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Chicago (May 19, 2010) – While the US finance market is still volatile, there are signs that life is starting to become more stable. According to Mintel Comperemedia, a service that provides direct marketing competitive intelligence, direct marketing mail volumes across the banking and investment categories appear to show stability in the first quarter of 2010.

Banking direct marketing mail volume never took the precipitous hit that mail saw in the lending sector. Instead, as banks struggled to recover from loan losses, they fought to maintain deposit customers, which helped keep direct marketing efforts in stable condition. In Q1, banks mailed an estimated 297 million offers for new checking accounts, savings products, online banking services and debit card offers.

“There isn’t a dire need to increase banking direct marketing volume right now,”notes Susan Wolfe, VP of financial services for Mintel Comperemedia. ” instead, banks are focusing more on how they market their products. We’re seeing more cash incentives and more necessary qualifying activities in order to earn incentives, rewards or bonus interests. “

In Q1 2010, more than 90% of offers had an incentive, compared to only 74% in Q1 2008.

There is one sector that is not only stabilized, but on the move… upward. Investment mail has been climbing steadily over the past three quarters. Investment mail for brokerage accounts increased by just over 70%, while IRA mail grew by 15% in Q1 2010 compared to the same timeframe last year.

According to Susan Wolfe,”these increases are driven mainly by more offers for brokerage accounts, changes to the Roth IRA conversion rule and the recent 2009 IRA contribution deadline on April 15. “

About Mintel Comperemedia
Mintel Comperemedia provides competitive intelligence for businesses looking to advance and improve their direct marketing strategy. Tracking direct marketing (including mail, email and print advertising) targeted at consumers, small businesses and insurance agents, Mintel Comperemedia offers a unique perspective on everything from banking trends to insurance trends to credit card statistics. For more than 38 years, Mintel has provided insight into key worldwide trends, leading the industry for consumer, product and media intelligence. Follow Mintel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mintelnews