Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 08

Extend the Life of Your Direct Mail – Direct mail has consistently demonstrated the potential to create a lasting effect on consumers, and part of this is its proven ability to trigger a positive emotional response. But physical mail offers something else that digital advertising doesn’t:  staying power.  Many postal studies show that consumers have a strong tendency to keep, display, and share certain types of direct mail materials, including:  coupons, restaurant menus, and sales flyers.  Not only are about two-thirds of potential customers inclined to keep mail they feel offers immediate or future value, they’re also very apt to display that mail in highly visible locations inside their homes.  This provides an outstanding opportunity for your brand to engage with prospects on multiple occasions – over an extended period of time – and all for the price of a single mail-out.  Source:  B2C

B2C Growing Pains – You can pretty much order anything from nearly anywhere in the world for delivery to your home, or in some cases, to wherever you direct the package, all at a reasonable cost and reliable tracking. This growth in ecommerce provides huge opportunities for the U.S. Postal Service as UPS and FedEx often use USPS for last-mile delivery on some of their ground services. Have you noticed any changes in delivery of your online purchases? When shopping online, do you try to group several orders together for one shipment? Or do you tend to buy more spontaneously and have individual orders shipped separately? The OIG of the USPS wants your thoughts.  Read their blog to learn more about B2C volumes.  Source:  OIG USPS

UPS Announces “Sweeping Transformation of Network” – UPS chairman and CEO David Abney has announced that the company is planning a “sweeping transformation” of its network.  In an investor call conference in New York City, UPS executives said that future plans include:  Accelerating investment in its next-generation “Smart Logistics Network”; leveraging the capital efficiency of the company’s global business model; capturing market growth for on-line B-to-B and B-to-C customers; and Investing aggressively in automation to drive improved performance. “Over the next several years, you will see the most sweeping transformation of our network in its history,” said Abney.  “We are adding more flexible capacity, more technology, more capabilities and becoming more efficient, ultimately to improve customer and shareowner value.”  Abney also said that UPS plans to expand its US delivery and pickup schedule to include six days for ground shipments.  UPS will offer Saturday delivery options to the largest metropolitan areas and has started rollout throughout the US.  The Saturday service, in turn, will give the company “the fastest and widest delivery service on Monday.”  Source:  Post & Parcel

USPS Explains the Postage Pricing Review – The PRC is reviewing the system used to regulate Postal Service rates and classes.  When Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan testified this month about postal reform legislation, she discussed the importance of a 10-year pricing review being conducted by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).  The PRC regulates postal matters. The PRC is an independent agency that oversees key USPS activities.  This includes price changes, service performance, financial accounting and more.  The pricing review is required by law.  Under a 2006 law, the PRC must review the system used for regulating rates and classes for market-dominant products, which include First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail.  Source:  eCommerceBytes

The Economics of Mailing a Catalog vs. Postcard – To compare the economics of mailing a catalog vs. mailing a postcard or direct mail piece, you need to compare the cost of mailing, the different response rates, the breakeven and the profitability of the different formats.  A postcard or direct mail piece has both a lower postage cost and a lower printing cost.  However, while the cost is less, the issue is whether the response rate and profitability will also be less.  If you want to create demand for your products, build brand awareness or sell specific merchandise, then a catalog is your preferred format.  Source:  Total Retail

Mailing Industry Survey – Help shape the mailing industry future by participating in the Idealliance’s 2nd Annual Mail Industry Survey.  Idealliance needs the participation of leaders in all segments of our industry’s supply chain including mail owners, print and mail service providers, related logistics and transportation suppliers, and software providers.  Source:  Idealliance