KeyNotes – Volume 04 Number 05

Oops, They Did It Again – Goodbye paper statements…again. Two years after reinstating paper statements amid a firestorm of criticism for having ended them, the Social Security Administration is again pulling back on mailed statements.  In a recent news article about a Social Security Administration blog post, the agency announced it would mail fewer statements this year to reduce costs by as much as $11.3 million.  Only individuals 60 years of age and older who aren’t receiving benefits and don’t have an online account will get paper statements, which provide information on a person’s earnings, estimated benefits, and contributions.  The USPS Office of Inspector General wants to know what types of communications need to be mailed.  Submit your comments here.  Source:  USPS OIG

Billions Pumped into Disrupting Traditional Postal Delivery Services – Billions of dollars in venture-capital funding have poured into the post and parcel industry in the last two years, driven by the continued popularity of e-commerce and increased competitiveness in hyper-local, start-up delivery models, according to a new report from Accenture (ACN).  The report, The New Delivery Reality: Achieving High Performance in the Post and Parcel Industry, shows that venture- capital funding of supply chain and logistics start-ups, integral to delivery services, has increased more than 10-fold in the last three years, from US$266 million in 2013 to US$2.78 billion in 2016.  Source:  Yahoo Finance

New Bipartisan Postal Reform Legislation – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders introduced H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017.  The bill addresses unfunded liabilities of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), makes reforms to keep mailing costs affordable for consumers, and encourages innovation, all without additional borrowing capacity from the U.S. taxpayer.  The bill cosponsors released the following statement upon introduction:  “This bipartisan measure will make the policy changes that are most urgently needed to put the Postal Service on sound and sustainable long-term financial footing. This collaborative reform effort places the Postal Service on a path toward a viable future.”  Click here to see the full bill text, here to view a summary of the bill and here to view notable changes from legislation introduced during the 114th Congress.  Source:  Oversight House

Mailing Industry Offers Support for Postal Reform Act – The Coalition for a 21stCentury Postal Service (C21) expressed its support for HR 756, the Postal Reform Act of 2017, introduced by a bipartisan group of Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, including its leaders.  “This bill provides an intelligent, workable and bipartisan solution to the financial predicament faced by USPS,” said Art Sackler, Manager of C21.   “C21 mailers and suppliers, and the industry as a whole, have long supported a universal, self-sustaining postal system, and this bill would keep it that way.”  Source:  PN Newswire

Engagement Key to Effective Direct Mail – The one word that runs right through direct mail, from the conception of a campaign to the hook, design, messaging and targeting, is engagement.  There is no other single factor that can claim so much importance in determining the success of a campaign and its ability to deliver return on investment.  Engagement begins at the very outset of the campaign, when marketers need to decide who they want to target and what the desired outcomes will be.  Modern technology gives them access to a series of tools, including data analysis and customer modeling that would have been unheard of a generation ago, allowing them to define these key parameters more accurately than ever before.  It’s vital that you get your campaign right in terms of the design, the message and the hook. By keeping engagement at the forefront of your mind, you can ensure that the campaign delivers on its key goals and thereby maximize the response rate.  Source:  Intergame

Print and Paper:  The Facts – Print and paper is a highly sustainable form of communication in today’s digital society.  Despite this, there are still misconceptions that it is wasteful, detrimental to the environment and responsible for deforestation. To address these misconceptions, and to better inform and educate consumers, businesses and the public at large, Two Sides, has published a series of comprehensive fact sheets to address a wide array of environmental and social issues. Source:  Two Sides