Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 28

The State of the Catalog is Healthy Merchants continue to recognize the value of the printed catalog in today’s digital world. It’s a channel that many are using to drive consumers to the website, help build brand awareness and sell products. For many it is also an opportunity to tell a story and provide helpful tips to the consumer. The 2015 Multi Channel Merchant report highlights how merchants are using catalogs for a myriad of reasons that range from establishing their brand awareness to driving consumers to the web to sell products. Click here to download a copy. Source: MCM

Digital Detectives The Postal Service employees who determine where poorly addressed mail is supposed to go were spotlighted by NBC’s “Today” this week. The USPS Remote Encoding Center, located in Salt Lake City, receives digital images of letters and packages with illegible addresses from across the nation. The center’s more than 1,500 employees, whom NBC calls “de facto detectives,” examine each image to decipher the address. “We are kind of like detectives,” Data Conversion Operator Khomsan Vongsengkeo says during the segment. Source: USPS Link

Switzerland Begins Postal Drone TrialsSwitzerland’s postal service has begun practical trials of its drone-based postal delivery service, the organization announced in a recent press release. The project is a collaboration between Swiss Post, Swiss World Cargo and California-based drone startup Matternet, which is supplying the lightweight airborne carriers. Source: The Stack

Why Direct Mail Breaks Through the NoiseDirectly-addressed mail tends to be read first, with promotional mail being filtered out based on interest.  Among the participants, 81% read their mail the same day they receive it. Responses from participants also indicated that brands become part of the mail ritual, and the emotions associated with it, by doing direct mail. On the other hand, email and social media messages are checked repeatedly throughout the day, with less of a regular routine around them, and can are done for reasons ranging from receiving a notification to simply being bored. Twice as many participants said they enjoyed receiving direct mail marketing more than digital forms of marketing. [Editor: The article provides a chart comparing the length of time people keep email and hardcopy direct mail. Good stuff.] Source: Strategy Online

Alternative Delivery Methods Could Hurt USPSThe kind of alternative delivery methods that have disrupted the taxi industry could also hit package delivery, one of the few bright spots in USPS finances, the IG has said. They stated on their blog page that while such a scenario is threatening to USPS, such service models already are encountering issues that would apply as well to package delivery. These include unwillingness of individuals to serve as drivers if better jobs become available, the question of whether such drivers can be treated as less-costly independent contractors or would be considered employees of the delivery service, and customer concerns about privacy and safety. Source: FEDweek

Postal Service Bid to End Saturday Delivery Fades AwayAfter years of an improving financial landscape and a Congress continually deadlocked over Postal Service reform the elimination of Saturday delivery has led to a slow and quiet death for what was once seen as the linchpin of a revitalized Postal Service. “While the topic of five-day delivery was a large part of the legislative ask in the last Congress, we are currently looking to gain consensus and we have not been promoting five day as a key tenet,” said Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan. She said the Postal Service still needs to find ways to increase revenues and optimize its networks while delivering fewer pieces of mail to more addresses. Source: Federal Times

Are You Complying with Move Update? Any mailer claiming presorted or automation prices for First-Class Mail or Standard Mail must comply with the Move Update requirements using one of the approved address hygiene methods. The Postal Service offers three preapproved methods for mailers to use in meeting the Move Update Requirement: ACS, NCOALink and NCOALink MPE, and Ancillary Service. Click here for a handy reference sheet on all the services. Source: RIBBS