Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 16

UPS Talks about its New Saturday Ground Pickup, Delivery – UPS recently announced it was adding Saturday pickup and delivery for its ground division, initially in 15 markets and expanding to 4,700 U.S. cities and towns by the busy holiday season, and to 5,800 locations next year.  This makes UPS more competitive with rival FedEx – which offers ground delivery on Saturday – and the U.S. Postal Service, with its Saturday and Sunday deliveries, allowing orders fulfilled on Saturday to arrive on Monday.  Deliveries to residences are expected to account for more than half of UPS’s total by 2019.  According to Jerome Roberts, vice president of marketing for UPS, “With expanded Saturday operations, ground packages picked up on Saturday can be delivered to customers on Monday, one day earlier. Commercial and residential customers can receive ground deliveries on Saturday, two days earlier.  UPS now offers a full range of transportation options covering six days a week, expanding customer choice and flexibility.”  Source:  Multichannel Merchant

Every Door Direct Mail Enhanced – The Postal Service is making it easier for small businesses to launch Every Door Direct Mail marketing campaigns.  Every Door Direct Mail allows users to target recipients through a variety of demographics, including household income and age.  USPS recently enhanced the online tool by incorporating the organization’s Affiliates Program, an initiative that allows service providers to help small businesses design direct marketing campaigns through a one-stop shopping process.  Affiliates Program providers offer a variety of services, including design, printing, list services, mail preparation, online payment and measurement.  Source:  USPS Link

What’s Up with Mail – Declining use of traditional letter mail is no surprise.  The number of cards and letters being mailed by American adults has been falling since 1996, and the amount of business-to-consumer mail received by American adults has been slipping since 2007.  Declines in mail volume and Americans’ changing reliance on the U.S. Postal Service are not uniform across the nation, however.  A new Postal Service Office of Inspector General white paper explores the varying local, regional, and state-level dynamics of mail use among American adults.  Source:  USPS OIG

What Engages Millennials? – Tech-savvy millennials are in many ways numb to the digital world in which they bury themselves.  Online marketing messages are overabundant and consequently not regularly consumed or retained by this group. So how can brands break through the digital clutter and engage younger individuals?  All signs point to tactile print and direct mail advertising as the solution.  89% of millennials report picking up their mail at first opportunity, which is highest rate of any demographic. They also spend more time scanning and sorting their mail compared to other consumers.  Source:  Presort

Good-Bye Rate Cap? – Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Robert Taub’s luncheon presentation at MAILCOM ’17 was probably the most anticipated session of the conference.  The PRC is deciding whether or not to eliminate or modify the inflation-based price cap which limits postage rate hikes to the rate of inflation.  In short, he sounded like he agreed with the core of the Postal Service argument that it needs more money.  Does that mean eliminating the price cap?  Perhaps not.  One mailer at the luncheon said the PRC could very easily make the rate cap an “inflation plus system” — for example, inflation +1% or +2%.  Were the PRC to adopt a plus system or eliminate the rate cap altogether, expect mailing groups to sue in court on the basis that the PRC does not have the authority to change the inflation rate cap established in the postal reform act of 2006.   Source:  OMG Official Mail Guide

USPS Price Cap Change Not the Answer – The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers believes the last thing the U.S. Postal Service needs to fix its current predicament is price increases above inflation brought on by removal of the current CPI price cap system.  According to their latest Alliance Report, there is no immediate liquidity crisis.  Above-inflation rice increases seem like a quick, easy way out to some and would only exacerbate the largest threat to USPS sustainability—loss of customers and volume.  Check out the group if you run a nonprofit and use postal mail.  Source:  Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers