Key Notes – Volume 03 Number 17

The Coolest Packaging Innovation You Never Saw – Have you ever stressed out at a self-checkout station because you couldn’t scan the UPC code on the package?  Digimarc Corp. has come up with a way to make the entire surface of the package scannable, but in a way that’s invisible to the eye. Click here to see how Digimarc’s innovation makes packaging a part of the Internet of Things.  Source:  WhatTheyThink

Replace Your Address with 3 Random Words – Nearly 75 percent of the world, especially in developing countries, lacks a precise street address.  This can pose an enormous challenge, and not just for mail delivery.  That’s where what3words comes in.  The London-based company was founded by Chris Sheldrick and Jack Waley-Cohen in 2013.  Here’s how it works: what3words’ global map divides the world into 57 trillion 9-square-meter areas, and assigns a unique, three-word name to each square.  For example, the White House sits at engine.doors.cubs, while the Taj Mahal can be found  at according.gloom.broads (by virtue of their size, places like these actually have more than one set of names associated with them).  Just type in the three words on what3words’ site and it shows you where to go.  Source:  The Week

Deep Cuts – No pain no gain.  The U.S. Postal Service has reduced spending over the past decade but it has come with a downside, notably a reduction in service.  That’s the finding of the USPS Office of Inspector General latest white paper, Peeling the Onion: The Real Cost of Mail, which took a close look at the Postal Service’s cost-cutting efforts since 2006 – the year the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act became law.  With volume and revenue in decline over the ensuing decade, the Postal Service certainly had to focus on spending less.  It responded by redesigning its network of processing plants, retail locations, delivery routes, and transportation systems, as well as modernizing some of its workforce labor practices.  What else can the Postal Service do to reduce costs? What does it need to consider on the revenue-generating side of the house?  Source:  USPS OIG

The Selling Power of Direct Mail – According to the CMO Council, a peer network of chief marketing officers, nearly 80 percent of consumers will act on direct mail immediately, compared to only 45 percent who act on email.  The Direct Marketing Association reported that more than half of consumers consider print marketing the most trustworthy.  And in a direct rebut to the “it’s too old fashioned” argument, AlphaGraphics claimed that 92 percent of young shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions.  Source:  Chicago Agent Magazine

Carper Urges Senate to Confirm USPS Board Nominees – US Senator Tom Carper yesterday (25 April) welcomed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s approval of Jeffrey Rosen’s nomination as a US Postal Service governor, but said it was “shameful” that there are still five nominees pending.  In a statement published on the Senate website, Senator Carper said: “There are now six Postal Board of Governors nominees pending before the full Senate, five of which have been pending for more than a year.”  He called it shameful.  Source:  Post & Parcel

Gone Mobile – More online shoppers are making impulse purchases on their mobile devices, a phenomenon known as “snacking” that could drive further growth in the shipping sector.  Instead of placing one big order from a computer, people are increasingly buying a few items in multiple orders on their phones throughout the day, The Wall Street Journal recently reported.  Sales from mobile devices jumped 56 percent to $49.2 billion last year, doubling the previous year’s growth, according to comScore. The growth holds promise for shippers like USPS, whose package volumes have surged on the strength of online shopping.  Source:  USPS Link

USPS Entering Data-Driven Marketing – The centerpiece of USPS’s new digital strategy is a program called Informed Delivery.  Customers who sign up for the program receive an email each morning containing scans of all letter-size mail pieces that will be delivered that day.  So far, the program is free to subscribers.  USPS’s innovative breakthrough is offering a fusion of physical and digital advertising through their Informed Delivery system.  Postal officials are adding web links provided by the mailer to the Informed Delivery emails, and there are plans to expand the program to include color images of flat-sized mail, including magazines and catalogs.  Source:  TheDirectMailMan

How Personalization Improves Direct Mail Response Rates – Personalization shifts the focus of a direct mail campaign from the company to the customer or client.  It seeks to create a connection with the customer or client, which makes them feel valued and appreciated.  In turn, prospects’ response rates increase, which drive leads and, ultimately, sales.  If you run a business that relies on direct mail campaigns, click here to read how you can use personalization in direct mail.  Source:  Deliver Media