Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 20

Postcard Use Is Up Among Direct Marketers Consumers may notice they’re getting fewer postcards from friends, but the Postal Service says direct marketers are still fans of the mail option. Specifically citing a product called “Every Door Direct Mail.”  “Since the [EDDM] service was launched in 2011, USPS has handled about 1.2 [million] transactions, resulting in over 6.4 [billion] pieces of mail and more than … $1.2 [billion] in revenue,” the Postal Service recently said. “We are seeing growth in this type of mail. These are mostly oversized marketing/business postcards.” For EDDM, the most popular sizes are postcards (6.5″ x 9″) and oversized postcards (8.5″ x 11″), and then an EDDM option that isn’t a postcard at all — it’s a tri-fold menu (4.25″ x 14″). Source: Target Marketing

Beginner’s Guide to Direct Mail Most consumers say that they prefer paper-based media to online media, and a whopping 79 percent of people read or skim the direct mail they receive. Compare that to an e-mail open rate of 22 percent for the mortgage industry, and it’s easy to see that direct mail can be a very effective way of yielding new business for mortgage brokers. To do it well, keep in mind the following: Identify your target audience, establish a budget, create an effective CTA, write compelling copy and test. By following these steps, your direct mail campaign will not only net you some new prospects, but it will also increase your sales. Source: NMP

PMG Promotes Convergence of Mail & Digital Technology In a keynote speech at the National Postal Forum—the annual mailing industry trade show—Megan Brennan, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the Postal Service, promoted opportunities for the mailing industry to leverage the rapid adoption of digital and mobile technology by today’s consumers. “We’ve become a device-oriented culture, with laptops, tablets, smartphones and now even watches providing digital and mobile experiences in every aspect of our lives,” said Brennan. “The good news is that our industry has a big role to play in that digital future.” Citing the technology advances that enable a piece of mail to launch a website, video, or an interactive experience with technologies like augmented reality and QR codes, the Postmaster General believes mail can be a powerful tool for marketers to spark product discovery and drawing consumers into the digital ecosystem of their particular brand. Source: Globe News Wire

QR Codes Evolve Into Dotless QR Codes  QR Codes could be set to make a jump into a new direction if dotless QR Codes become popular. A new next generation of QR code has been unveiled this month by Visualead. The new dotless QR codes enable users to insert photos and graphics in the centre of the QR Codes. Watch the new technology in action here. Source: Geeky Gadgets

Enhancing the Value of Mail The U.S. Postal Service recognized the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) for excellence in driving technology, innovation and supporting growth for the mailing industry. Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan and Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman presented the Partnership for Growth Award to MTAC at the annual National Postal Forum. The prestigious award represents the Postal Service’s dedication to recognizing innovation in a rapidly evolving technology environment. “Our collaboration with MTAC is incredibly valuable,” said the Postmaster General. “It has endured for 50 years because it allows the Postal Service and the mailing industry to work better together, and it allows us to grow stronger together with a shared commitment to invest in our future.” Source: Globe News

USPS Adds Ecommerce Component to Direct Mail The USPS is testing a new feature to engage consumers through mobile devices and make snail-mail marketing more attractive to retail marketers. The project, known as Real Mail Notification, is being piloted in Northern Virginia and enables customers to use a mobile device to see what’s arriving in their physical mailbox – but it goes beyond being a simple alerting service. The pilot test will be expanded to New York City later this year. Source: eCommerce Bytes

USPS Union Contract Talks Break Down Over Pay The Postal Service and two unions are struggling to reach new contracts as the groups battle over the pay and benefits of current and future Postal Service employees. The American Postal Workers Union said the main block on a new deal was Postal Service demands for a new lower pay scale and reduced benefits for future employees, as well as cuts to current employee pay and benefits. But the Postal Service Postal Service and the APWU agreed to extend negotiations past the May 20 expiration of the current contract. The new deadline is May 27. During that time, the original contract will remain in effect. Source: Federal Times