There was some encouraging news recently published in the Ofcom Communications Report (July 2012).

It revealed that after consecutive years of decline between 2006 and 2010 direct mail volumes remained broadly stable between 2010 and 2011… in fact there was even a small increase

• Spend on direct mail in 2011 was £3,620 million compared with £3,537 million in 2010

• For the same period there was also a slight increase in direct mail total share of volume as it rose from 20.2% in 2010 to 21.8% in 2011.

This improved performance may be driven by the relatively slower rate of price increases for Royal Mail’s Advertising Mail product – in comparison to other bulk mail products.

At the same time expenditure on direct mail remained stable at £1.7bn in 2011, reflecting the general trend in direct mail volumes. Since 2009, spend on the production of direct mail has remained broadly the same, while spend on post has seen small nominal year-on-year increases.

In terms of the sectors using the medium, home shopping companies continued to account for the largest share of direct mail expenditure… claiming 25% of spend in 2011. This is possibly due to the higher costs associated with mailing larger promotional items such as catalogues and brochures.

Meanwhile the financial services sector – particularly those offering insurance and credit cards – has seen a fall in its market share.

However, charity organisations have witnessed an uplift in their share of the direct mail market.

This means they now have an 18% share of the market in 2011, compared with just 15% in 2008.

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