Direct to You

The USPS is pushing direct mail to shore up revenues. If you hate it, it’s junk mail. If you print it, mail it, or read it, it is direct mail marketing. In any case, the USPS is encouraging folks to use more of it in order to make up for the shortfall in First Class mailings. Last week, I lamented that I hadn’t written or received an honest to goodness letter in ages. Personal and business communications have gone online. Now, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the First Class mail nosedive has prompted the USPS to start: “running promotions, easing rules, and planning television and radio ads to encourage more businesses to send pitches by standard mail, the official term for bulk mailings used by marketers to prospect for customers.†This comes on the heels of a recent campaign to point out how physical mail can drive people to websites by offering a 3% discount to direct mail that contained QR codes. Other aspects of direct mail promotion include allowing businesses to bring as many as 5,000 pieces of advertising mail a day to the post office to be delivered to every home on every carrier route at a cost of 14.2 cents per piece. This does away with the need to buy mailing lists in order to get exact delivery addresses for the printed piece. I make two predictions. First, printers will be able to make more money printing more direct mail pieces if they get out and sell these new USPS incentives to their customers. Second, the direct mail push will give new ammunition to the “Do Not Mail†campaigns, which, so far, have remained bottled up in the various state legislatures. Stay tuned.

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