Quarterly Direct Mail Trends Report: Q1 2021

With Q1 2021 mail volume down less than 15% YOY, the direct mail channel continues to rebound from the pandemic uncertainties that caused many mailers to pause or pivot a year ago. In Q1 2021, marketers sent over 6.2 billion pieces of mail, with 40% of tracked industries increasing volumes from Q4 2020.

This quarter, we have seen travel industry volumes jump more than a 170% as the population gets vaccinated and consumers prep for their long-awaited getaways. This is a great sign for an industry that took the largest pandemic punch and immediately dropped volume by more than 75% last year. Retail/consumer mailers are holding strong as consumers continue to embrace DTC brands and home shopping habits. While acquisition mailers are still the focus, cross-sell/upsell volumes have steadily increased over the last few quarters to retain those valuable relationships.

“The end of Q1 delivered insight into the most interesting period-over-period comparison of the pandemic thus far; ultimately exceeding our expectations toward a rebound while underscoring COVID’s nuanced impact by market segment,” Erik Koenig, President & Chief Marketing Strategist explains. “For overall mail volume, despite a nearly 50% drop in perennial heavyweights Credit Card and Banking, to be within 15% of pre-pandemic heights is truly remarkable. It is a testament to the efficacy of the channel, to the elasticity of marketers, and to the resiliency of consumerism. We’re as bullish as ever on this tried-and-true performer.”

The infographic below shares additional information on direct mail’s Q1 2021 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 Q1 2021