Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 06

USPS Will Hit Exigent Surcharge Limit by August – The Postal Service CFO, Joe Corbett, dreads the day that the 4.3% exigent surcharge, enforced in January 2014, might be removed.  He estimated it would arrive in late July or early August, when the $3.2 billion in funds deemed lost to the Great Recession would be recovered.  The Postal Regulatory Commission issued an order for the removal of the surcharge last month, in keeping with the condition of its approval of the emergency rate hike.  According to USPS’s 10-Q report, it had collected $1.4 billion in exigent surcharges as of the end of September, and Corbett estimated the Postal service would lose some $2 billion in cash flow for Fiscal 2015 should the rate be dissolved.  Both Postal Service officials and stakeholders in the mailing community await a decision from the D.C. District Court of Appeals on a USPS petition requesting the exigent increase be made permanent.  Source:  DM News  

2015 Postal Service Pricing Presentation – If you missed the USPS webinar on the upcoming proposed pricing you can view and listen to it here.  If you just want to download a PDF of the presentation click hereSource:  USPS Industry Outreach

The Bill is (Still) in the Mail – People may not like getting bills, but they prefer to receive them in the mail and pay them online.  That’s the finding of our study on transactional mail, which is made up mostly of household bills and payments moving as First-Class Mail.  The Office of the Inspection General for the U.S. Postal Service collaborated with the consulting firm InfoTrends to analyze 3 months’ worth of customer billing data from a major U. S. utility.  As indicated in their new white paper, Will the Check Be in the Mail? An Examination of Paper and Electronic Transactional Mail, the OIG found that despite a clear preference to pay bills online, 91 percent of customers prefer receiving their bills by mail.  Source:  USPS OIG 

Survey: Businesses Will Switch To USPS Due to FedEx and UPS Price Increases – With FedEx and UPS’s dimensional weight pricing now in effect for all Ground shipments, many businesses are faced with having to reconsider their shipping carrier and method of packaging. As a result, shipping large, lightweight products, like a backpack or purse, may cost significantly more than it did in 2014.  So what do businesses plan on doing now that they are faced with these price hikes?  80% say they will use the U.S. Postal Service for their larger, lightweight packages. Source:  B2C

Forget the Hype:  Direct Mail is Not Dead – Social media gurus, web designers and online marketing companies would like you to think that direct mail is dead, but the facts don’t lie.  According to TargetMarketing.com, $45 Billion was spent on direct mail in 2013 which is an increase from spending in 2012.  The bottom line is, anyone who dismisses direct mail as being dead is naive, has never used it the way it should be used or is an online-only advocate that needs to grow up.  The beauty and power of direct mail is that it’s scalable, contacts and lists are readily available, your prospects are more vetted to your products or services and it lets you communicate one-on-one with your ideal prospects.  Essentially, when done right it can be like having an army of salesmen or saleswomen working hard for you 24/7, 365 days of the year.  Source:  B2C

Retail Sales to Increase 4.1% Over Last Year – The National Retail Federation released its 2015 economic forecast this week, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will increase 4.1 percent*, up from the 3.5 percent growth seen in 2014.  The 4.1 percent increase would mark the biggest annual growth since 2011 when retail sales for the year increased 5.1 percent.  Source:  National Retail Federation

Print Turns the Digital Revolution Upside Down – Dr. Samir Husni of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi says he is not at all surprised by the web-to-print trend.  In fact, he predicts this trend to only escalate. “The reader is platform agnostic. To reach the entire market, online brands will have to include print.”  Dr. Husni feels strongly that the move to print is not all about nostalgia – as some commentators may allude to – but also makes good business sense in most cases.  “In print, ads are not ignored.  Online, it interrupts your experience.  Advertising in print is like living in a house and you move from room to room at your own will.  Online advertising is like being kicked off your own couch.”  Source:  MediabiZnet

Magazines Wanted – The Magazine Publishers Family Literacy Project – a 501(c)(3) charity – was launched in time to celebrate International Literacy Day in 2004 with a mission to deliver the joy of reading magazines to at-risk children and families, while strengthening their literacy skills and self-esteem.  Since then, the organization has supplied new and recycled magazines to tens of thousands of at-risk children and families. With favorite new magazines sponsored by local businesses and consumers, and surplus and gently read, recycled magazines rescued from throughout the magazine supply chain – publishers, printers, distributors, wholesalers, newsstands, and consumers – MagazineLiteracy.org puts wonderful magazines into the hands, homes, and hearts of children and families who want to learn and love to read.  Source:  Magazine Literacy

SGIA Expo – Join the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA, November 4-6, 2015.  While there take the time to visit Veritiv in Booth #2785.  Meet with our wide format and packaging professionals to find out more about our national inventory of wide and grand format media, products, equipment and specialty packaging solutions. Sources:  Veritiv and SGIA