Direct Mail Trend Report: Q3 2020 Review

Mike Gunderson

The numbers are in for Q3 2020 and the direct mail channel continues solid growth. Our Direct Mail Trend Report provides you with valuable insights on what industries are mailing by volume, the trends we are seeing, and useful tactics to help optimize the performance of your direct mail program. We hope you enjoy what we put together this month.


In Q3, total major sector mail advertising volume continued its upward trend, growing +5% to 5.4 billion pieces since the prior quarter. Compared to a pre-pandemic Q3 2019 world, mail volume remains down -10%, but we are encouraged by recent gains.

Quarter-over-quarter growth appears across nearly all major business sectors tracked — 9 of the 11 grew in volume compared to last quarter. The most notable growth compared to Q2 of ‘20 — and even Q3 of ’19 — is in the health insurance sector. While some of the growth (versus the prior quarter) can be explained by the start of open enrollment mailings, the +45% growth versus YA is surely a response to heightened consumer interest in the category due to COVID-19.

Financial services sectors, as always, lead the mail channel, accounting for 56% of total mailings in Q3. However, among the 5 financial sectors listed, mail volume changes were mixed. When comparing the healthy increase in mailings from the mortgage and loan sector, as opposed to the corresponding reduction in credit card mailings, an interesting indication is evident of the credit industry’s significant decrease.

Retail and travel mailings also showed surprising strength in Q3, perhaps reflecting the optimism in these sectors before the most recent surge in COVID infections.

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If you are looking for 2021’s biggest direct mail trends click here!

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Mike Gunderson

Mike is the founder and president of Gundir, the award-winning direct marketing agency. Since 2003, Gundir has helped businesses drive new leads and close more sales through traditional offline channels, especially direct mail.

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