United States Postal Service

Harte-Hanks Makes Personalized, Highly Variable Content Available to Direct Mail With Acquisition of High-Speed Digital Print Technology
March 27, 2013

Harte-Hanks, Inc., a worldwide direct and targeted marketing company, announced today the immediate availability of high-speed digital print capabilities that make direct mail relevant, resonant and a fully integrated part of today's multi-channel marketing environment. Harte-Hanks's investment in digital print technology is a key part of the company's commitment to reach the right customer, with the right message, through the right channel, at the right time.

Postal Delivery: Which Will It Be—5 Days or 6 Days?
March 11, 2013

I just had a great exchange with my letter carrier while at my mailbox today. Of course, I brought up the likelihood of five-day delivery come August, to which she gave a candid response, "Well, we've been losing money." That's why it's easy to be indignant when some members of Congress, perhaps predictably, jumped onto the current appropriations bill with mandates for six-day delivery. Yet, one has to ask, where are the means for real relief from some of the costliest demands of the 2006 postal reform law?

Augmented Reality, Wearable Electronics and the Postal Service's Future
February 25, 2013

In my previous blog post, I commented on the United States Postal Service and its announced plans for five-day delivery, discussing the importance of hard-copy communication and a commitment to deliver such communication on a daily basis. In extending this commentary, I claim no nostalgia for daily mail delivery, rather simply recognition that such communication has its unique position as a vehicle for superb brand engagement. The Postal Service is not standing still in the digital age.

The Elimination of Saturday Mail Delivery: Is It the End or the Beginning?
February 25, 2013

The United States Postal Service has a vast market, reaching every address in the nation. However, the ailing Postal Service lost $1.3 billion in the first quarter of the 2013 fiscal year, continuing what has been a steady financial decline. In addition, the marketing industry has been abuzz over the recent announcement that USPS will end Saturday delivery of First Class and Standard mail. Many are asking, does this signal the end of direct marketing as we know it?

Struggling U.S. Postal Service to Launch New Apparel Line
February 21, 2013

The United States Postal Service on Tuesday announced plans to launch a new product line of apparel and accessories. The USPS product line will be sold under the brand name “Rain Heat & Snow,” a homage to the service’s unofficial motto, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” USPS signed on with the apparel company—Wahconah Group, Inc.—to launch the product line, which will start off with men’s apparel and add a women’s line in the future. “This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting-edge

5-Day Delivery: Cost Cutting or Congressional Gambit?
February 11, 2013

As a citizen and a close follower of postal goings on, I realize the United States Postal Service and Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe ultimately are not to blame for the 5-Day Delivery announcement which transpired on February 6. Postal customers, labor unions, direct marketers and Americans in general have reasons to be angry—or at least very concerned—as to what is really going on here

Mythbusters: Digital, Mail and Green Marketing Payback
January 28, 2013

The "Mythbusters" of Discovery Channel's hit show get to blow things up while putting myths to the tests of science. At the Direct Marketing Association's annual marketing conference, I paid tribute to personal heroes Jamie and Adam (the real TV Mythbusters) by blowing up some green marketing myths that have infiltrated both consumer and agency attitudes toward sustainable marketing practice. If left unchecked, today's common green myths can sacrifice campaign integrity, leave profitable sustainability solutions untapped, alienate consumers and contribute to environmental harm

USPS Surprises CES With Eye-popping App That Brings Mail to Life
January 16, 2013

When I think of innovation, one of the last places I think of is the United States Postal Service. So color me surprised when USPS debuted a new app this week at the Consumer Electronics Show that works well and could increase a company’s interest in sending mail again. ... The app, developed with Aurasma, scans a piece of mail and uses augmented reality to make the paper an interactive ad. Ideally, companies that want to engage with potential customers could do so with a new kind of advertising—one that merges digital and physical ads

How Postal Changes Will Affect Direct Mail
January 2, 2013

Michael Morrison, chief executive of COMTECH, talks about coming changes in postal regulations, specs and more. Q: Every year the United States Postal Service makes tweaks and changes in postal regulations, specifications and pricing. What's the biggest change in 2013 when it comes to direct mail? A: "One significant change is folded self-mailers, the kind that arrive in your mailbox without an envelope. Horizontal self-mailers must have the final fold on the bottom, be printed on heavier paper, comply with the new maximum size of 6-inches-by-10.5-inches and have a maximum weight of 3 ounces

USPS Expands Direct Mail Initiatives Via SMS
December 20, 2012

The United States Postal Service is letting marketers place SMS calls to action, mobile bar codes and digital watermarks on direct mail in an upcoming campaign that will give businesses a 2 percent discount on qualified pieces. The direct mail coupon and click-to-call campaign promotion runs from March 1 to April 30. The USPS has tested several mobile initiatives that included QR Codes, but this is the first time that SMS has been added to the mix with discounts for businesses that equip their mail with mobile. "Our strategy is to bring awareness to marketers, retailers and all our customers