Attack of the Bloated Mailbox: The USPS Wants More Direct Mail - Should You?ShareThis
by Ron Daly
We've all heard about the troubles the postal service has faced these last few years. The recently reported loss of $5.1 Billion in 2011 doesn't give one much hope that the ailing institution can survive, but they're not going down without a fight.
The USPS is making a push to get more merchants involved in direct mail campaigns. They're incentivising the prices for a product called "Every Door Direct Mail". They don't need your name or address - the pieces go to every mailbox in a given zip code. The USPS is hoping to make at least $750 million in revenue...that's roughly 14% of what it lost last year.
So, what you have is a product that's cluttering up mailboxes for everyone, unsolicited, that's going to generate millions in revenue for an organization billions in the hole.
And where's the consumer in all this? Can they opt-out of mailings they didn't ask for anyway? Do we not have a choice in the matter?
Now, obviously, I'm biased - for twelve years, I've been preaching a reduction in wasteful paper in every area of the credit union. But even as a consumer, this is disappointing. I could go without a Saturday delivery if it meant not getting a mailbox filled to the brim with coupons I won't use. And yes, "couponing" is a popular hobby, but even those people with shopping carts full of deoderant and beef jerky can't possibly need this many extra coupons...can they?
Beware of the bloated mailbox. There may not be anything we can do to stop it.