Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 48

Old-Fashioned Mail-Order Catalog Making Comeback – In an era of explosive growth for online buying, retailers and shoppers are showing renewed interest in a humble purchasing device that uses paper instead of pixels.  For the first time since 2011, Sears Holdings sent out the Sears Wish Book, a holiday tradition for generations of children.  Although this year’s catalog has the heft of a magazine rather than the phone-book size that the department store produced back when it was a retail juggernaut, the offerings are more extensive and searchable online.  A survey included in a recent DMA report found that nearly one-third of those polled said getting a catalog drove them to shop online.  Source:  Los Angeles Times

U.S. Postal Service Urged to Choose Electric Delivery Trucks – The current fleet of delivery trucks used by the United States Postal Service have stood the test of time, but their high maintenance costs mean it’s time to retire the iconic boxy vehicles.  The USPS began soliciting bids in 2016 and five finalists now remain in the running: they are Workhorse/Hackney, AM General, Karsan, Mahindra, and Oshkosh.  Two of the finalists offer electrified options—Workhorse and Mahindra—and environmental groups are urging the USPS to choose an electric future over one powered by fossil fuels.  The USPS will award its new contract, with a total value as high as $6.3 billion, in early 2018.  Source:  Green Car Reports

USPS Expands ‘Informed Delivery’ to PO Box Customers – Eligible PO Box customers can now digitally preview their incoming mail through Informed Delivery.  The free feature, which USPS introduced nationally this year, allows users to interact with incoming mail and manage packages on a secure online dashboard.  Informed Delivery was previously available only to consumers at eligible residential addresses.  USPS recently sent emails to many PO Box residential customers inviting them to sign up for Informed Delivery. This email contains a unique activation code necessary for enrollment.  Source:  USPS Link

Facts you should know about Direct Mail – Everyone in marketing likes a statistic or two, so the DMA in the UK thought 45 of them might be statistically enough to demonstrate the ‘must know’ facts surrounding direct mail!  Here are several:

  • 30% of people are less likely to open a piece of mail if their name is spelt incorrectly
  • 60% of people say that direct mail reminded them about a brand or company
  • 58% of people say that mail made them think about using a product or buying from a brand reminded about a brand or company
  • 56% of consumers say mail grabs their attention

Click here for the complete list.  Source:  DMA

Print Catalogs Boosting Holiday Sales – This holiday shopping season, direct-to-consumer fashion brands are sending out ink-on-paper direct-mail catalogs to get shoppers’ attention while distinguishing themselves from Amazon.  In most cases, this isn’t a new idea.  The brands have done print mailers or incorporating them into their marketing for seasons, so it’s become a proven tactic.  Many traditional retailers that have done away with their catalogs in the past have relaunched them in the past three years; Sears announced the comeback of its Wish Book in October. Neiman Marcus, on the other hand, has released its version, The Christmas Book, for the past 91 years.  In today’s digital-focused world, they’re a novelty retailers across the board can use to their advantage.  Source:  Glossy

Veritiv Joins Growing SGP Community – The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), the leading non-profit organization that certifies printing facilities’ sustainability best practices is pleased to announce Veritiv Corporation as the newest SGP Patron.  Based in Atlanta, GA, Veritiv Corporation is Fortune 500 business-to-business distributor of packaging, facility solutions, print and publishing products and services.  Additionally, Vertiv provides logistics and supply chain management solutions.  The company’s recent support of SGP further underscores the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability practices.  Source:  SGP