1 USPS, Many Opinions

On Monday, Randy Batterson’s comment on TargetMarketingMag.com really put a stamp on it. If marketers want to stir up a discussion, all they have to do is mention the U.S. Postal Service.
The ninth reader to comment on “Door Slamming on Home Mail Delivery?” Batterson proposed further integrating physical mail delivery with digital marketing.

“The USPS can kill two bird[s] with one stone,” he writes. “They can enhance the user experience of cluster mail box units with real-time mail delivery notification and via that notification send complimentary digital ads/coupons for the content being delivered in their mailbox.”

Batterson also just happens to offer the service described. However, Batterson’s comment was one of the more polite ones on that and another USPS discussion, which took place among eight readers of “USPS to Rise Like a Phoenix: True or False?”

In the latter debate, Bill Williams says USPS delivering packages for Amazon is something the postal service believes will be a “huge money maker.” (All the way back in November 2013, USPS was testing the idea. Although it’s gone wider, Sunday package delivery still isn’t offered nationally.)

What is it about the postal service that stirs such passion? Direct mail is an essential channel for many marketers. Perhaps though, too, it brings up some of the fond memories Chet Dalzell, a Target Marketing blogger, recalls for readers. “In Ogallala, NE, we actually had a ‘city style’ single-residence black mailbox with a top lid and two parallel curling hooks underneath for [fliers] and my Boys Life magazine (my first piece of regular mail, that I can recall), attached to the house by the front door,” he writes in “The Mailboxes of My Memory.”

Along the lines of saying good-bye to the mailboxes of yesteryear and hello to clusterboxes, members of the Postal Affairs in Direct Mail group on LinkedIn expressed a mix of sadness about loss of convenience and hopefulness about a new sense of community in their discussion.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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