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
Still reeling from the 2007 postal rate increases, catalogers will need to make further budget cuts in 2009 to adjust to the faltering economy. "I think you will find that there will be a budget cut of another 10 [percent] to 20 percent for most pure play catalogers in 2009," projects Monica Smith, president and CEO of Marketsmith, a direct marketing agency with a focus on the catalog channel.