Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 15

Postal Reform Q & A – In order to have a healthy, sustainable, public Postal Service, legislation is necessary to protect postal customers and postal workers from USPS’s current financial crisis.  The bi-partisan Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 largely caused this crisis, sending the Postal Service on a severe downward spiral.  The PAEA mandated the Postal Service “pre-fund” 100 percent of its retiree health benefit liabilities, 75 years into the future.  New postal reform legislation introduced in the 115th Congress helps to solve the pre-funding crisis and is fair to active and retired postal workers.  The APWU (American Postal Workers Union) supports two companion bills introduced in the House of Representatives, H.R. 756 and H.R. 760.  As these bills move through the legislative process, the APWU will continue working to improve them.  The APWU has complied 34 questions and answers concerning H.R. 756.  Click here to read the report.  Source:  APWU

Periodicals Mailers Facing Uncertain Times – For the past decade, changes in publishers’ average postal rates have been limited to the rate of inflation.  But a Congressionally mandated review of how postage rates are set, coupled with USPS’s failure to rein in magazine-delivery costs, has raised serious doubts about whether that protection will continue.  Fortunately for publishers, the PRC recognizes an inconsistency in the Postal Service’s data:  In the past eight years, publishers have responded to rate incentives by dramatically increasing their participation in co-mailing and drop shipping programs.  That should have significantly lowered the USPS’s Periodicals costs, the PRC noted recently.  Results of an MPA-led survey, which asked MPA members what they would do if postal rates increased, was presented by SVP for legislative and regulatory policy Rita D. Cohen to the PRC.  Source:  Publishing Executive

Millennials and Their Love for Direct Mail – Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the group of people born between the periods of roughly 1982 to 2004.  This means that they are more prevalent with their use of sending tweets and using hashtags for marketing rather than direct mail, right?  Millennials actually have a great love for direct mail.  18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds, on average, respond to direct mail quicker than any other age group.  Both age groups are also more likely to reply to a direct mail piece within a week quicker than any other generation.  Source:  Baker Goodchild

Marketers Taking Cautious Approach to USPS Informed Delivery – While the USPS new Informed Delivery program of viewing your mail online might seem interesting, it’s still too early for some marketers to suggest this is a better way to target people in their homes.  According to Mike Lieberman, Chief Inbound Scientist for Square 2 Marketing, basic human behavior is not going to change.  People will still walk out to their mailbox, sort through the mail and toss everything that’s not a bill or a personal note into the recycling box before even getting back inside.  If consumers see these images in their email box, are they more likely to hold onto the mail when they get home, or are they more likely to throw it out without even looking at it because they already saw it?  We know people have a limited attention span online and are constantly distracted by email popups, website pages and advertisements.  Mr. Lieberman does recommend signing up for the program to experience the consumer perspective and then run some tests like redesigning the envelope.  Read his blog here.  Source:  Square 2

Surprising Direct Mail Super Powers – The biggest challenge in today’s competitive business landscape is for companies to grab, and hold on to, consumer interest.  If you’re unfamiliar with direct mail’s marketing super powers, you may be surprised to learn just how potent and influential a role it can play as part of your company’s customer communication mix.  The power of direct mail stems from its innate ability to combine the familiar with the physical:  two characteristics that are noticeably missing from digital advertising efforts. Receiving, handling, and reading physical mail is a ritualistic, hands-on experience.  It’s also a practice that has been shown to trigger an emotional response in consumers – one that very often leads to some form of action. In fact, studies suggest that 40-50% of consumer purchases – both online and in-store – are the result of a direct mail ad.  Source:  B2C