2005 Direct Mail Market Outlook — Mailers Bullish on ’05

By Erik Cagle

Senior Editor

Even though postal reform remains in a holding pattern and the 2004 economy dragged its feet en route to recovery, major players in the direct mail industry have high expectations to what the coming year will bring after a solid finish to the current year.

The 2004 campaign was one of dramatic growth in top-line and bottom-line revenue for IWCO Direct, Chanhassen, MN. The company once again saw solid performances from the financial services and insurance markets, according to Jim Andersen, president and CEO.

Top 10 Direct Mail Printers
  Company Segment
1 Quebecor World
$640 $6,400
2 RR Donnelley
$492 $8,204
3 Vertis Inc.
$317 $1,585
4 Banta Corp.
Menasha, WI
$184 $1,418
5 IWCO Direct
Chanhassen, MN
$118 $125
6 Japs-Olson Co.
St. Louis Park, MN
$85 $107
7 *Von Hoffmann Corp.
St. Louis
$79 $498
8 Consolidated Graphics
$70 $708
9 Holden Communications
$50 $67
10 Berlin Industries
Carol Stream, IL
$42 $107
Sales figures are based on above printers’ self-reported total and market segment breakdowns.

*Von Hoffmann has been acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners. Its revenue figures do not represent segment and total sales for the new enterprise.

“In both segments, the success of our clients’ direct mail programs is driven by complex personalization models. IWCO Direct has made, and continues to make, significant investments to support enhanced personalization in both capability and capacity,” Andersen remarks.

“In addition, our vertical solution provides the speed to market that these segments require and our postal strategy delivers the savings that allow them to mail more and to mail more frequently.”

Andersen has also witnessed solid performance from loyalty programs in the travel, retail and software markets. “We’ve developed a core communications model for loyalty programs that drives cost takeout, product accuracy, timeliness and quality,” he says.

The economy resulted in lower volume levels overall for Montreal-based Quebecor World. According to Peter Gargano, executive vice president of sales and manufacturing for the direct division, another factor was the number of mergers and acquisitions that took place throughout different segments during 2004.

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