Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 15

Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full? We have all read the negative headlines of U.S. Postal Service’s looming financial demise. However, in its new paper, U.S. Postal Service Revenue: Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?, the OIG finds that the Postal Service may be turning a corner. In order to further improve its financial position, the Postal Service will need to focus on increasing the revenue yield of its traditional products wherever market forces and conditions allow, including taking advantage of the growing parcel market. In addition, the Postal Service would benefit from diversifying into other areas of business, especially logistics and financial services. Source: OIG USPS

There’s a Magazine for EverythingFor every special interest group, career choice, lifestyle, or fetish, there is a corresponding publication circulating around the post offices of America, keeping even the nichiest of niche coteries alive and thriving. Click here to view the 15 nichiest niche magazines. Source: Mental Floss

2015 DMA Response Rate Report Data on current direct mail response rates is one of the most popular topics, and for good reason, as companies look to get the most out of their marketing dollar. The Direct Marketing Association recently made its 2015 DMA Response Rate Report available (fees apply), and it shows the response rate of direct mail outperforms all digital channels. This year’s report includes a lot of positive information regarding direct mail, including high response rates, its value in integrated campaigns and an attractive cost per acquisition. 82% of respondents expect to use the same amount of direct mail, or more, in the coming year. Source: IWCO Direct

Industry Leader Urges Catalogers to Go to WashingtonACMA chairman Martin McClanan warns his colleagues get to know their elected officials or risk a return to 2007. “We need to inform [Washington] of the fundamental elasticity of catalogs and how undermining our category of mail will undermine the entire health of the Postal Service,” McClanan said. “I know and you know that the catalog combined with a smart digital or retail strategy is all the more resonant in today’s world.” If they wanted to be heard in the corridors of Congress above the din created by postal unions with 10 times their resources, catalogers needed to find their legs and lose their cynicism, McClanan counseled.   Source: DMNews

Magazine Launches Outnumber Magazine Closures in First Quarter of 2015In the first quarter of 2015, 35 magazines launched and 13 magazines closed, reported MediaFinder.com, the largest online database of U.S. and Canadian publications.  Compared to the first quarter of 2014, the number of magazine closures was down from 14 to 13 this year.  At the same time, 45 new magazines launched last year, compared to 35 launches in the first quarter of 2015. “Although magazine launches declined this year compared to the same period last year, publishers continued to turn to magazines to cover new products and new trends,” said Trish Hagood, president of MediaFinder.com. Source: Publishing Executive

OIG: Seamless Acceptance Implementation Commercial mail accounted for most of the U.S. Postal Service’s revenue – 70 percent ($47 billion) – in fiscal year 2014. In 2006, the Postal Service began to automate commercial mail entry, verification, and induction. This Seamless Accetpance (SA) uses electronic documentation from the mailer, intelligent mail barcodes, and various scanning devices to verify mail meets applicable acceptance thresholds and that proper postage is collected. These results are presented in the “mailer’s scorecard,” which summarizes mail entry-related performance indicators. The Postal Service planned to finish automating the process for identifying mail quality errors in January 2015 and postage assessments in April 2015, the new timeframe is now April 2015 and July 2015, respectively. Source: OIG USPS Audit Report

Sappi North America Maintains Lowest Carbon Footprint Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, unveiled this week in its 2014 Sustainability Report they had the lowest reported carbon footprint among domestic competitors, thanks to a consistent focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Source: PR News

Chevy Runs Digital Video Ads in Print (Yes, You Read That Right)Here’s something you don’t see every day: Chevrolet bought print ads to show off its digital videos. The ad, which promotes Chevy’s Colorado truck, appears in the May issue of certain subscriber issues of Esquire and Popular Mechanics. And it allows readers to watch one of three short videos, which were created by Chevy’s creative agency Commonwealth//McCann. Some 10,000 subscribers each to Esquire and Popular Mechanics — those considered likely Colorado buyers — received copies with a video player embedded inside the print page. Click here to see the video-in-print ad. Source: Ad Age