Key Notes Volume 03 Number 08

Breaking News
Price changes coming – USPS forced to cut prices April 10
The Postal Service will be forced to reduce prices for Forever stamps and some other mailing products April 10 if congressional or a court action doesn’t allow USPS to continue an exigent surcharge.
The Postal Service said this mandatory action will worsen its financial condition by reducing revenue and increasing net losses by approximately $2 billion per year.  Source:  USPS
Magazines Discount Heavily on Amazon – The December 2015 publisher’s statements are starting to appear, and a number show continued weakness in newsstand sales, as well as digital edition sales.  The last two weeks one cannot help but notice the number of magazines being severely discounted inside’s Today’s Deals section. That a magazine might offer a discounted subscription rate to boost readership, or lure new readers, is nothing new – it is, in fact, business as usual.  But it was still surprising to see so many familiar titles being offered a giveaway prices.  Source:  Talking New Media
Google’s Boston Dynamics Releases Video of Parcel/Box Handling Robot – Google-owned Boston Dynamics has a released a video on YouTube showing its Atlas “humanoid” robot performing a variety of tasks – including handling parcels/boxes and trudging through snow.  In the video the robot – a very human-shaped 5′ 9″  and 180-pounds – is shown picking up two 5kg boxes and placing them on a shelf.  It also manages to get back on its feet after it is knocked over by a boisterous co-worker.  A number of tech journals have already speculated that the video suggests that potential future applications for the robot could working in fulfillment centers and delivery services.  Source:  Post & Parcel
Use Neuromarketing in Your Direct Mail – So what is Neuromarketing?  It’s marketing that focuses on the brain.  Since the brain makes all of our decisions, we should target our marketing there.  Most current direct mail marketing is focused on upper brain function that involves reasoning, sometimes with emotion.  This is the wrong approach.  It involves too much thinking and is a turn off to many recipients. The target sweet spot for direct mail is the lower brain. Since it deals with immediate processing and does so without our input, marketers have a better chance at eliciting a quick response when we can tap into that area of the brain.  You have about five to six seconds for your message to be understood before the recipient moves on to something else. Because of that, you need to keep it simple.  Source:  Target Marketing
Going Green? Be Careful – It’s a Jungle Out There! – As the number of “green” claims in the U.S. marketplace has risen, so has state and federal oversight of such claims and class action lawsuits.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is tasked with the responsibility and authority to address unfair and deceptive competition methods under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1), has brought an increased number of enforcement actions against marketers for making allegedly deceptive environmental marketing claims.  To help marketers navigate the permissible and impermissible practices related to “green” advertising, the FTC created the “Green Guides” designed to “help marketers avoid making environmental claims that are unfair or deceptive,” which was last amended in 2012.[6] The FTC is not alone.  [Editors Note:  Ralph O’Connor of Graphic Communications is an excellent environmental resource.  His contact information is in the Leadership column.]  Source:  Lexology
UAA Challenge a Decade Later – Where are we today?  Well, progress has been made, but not quite enough to hit the goal. In fiscal year 2014, undeliverable as addressed (UAA) mail was 6.6 billion pieces and cost the Postal Service $1.5 billion.  UAA mail is costly to mailers, too, because of additional costs – both direct, such as printing and postage, and indirect, such as lost opportunities. A direct mailer has no chance for a sale if the piece never reaches the customer.  We also shouldn’t overlook the potential impact on mail recipients. They tend to value mail more if it includes accurate name and address information.  What more could the Postal Service and industry do to improve address quality?  Source: OIG