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Mailboxes were undoubtedly less full last year. New data from Mintel Comperemedia, a service that provides direct marketing competitive intelligence, indicates the number of marketing direct mail offers sent by financial services companies to acquire new customers fell by over one-quarter in 2008.
Comparing direct mail statistics from January-November 2008 to the same period of 2007, Mintel Comperemedia saw the total volume of banking, credit card, investment, and mortgage and loan new customer acquisition offers fall 26%. For the first 11 months of 2008, the direct marketing tracking firm estimates financial services direct mail volume at 10.3 billion. In 2007, Mintel Comperemedia estimated that volume at 13.9 billion. Furthermore, when compared to the same period of 2006, the 2008 11-month total shows a 32% decline.
“Across the board, financial services companies were forced to change their direct mail strategy last year,” remarks Stephen Clifford, VP of Financial Services at Mintel Comperemedia. “Faced by the unprecedented challenges of a weak housing market, the credit crunch, a global recession and declining consumer confidence, financial institutions cut back on direct marketing.”
Mintel Comperemedia estimates the number of credit card offers sent to new customers dropped 24% last year (comparing the first 11 months of 2008 to the same period of 2007). Mortgage and loan mail fared even worse, as lenders reduced acquisition volume by over a third (37%).
“Given the struggles faced by card issuers and lenders in 2008, it’s not surprising that they reduced new customer acquisition direct mail so drastically. In the face of increasing losses, they recognized the need to tailor their target audience better,” states Stephen Clifford. “But soon I expect we’ll see a leveling off in mail volume as banks find the position from which they can actively engage new customers while remaining profitable and secure.”
Together, credit card and mortgage and loan offers made up 86% of financial services acquisition direct mail tracked by Mintel Comperemedia from January-November 2008. Investment and banking offers constituted the remainder. Comparing the first 11 months of 2008 to the same period of 2007, investment mail volume fell 5% while banking volume increased 5%. “Banking was a bright spot in 2008 financial direct marketing, as banks across the country increased their acquisition mail in hopes of new deposits,” comments Stephen Clifford.