Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 13

Mark Your Calendars for Informed Delivery – On April 14, the Postal Service is set to launch a nationwide service that allows users, in a sense, to peek at their mail before it arrives in their mailbox.  Users will have the option of getting an email with photos of the front of card- and letter-size mail pieces that are due to arrive that day, or a day or two later. The email is sent on days when mail is being processed and delivered. It shows up to 10 grayscale images in each email with a link at the bottom to see the rest.  Users can also view the images for seven days on their dashboard, which they can find on  Bob Dixon, the executive program director of Informed Delivery, says the program was first piloted in Northern Virginia in 2014 and sprang from a program to help post office box customers know when they had something in their P.O. box.  He says participants in specific scenarios — like roommates who misplaced each other’s mail or people who traveled frequently — found the daily messages helpful.  Source:  NPR

Amazon Gives Prime Air Public Demo – At its robotics conference in California, Amazon demonstrated its Prime Air drone delivery system, The Verge reported.  This was the first public flight its drones have taken in the US, according to Amazon.  The fully autonomous drone completed its delivery successfully, illustrating how far drones have come, but also pointing to the parts of the drone ecosystem that will need to develop — drone management and the regulatory space — before drone delivery can get off the ground.  Source:  Business Insider

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive – The 25th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is set for Saturday, May 13, 2017.  Letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive — the largest one-day food drive in the nation.  Led by letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO), with help from rural letter carriers, other postal employees and other volunteers, the drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 24 years.  Source:  USPS

Paper Knowledge – The longer the paper fiber, the stronger the product.  For example, a tissue has short fibers, making it soft and brittle.  Every time paper fibers get recycled, they get shortened a little bit more.  Learn more about recycled paper at Recyclebank.

PRC Issues ACD – The Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued its Annual Compliance Determination (ACD), an assessment of the U.S. Postal Service rate and fee compliance and service performance in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. The Commission has identified several compliance issues and directs the Postal Service to address them in FY 2017. The Commission identified significant issues related to flat-shaped mail (Flats).  In FY 2016, the combined attributable costs of Outside-County Periodicals and Standard Mail Flats (now referred to as Marketing Mail) exceeded revenues.  While not reaching its targets, service performance did show some improvement. However, the Postal Service has not met its service performance target for any Flats product since the inception of its current service performance measurement system.  Source:  PRC

Sending Direct Mail to Baby Boomers – There’s been a lot of buzz lately around capturing the buying power of baby boomers, as mentioned in the Inman two-part series, “How to tap into the next big ‘boomer’ wave.”  Did you know that baby boomers control 70 percent of all disposable income?  The baby boomer demographic is arguably one of the best age groups to target because of its significant buying power. So when marketing to this target audience, it’s worth mentioning that this group has a high direct mail response rate.  Source:  Inman

Informed Delivery Security Considerations Webinar – In response to Industry requests during the March 2017 MTAC Product Innovation and Emerging Technology Focus Group meeting and other Industry meetings, the Postal Service provided a webinar to learn more about security considerations of Informed Delivery.  Informed Delivery is a consumer-facing feature that gives eligible residential consumers the ability to see a daily digital preview of their household mail arriving in their mailbox soon.  Click here to view the slides.  Source:  PostalPro