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Direct mail credit card offers drop 33 percent

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 13, 2012

Direct mail credit card offers – click to enlarge

Chart: Mintel Comperemedia

Some researchers believe credit card offers are a reflection of the economic health of the country. In June 2011, there were 497 million credit card direct mail offers nationwide, a healthy number. By April of 2012 the number was down to 260 million, reflecting a 33 percent drop in direct mail offers for new credit cards between April 2011 and April 2012. In other words in April of this year, United States households received an estimated 260 million credit card offers while a year earlier they received 390 million offers. This may be the lowest estimated monthly mail volume tracked in the past 25 months, according to Mintel Comperemedia.

“Issuers have adopted a more cautious approach due to an uncertain economic environment. The latest downturn likely reflects a pause in activity rather than signifying a permanent reduction in direct mail,” said Andrew Davidson, senior vice president at Mintel Comperemedia. “Credit card direct mail volume will be significantly lower in 2012 than 2011. For credit card issuers this is a great time to be in the mail. The mailbox is less cluttered and it is easier to get consumers to notice your message.”

Because direct mail offers for credit cards are cyclical mailings likely reflect market trends and Dow changes, and since other marketing channels, such as online and social media, are not replacing direct mail the mailings are likely to return to high levels once the economy recovers, he believes.