Key Notes Volume 03 Number 11

Nothing is Forever – It’s starting to look like those of us who still use snail mail are about to take a licking on our Forever stamps.  Forever stamps, as you probably know, have no fixed price on them and can be used to send a piece of first-class mail.  You buy them at the current first-class price and can use them to send first-class mail any time in the future, regardless of what the price becomes.  Given that the price of first-class stamps has gone in only one direction — up — since 1919, I’ve written several times that Forevers, which made their debut in 2007, are the one thing you can buy that will never be worth less than you paid for them.  Until now, that’s because the temporary price increase that the Postal Service has been collecting since 2014 may actually turn out to be temporary — something that nobody expected.  We will all be reminded, once again, that nothing in life is Forever.  Source:  Washington Post

US and Cuba to Re-Establish Direct Postal Links – After a break of nearly five decades, Cuba and the United States are set to restore direct postal links.  The postal link will initially be re-established through a “pilot” service – but this is expected to be made permanent soon.  According to a notice posted on the Correos de Cuba website, the service will allow mail and parcels to be sent in both directions.  There will also be a courier and express parcel service.  Source:  Post & Parcel

Can Catalogs Be Replaced With Only Internet Marketing? –  The question is as old as the Internet.  Can’t Internet marketing simply replace the expense of catalogs?  The answer remains a very large no. The Internet doesn’t cost effectively supply the lifeblood of direct response business’s which are a steady flow of new buyers.  Catalogs provide new buyers through prospecting to rental lists.  The catalog business model is to bring in new buyers at or above breakeven and then make the lion’s share of profits from mailing the buyer file.  The internet simply hasn’t been able to deliver a scalable profitable number of new buyers.  Catalogs still have all the tangible elements of photography, headlines, copy and a lasting presence around the house that creates demand.  Source:  Arandell

Quad/Graphics Provides Timely Insights on Marketing to Millennials – Quad Graphics, a leader global provider of print and marketing services, released Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse, a report spotlighting best methods for marketers, advertisers and media partners to capture the attention of the connected Millennial market, defined as those born between 1981 and 1997.  “By 2020, Millennial spending power will surge to an estimated $1.4 trillion – just as they are reaching key life milestones such as getting married, purchasing a home and becoming parents,” said Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO of Quad/Graphics.  Click here for the complete report.  Source:  Business Wire

Inspiring the Buyer:  How Direct Mail Fits in a Digital World – The power of direct mail connecting retailers to customers cannot be denied.  Despite the world’s migration to digital, retail customers continue to flip through catalogs to discover inspiration on anything from restyling their homes to upgrading their wardrobes. With printed catalogs, retailers provide the inspiration that keep customers engaged and interested in a brand’s story.  According to a survey conducted by FGI Research and commissioned by the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), when it comes to unsolicited mail, catalogs are considered far more useful than many other types of mail.  Nearly half (46%) of those who receive catalogs find them useful, compared to only 5% or less for other specific types of mail.  Source:  Oracle

Easter Earnings – More than 21 percent of Easter shopping will take place online this year, according to projections released by the National Retail Federation.  Easter-related online sales have almost doubled since 2007, when the federation began tracking spending. This year’s purchases could give another lift to the shipping sector since most online orders are delivered to consumers.  Total Easter sales are expected to hit $17.3 billion, an all-time high. Consumers plan to spend an average of $146 per person, up 4 percent from last year.  Source:  USPS Link

USPS Industry Resource Guide – The U.S. Postal Service Consumer and Industry Affairs office has updated the Industry Resource Guide.  This tool will provide you with all of the information you need to navigate USPS resources.  Click here to download a copy.  Source:  USPS Industry Outreach

Technology Device Ownership:   2015 – Today, 68% of U.S. adults have a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011, and tablet computer ownership has edged up to 45% among adults, according to newly released survey data from the Pew Research Center.   Smartphone ownership is nearing the saturation point with some groups:  86% of those ages 18-29 have a smartphone, as do 83% of those ages 30-49 and 87% of those living in households earning $75,000 and up annually.  [Make sure to check out the USPS Promotions to keep pace with technology]  Source:  Pew Research Center