Last week’s Bellwether reported a second consecutive dip in DM budgets – but only a marginal fall at less than two per cent (1.7 per cent). For an industry that experienced such rude health last year with increases in both volume and spend, this news shouldn’t put a dampener on industry optimism.

Despite the fact that budgets have been trimmed this doesn’t necessarily mean that the direct mail is in decline. In fact, if other industry indicators are correct, it could mean quite the opposite. Last year was very much focused on improving the ROI of the medium and many initiatives were launched to help brands get ‘more for less’. For example Royal Mail’s price differential for Mailmark, which is saving mass mailers thousands in postage costs. Figures from The Software Bureau estimate that this could be as much as £50million in 2016. Moreover, uplifts in data hygiene practices such as investment in suppression recorded by bureaux also significantly reduces the cost of a campaign by weeding out mistargeted mailings.

Consequently, this downward revision could well be a result of the anticipated savings clients will be making through smarter targeting and campaign optimisation.

Direct mail remains one of the most effective and cost efficient channels in a brand’s marketing armoury and with the onus being put on more responsible marketing direct mail will continue to go from strength to strength.