Nine billion pieces of direct mail just went missing. That’s how many mail pieces the USPS estimates diminished from the mailstream in 2008, and there’s no uptick in sight. A decline of 9 billion pieces of mail has an enormous household impact. “There’s 110 million active households in the United States, but about 50 million of them really get the preponderance of mail. You divide that 9 billion into the 50 million households, and that’s pretty significant,” explains Monica Smith, president and CEO for Marketsmith Inc., a Morristown, N.J.–based multichannel marketing firm. In other words, every mailbox has seen a decrease. Direct mail

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