As the overall economy is apparently on an upswing credit card direct mail offers are also coming back after several years of decline.
For some insight into this, Chief Marketer spoke with Andrew Davison, senior vice president, Mintel Comperemedia, which tracks credit card direct mail.
CM: How many credit card direct mail offers were sent out last year?
Davison: Consumers received 5 billion direct mail pieces in 2011, compared to 3.6 billion in 2010.
CM: What do you see as being responsible for this?
Davison: The demand for credit has rebounded as credit card issuers attempt to satisfy consumers' appetite for credit.
CM: What types of direct mail offers are most prevalent now?
Davison: Offers for cards with no annual fee or rewards. During the downturn, these offers became a niche segment as access to credit dried up nationwide.
CM: How long do you expect this to last?
Davison: The Federal Reserve, with its commitment to low rates until 2014, is facilitating longer durations for 0% teaser rates thereby fueling a competitive environment for plain vanilla cards.
CM: Is direct mail still the top means for soliciting new credit card customers?
DAVISON: Direct mail still plays a hugely important role. E-mail is a strong channel for communicating with existing customers, but in terms of acquisition, direct mail is still the best.