The always-on, always-up digital culture that has been so readily adopted by younger Americans is having an impact on direct mail, according Mintel Comperemedia, a firm that provides competitive intelligence services. The firm reports that direct mail volume to consumers from life, health and property/casualty insurers is down 11 percent in Q3 2011 compared to Q3 2010.

"Q3 2011 is the third quarter in a row with a decline in direct mail volume from insurers," says Gary Wooley, director of insurance consulting at Mintel Comperemedia. "Even the industry's proclaimed Life Insurance Awareness Month last September showed lower overall mail volume from life insurers; down 10 percent from the prior month and down 19 percent from September in 2010."

The decrease in direct mail is seen across all lines of business: Health insurance direct mail volume to consumers during Q3 2011 is down 7 percent from Q3 2010, and up 5 percent from Q2 2011. Furthermore, Q3 YTD, mail volume is down 23 percent. Property/casualty direct mail volume to consumers during Q3 2011 is down 8 percent from Q3 2010, and down 4 percent from Q2 2011. Q3 YTD, mail volume is up 4 percent. Meanwhile, life insurance direct mail volume to consumers during Q3 2011 is down 17 percent from Q3 2010, and down 6 percent from Q2 2011. Q3 YTD, mail volume is down 8 percent, reports the firm.

The trend toward digital is causing insurers to rethink their marketing strategies. "2012 looks to be another exciting year from an economic perspective, leaving consumers more anxious," notes Wooley. "Insurance products will see some renewed marketing vitality in 2012 as the concepts of stability, strength and protection resonate more with consumers."

 

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