Key Notes – Volume 03 Number 25

New Box of Chicken Can Charge Phones – Kentucky Fried Chicken launched a meal box in India that actually comes with built in outlets and cables for charging your smartphone.  You know, so you never miss an opportunity to post about your wings.  The chicken chain calls it “Watt a Box,” and the cables work with iPhones and Androids. People in Delhi and Mumbai can try out the limited edition box by winning a contest on KFC’s Facebook page.  [Editors Note:  Great packaging idea!]  Source:  TIME

Canada Post Eyes Drones for Future Mail Delivery – It’s a little early to tell if the idea will fly, but Canada Post is starting to look at the role of drones in making deliveries.  The post office is quietly exploring the possibility of small, unmanned aerial vehicles one day helping get the mail to where it needs to go, said Jon Hamilton, a Canada Post spokesman.  Source:  Globe and Mail

Between a Rock and a Hard Place – When it comes to postal products that don’t cover their costs, the U.S. Postal Service finds itself in a no-win situation.  The law that governs the U.S. Postal Service, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), requires the Postal Service to make sure all products cover their direct costs.  But it also caps the price increase on market-dominant mail classes at the increase in inflation.  Given these challenges maybe it’s fortuitous that the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will begin its review of the Postal Service’s rate setting process this year – as mandated by the PAEA. After December 20, 2016, (the 10-year anniversary of PAEA) the PRC will open a docket to review the price cap system for regulating market dominant products – First-Class and Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Service and Special and Ancillary Services. The PRC will decide if the system is achieving its statutory objectives and, if it is not, will make changes to achieve the objectives.  Source:  OIG

USPS Paves Way Toward Internet of Things – Mobility is at the center of nearly everything the U.S. Postal Service does as part of its mission.  That’s why the roll out of advanced mobile devices is so critical to the organization.  Randy Miskanic, the Postal Service’s acting chief information officer, said the new devices will let carriers and other employees operate in a real-time environment, where decision- making data is pushed out, and mission-data is collected and provided back to management.  USPS hired Honeywell under a $250 million contract to provide next-generation Mobile Delivery Devices. The device will replace an 8-year-old scanning tool and the carrier’s cell phone.  Source:  Federal News Radio

Best Practice for Direct Mail Marketing – Yes, in this age of ultra-technology, direct mail marketing is showing no sign of being out-dated.  It’s still regarded as the most effective marketing tool.  But yes, direct mail has transformed immensely from sending postcards, fliers, pamphlets, catalogues – it has evolved to send relevant content and personalized direct mails.  All successful direct mail campaigns are run on best practices in direct mail campaigns.  Click here to read the top practices.  Source:  Biz Community

Publishers Must Adopt New Tech – Keith Sibson, VP of product & marketing at email service provider PostUp believes that the future success of publishing businesses is entirely tied to data.  Mr. Sibson believes virtual reality (VR) will change the media business in a largely predictable way.  Source:  Publishing Executive

Don’t Discount Direct Mail – Online channels may be more fun to talk about, but that doesn’t mean we should leave direct mail out of the conversation.  Couple the response rate of direct mail with the power of the single customer view (which requires incorporating data gathered from online channels, too), and you have a recipe for online/offline marketing success.  In fact, according to the DMA 2015 Response Rate Report, direct mail remains one of the most heavily used marketing channels, along with email marketing and social media.  Source:  CMS Wire

Approved USPS 2017 Promotions – The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has approved six USPS Mailing Promotions for calendar year 2017.  These promotions continue to build on the engagement strategies of the 2016 Promotions.  The promotions focus on providing marketers with the opportunity to engage their customers by using dynamic color, new print techniques, mobile technology, and traditional and innovative mail techniques.  Source:  USPS