Credit Card Direct Mail Surge May Signal Improved Financial Outlook

After tracking months of declining direct mail offers, a prominent market research team sees a sudden uptick that could mark the return of strong competition among lenders. In their monthly analysis of financial marketing outreach, Mintel Compremedia measured a 39% increase in the number of credit card solicitations by mail between September and October 2009.

While the overall number of credit card offers extended in October still trails figures from 2008, Mintel Compremedia spokesperson Andrew Davidson told reporters that the spike meant good news for lenders. "With recent green shoots of economic recovery, card issuers feel more confident about the future," Davidson said. "I anticipate that this winter will mark the start of a turnaround in credit card direct marketing that will be sustained through 2010. This could very well be the beginning of the end for credit card direct mail declines."

A similar trend tracked by Mintel Compremedia in 2004 was followed by extraordinary growth of new credit card accounts in 2005 and 2006. Davidson and other analysts have speculated that, with marketing strategies that meet new government regulations, lenders can regain much of the market they ceded during the recent global recession.