Quarterly Direct Mail Trends Report: Q2 2021

In contrast to Q2 2020 direct mail data early in the pandemic, Q2 2021 shows a resurgence with a 34% YOY increase. In the second quarter of the year, mailers sent over 7 billion pieces of mail, with a 9% increase in quarterly volume.

One of the categories hit hardest by the pandemic was Travel & Leisure, which is now up 159% compared to Q2 2020. It is still about 40% off from pre-pandemic levels, but this is a positive sign for the industry. Although the pandemic changed a lot of shopping habits, it did not stop consumerism overall, as growth of Retail/Consumer services is up 63% from a year ago. This volume is supported by the widespread adoption of direct-to-consumer brands and shifts toward a shop-from-home purchase behavior.

Credit Card volumes were up 63% from last year, though still about 20% behind their pre-pandemic pace. Meanwhile, QR code usage doubled on an annual basis.

Direct mail sentiment is strong, especially as brands continue to diversify their marketing mix. By moving away from a reliance on digital advertising, which has been affected by increased digital privacy changes (e.g. Apple IDFA requiring users to opt-in to tracking), it makes sense that direct mail is rebounding.

“It’s no surprise direct mail volume was up big in Q2 2021 compared to the same quarter last year (up 34% or nearly 2 billion pieces),” Erik Koenig, President & Chief Marketing Strategist explains. “However, it would have been hard to predict, especially with Credit Cards still significantly off-pace, that mail volumes would be within 3% of pre-pandemic highs. We’re now starting to see the boon from sustained volume from new sectors overlapping with the reemergence of downtrodden categories, like Travel, and one might say that mail is officially ‘back.’”

Explore our infographic below for additional information on direct mail’s Q2 2021 performance, and the current state of direct mail. To learn how the pandemic has impacted marketing for the better, check out our recent blog here


2021 Q2 direct mail trends