Quarterly Direct Mail Trends Report: Q4 2020

In 2020, direct marketers sent over 22.5 billion pieces of direct mail. Despite the pandemic uncertainties that caused brands to pause or pivot their mail programs in early 2020, the channel’s total volume is only down 11.3% from 2019. Direct mail continues to show moderate signs of recovery to pre-pandemic levels with 33% of tracked industries increasing mailings in Q4 2020, and 66% increasing total volumes from 2019.

This quarter, the energy vertical heated up as temperatures cooled across the country, and medical enrollment periods resulted in heavier insurance spends. Throughout the year, retail/consumer service mailers have continued to trust mail’s ability to reach homebound consumers and we do not expect industry volumes to decline in 2021. Marketers also continued to respond to consumer requests for digital enhancements and interactive mail pieces as QR code usage rose 69% from 2019.

“Direct mail showed remarkable resilience in 2020, finishing the year within shouting distance of 2019 levels after a very soft Spring,” said SeQuel President and Chief Strategist, Erik Koenig. “As consumerism shifted, marketers’ strategies did too, bringing a new complexion of brands to the mailbox. With many quarantine-born consumer habits likely to outlast COVID-19, it will be really interesting to watch the 24-month growth of mail when volume in credit cards, banking and travel returns to the channel.”

The infographic below shares additional information on direct mail’s Q4 2020 performance, and the state of direct mail during COVID-19. Check out our cheat sheet to learn more about 2021 direct mail strategy, trends, and volume predictions.

Direct Mail Trends Q4 2020