USPS Cuts…How will this impact DIRECT MAIL?

Changes announced by the U.S. Postal Service will mean slower delivery times for first class mail and fewer mail processing centers nationwide, starting next spring. How will this affect your direct mail campaign or just mailing a package?

At a news briefing Monday, postal vice president  said the USPS wants to virtually eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day, to avert possible bankruptcy next year.

The cuts could slow everything from check payments to movie deliveries  and DVSs-by-mail, while adding costs to mail-order prescription drugs and threatening the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carriers.

The latest changes in service, along with those already implemented, could have a big impact printing and direct mail.

“I think a lot of my customers will have to plan their advertising more strategically and allow for more delivery time. The mail has been such a huge vehicle for delivering direct  mail for their advertising purposes and it’s really sad because it really does still drive a lot of business,” said  Becky Gould, President of Snap Pack Direct Mail.

Some printing businesses have suffered from previous USPS cuts, Gould said. “Already we’ve had some issues with customers seeing that their mail’s not being delivered in a timely manner, however, if planning is done right the mail will still get into the hands of the reader. We now offer a “track and trace” software program that allows for customers to see where there mail is in the delivery process. This helps them to stay calm knowing where there advertising print piece is and keeps them reassured.

Gould said it’s all a sign of the times. Her company’s direct mail business starting implementing different services in order to accommodate the changing times. “You just have to change with the times”, she said, “ Internet became increasingly popular for communication, though  bulk mail marketing still has advantages the web cannot offer.”

Gould pointed out there is still only one mailbox at each household. “When those people open their mailbox and they pull out your advertising piece, you’re still the only one in their hands. I don’t think it will ever die. I think the smart marketers will keep doing direct mail, because it works!” Gould goes on to further claim that their “snap pack pressure seal mailers” still hold a 95% open ratio. She states that there is not a single email marketing campaign that can hold a candle to those statistics!

Postal service officials said first class mail volume dropped to 78 billion pieces in 2010, from more than 100 billion in 2001. Officials said the announced cuts would save up to $3 billion by 2015. Hopefully, there will be a happy middle ground and that the old fashioned way of carrier routes will still remain user friendly.

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