Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 40

How (and When) You Actually Should Use Direct Mail – Why do some direct-mail marketing campaigns succeed, and others fail?  There’s a two-part answer to this conundrum.  First, the timing of the direct mail is sometimes wrong. You shouldn’t always use direct mail unless it fits your industry.  There’s a time to send and a time not to send.  Second, the way you send direct mail changes its effectiveness.  If you send the same postcard year round, that might be a horrible marketing tactic, or it might be brilliant. It just depends on how often you send postal mail and who your recipients are.  Some 47% of people have visited a store because of a direct-mail campaign.  And you want your audience to take action. You want your direct mail to generate leads, encourage brand sharing, and enhance brand awareness.  But to do so, you need to send direct mail at the right time and in the right way.  Source:  Neil Patel

USPS Informed Delivery Concerns – According to the USPS, some 6.3 million accounts have been created via Informed Delivery so far.  A review of the methods used by the USPS to validate new account signups suggests the service is wide open to abuse by a range of parties, mainly because of weak authentication and because it is not easy to opt out of the service.  Once signed up, a resident can view scanned images of the front of each piece of incoming mail in advance of its arrival.  Unfortunately, because of the weak knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions (provided by recently-breached big-three credit bureau Equifax, no less) stalkers, jilted ex-partners, and private investigators also can see who you’re communicating with via the Postal mail.  Source:  Krebs on Security

Print and Paper Packs a Punch in a Digital World – The results of an international survey by Two Sides provides unique insight into how print and paper is viewed, preferred and trusted by consumers around the globe.  Not only is there a global preference for print, there is also greater trust in print. 76% of all respondents believe “fake news” is a worrying trend and only 24% trust the news stories they read on social media. In addition, 63% of all respondents believe reading news in a printed newspaper provides a deep understanding of the story.  The survey also revealed consumers have a negative perception of online advertising. 68% of global respondents say they don’t pay attention to online ads and 62% find them annoying and usually not relevant. 57% of global respondents do their best to block or avoid online ads.  Source:  Two Sides

USPS Defaults on Mandatory Payments – The U.S. Postal Service has yet again failed to make mandatory payments into accounts for its retirees’ pensions and health care, sparking a renewed call for legislative reform aimed at relieving the financial stress on the cash-strapped agency.  It is not the first time the Postal Service has missed its required payments to prefund retirees’ health benefits. From 2012 through 2016, the agency failed to deliver nearly $34 billion toward its pool for retirees’ health care.  Source:  Government Executive

Magazine Industry Calls Out ‘Fake News’ to Promote Print – The Association of Magazine Media has begun a campaign in print and online running through March with the tagline, “Magazine media. Better. Believe It.”  The campaign “addresses magazine media’s unmatched ability across platforms to produce professional, credible, trusted and brand-safe content,” the print industry group said in its release, announcing the new ads.  Source:  Ad Age

Is USPS Prepping for Driverless Mail Trucks? – As proposals and legislation around autonomous vehicles wend through Congress, the USPS IG is examining how the emerging technology could change the way the agency transports and delivers the nation’s mail.  Though the technology is still five to 10 years away, once “driverless vehicles emerge, at maturity they could replace letter carriers on a large scale.”  Source:  FCW

Amazon Testing Its Own Delivery Service – Inc. is experimenting with a new delivery service intended to make more products available for free two-day delivery and relieve overcrowding in its warehouses, according to two people familiar with the plan, which will push the online retailer deeper into functions handled by longtime partners United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp.  Source:  Bloomberg Technology