Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing September 2011 Newsletter.
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States Postal Service Drops Request for Exigent Rate Increase in 2012
by Stefanie Botelho,
The USPS had sought an increase of more than 4
percent on most postal rates.
It appears the United States Postal Service has had a
change of heart. After issuing a request to the Postal Regulatory
Commission in July to raise postal rates in January 2012 over 4 percent
(considered an exigent increase) to combat revenue loss due to economic
conditions and the continual transition to digital, the USPS is no longer
seeking the rate increase.
Postmaster General Pat Donahoe shared with the Mailers Technical Advisory
Committee on August 17 the USPS would “pursue that case only to get the PRC to clarify its position on when such exigent rates increases are
allowed”, according to anonymous blogger Dead Tree Edition.
The rate hike would have been on top of the usual increases outlined by
the Consumer Price Index.
In preparation for the expected loss of $8 billion in the 2011 fiscal
year, as well as to begin the process of eliminating 220,000 employees by
2015, the USPS began negotiations with the National Association of Letter
In a prepared statement from USPS, chief HR officer and
EVP Anthony Vegliante says, “Wages and benefits for all employees
represent nearly 80 percent of our costs. To remain solvent, we must
negotiate contracts that address our total labor costs and enable us to
downsize quickly to adjust to America’s changing mailing needs while being
fair to our customers and employees.”
Vegliante also says if the Postal Service was a private business, it would
have already filed for bankruptcy and used the process to “restructure its
labor agreements to reflect the new financial reality”.
In 2006, mail volume topped at 213 billion pieces. In 2010, mail volume
dropped 20 percent to 171 billion pieces.
Response Rates With QR Codes
An estimated 14.5 million QR codes were scanned in
The worldwide mobile marketplace is expanding all the
time, so there has never been a better time for marketers to look at how
campaigns can benefit from the rise of smartphones and tablet devices.
One immediate solution is to create B2B email marketing campaigns
compatible with the mobile inbox, but there are also ways in which
companies opting for a more traditional direct mail strategy can get
As most direct marketing practitioners will be aware, the most
widely-accepted best-practice approach to modern B2B communications is to
combine both print and digital elements wherever possible. And thanks to
the emergence of quick response (QR) codes, it has arguably never been
easier for businesses to design an altogether integrated campaign.
Recent analysis from Gartner suggests that of the 400 million mobile
consumers globally, more than a quarter now carry smartphones and
increasingly use their device to scan QR codes and engage with brands
online. This creates a superb opportunity for marketers using the direct
mail channel, as the codes can very easily be included in mailings.
Not to be confused with old-fashioned barcodes, QR codes are unique
graphic stamps that, when 'scanned' by the camera on a mobile device,
direct the user to a website or promotion relevant to the page they are
looking at. As consumer awareness grows, QR codes increasingly appear on
posters, magazine ads and point-of-sale material. But one area where they
may have a particularly useful application is with direct mail sent to
"QR codes demonstrate just one of the ways in which mobile marketing can
effectively be integrated into existing media and marketing campaigns to
help reach desired consumer segments," said Mark Donovan, comScore's
Senior Vice President of Mobile recently. He added: "For marketers,
understanding which consumer segments scan QR codes, the source and
location of these scans, and the resulting information delivered, is
crucial in developing and deploying campaigns that successfully utilize
QR codes to further brand engagement."
Anyone still skeptical of the relatively new technology need only look at
the mountain of evidence to suggest that it really is worthy of the hype.
The latest US statistics, published by comScore in August, have shown
that an estimated 14.5 million QR codes were scanned in June 2011. Almost
two-thirds of people who interacted with the codes were found to be male,
with 53 per cent in the 18 to 34-year-old age group.
Interestingly, more than a third belonged to the 'over $100,000' income bracket, representing a demographic for B2B direct mail
senders targeting top-level decision makers. Furthermore, a recent GI
Insight report claimed that direct mail was responsible for leading more
prospective clients to companies' websites than any other form of
advertising or communication.
Researchers found that some 47 per cent of consumers were, more often
than not, prompted to visit a firm's website after receiving something in
the mail. When asked which medium they would be most likely to take
action on, 34 per cent chose direct mail, while 33 per cent said email.
"These findings clearly demonstrate that direct mail is still an
extremely powerful tool, even in the digital age, and plays a pivotal
role in any business' efforts to contact consumers," said Andy Wood,
managing director of GI Insight.
They also clearly highlight the fact that non-digital channels are more
than capable of generating leads and boosting brand engagement in the
digital environment. While printing the website's URL is usually enough
to encourage a response, including a QR code simply streamlines the
process of getting prospects to the right place, reducing the risk of
losing people along the way. And this can only be good news for marketers
looking to make a sale.
Post Office Builds Direct Mail Volumes Among Small Businesses
The US Postal Service has encouraged thousands of new businesses
into using the mail for local advertising campaigns over the summer, with
its new simplified address service.
Every Door Direct Mail, as the service is
called, was launched back in April, offering businesses an easier way to
mail items to every doorstep in a given area, without having to get hold
of specific addresses for individual households.
USPS has already been running thousands of events over the summer to raise
awareness about the new service among small businesses, and is also set to
run direct mail campaigns targeting both small and large businesses.
So far, the service has averaged more than 45,000 visits each month to its
online tool, which allows users to simply select an area on a map in order
to obtain numbers of households in targeted delivery routes.
Last week, the Postal Service revealed new figures stating that 12,097
customers have registered to use the new service through post offices.
There have been 9,292 retail transactions adding 7.1 million pieces of
mail into the mailstream, according to USPS saturation mail manager Dave
Mastervich, who said the average size of a mailing was 1,849 pieces, which
could cover about four delivery routes.
“Businesses are getting back to the way it used to be – marketing to
households in their local area,” said Mastervich, who said the late spring
launch of the service lawn care service companies were among the big users
Although there have been suspicions over the summer that the EDDM service
has been effectively poaching customers already using USPS saturation mail
services, Mastervich insisted that 98% of those on the retail side of the
service were new customers.
The EDDM service also has a separate option for bulk mailers who input
mail directly at a USPS Bulk Mail Entry Unit, which allows larger mailers
to make use of the simplified addressing.
Mastervich said that while overall saturation mail volumes declined
between April and July by 0.7% compared to the same period last year, for
those mailers taking part in the EDDM bulk mail service, their mail
volumes grew by 6.2%.
Direct Mail Hub
Alongside the EDDM service, the Postal Service has also
launched a pilot initiative to offer help for small businesses who want to
use direct mail to promote their goods and services.
The Direct Mail Hub offers a platform that can both educate
small businesses about direct mail and also help them generate campaigns
from start to finish.
The service is currently being piloted in Austin, Texas, and in the
Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.
Small businesses are offered easy tools to create their own direct mail
campaign through an end-to-end system available online. Florida-based
DirectMail2Go is providing the online “do it yourself” tools that include
templates, mailing lists, printing, postage and mailing.
Tom Foti, the USPS manager of marketing mail, said the Direct Mail
Hub followed up research from a year and a half ago in which USPS
found that many small businesses knew little about direct mail and its
benefits in reaching local customers.
“They weren’t aware of the effectiveness of direct mail, and they never
really thought about how it works and how it can help them,” said Foti,
who added that perceptions of direct mail was that it involved a complex
process in terms of getting hold of address lists and preparing mail.
“With the Direct Mail Hub we created a solution to do all that for small
businesses,” he explained.
Win Yankee Tickets!
Enjoy a great day at Yankee Stadium!
We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Yankees.
you have to do to win is be the first telephone caller (please don’t hit reply or send an email). Voice
mail messages count so it's fine to leave a message. Call Michael Borkan at
(631) 667-5500 x 11. These tickets are great seats and close to the field!
Tuesday September 20th, 2011. Yankees vs.
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Talon Mailing & Marketing Newsletter please
United States Postal Service Drops Request for Exigent Rate Increase in 2012
Increase Response Rates With QR Codes
Post Office Builds Direct Mail Volumes Among Small Businesses
Yankees Ticket Giveaway!
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