls on all members to authenticate their email, a step toward preventing fraud via the elctronic medium. The DMA also is developing a public image campaign to emphasize the convenience of direct and portray it as safe.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff