Bulk mailers can now feel free to set their summer and fall delivery schedules, but worries fester over a looming rate increase.
The United States Postal Service introduces a flat-rate service aimed at luring product samplers back to home delivery.
The USPS launches enhancements to small business service Every Door Direct Mail.
Hanging from a cliff, the 112th Congress ignored USPS boss Patrick Donahoe's pleas for postal reform. Now he's setting an agenda for the 113th.
The Postal Service and a British import called Shutl will soon be offering instant delivery services to rival Walmart's and Amazon's.
More than a third of consumers favor direct mail as the conduit for privacy-sensitive information from health and insurance companies, says an Epsilon survey.
The PRC released Aug. 23 its advisory opinion on the USPS's plan, which allows the agency to begin implementing reduced hours of retail service at approximately 13,000 locations.
Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada are the most active states for direct response spending, while Oregon, Indiana, Tennessee, and Michigan are the least, according to payment processing company Litle & Co., which released its findings Aug. 22.
The U.S. Postal Service reported a third quarter net loss of $5.2 billion today, with $3.1 billion attributable to refunding retiree health benefits
The United States Postal Service defaulted on a $5.5 billion payment to the United States Treasury August 1, which was intended to cover the healthcare benefits of the organization's future retirees.
Ninety percent of grocery retailers say that weekly circulars is their primary way of promoting products and marketing to consumers.
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has found that direct mail boasts a 4.4% rate, compared to email's average response rate of 0.12%
USPS chief Patrick Donahoe set out his vision for the agency at the National Postal Forum in April.
Hewlett-Packard Distribution Co. (HP) will merge its Imaging and Printing Group and its Personal Systems Group (PSG) into the Printing and Personal Systems Group, said Michael Thacker, a member of HP's corporate media relations team. Todd Bradley, EVP of PSG, will run the new entity; Vyomesh Joshi, EVP of the Imaging and Printing Group, will retire.
UPS has reached an agreement to acquire Dutch-based international delivery services company TNT Express, said UPS director of global media services Norman Black. TNT Express's major shareholders have agreed on UPS's all-cash offer at $6.8 billion. UPS expects the deal to close during the third quarter of 2012.
As the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) — which reported in February losses totaling more than $3 billion — struggles to stay solvent, it is using a number of promotions to try to keep shippers shipping.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) ended the first three months of its 2012 fiscal year with a net loss of $3.3 billion — and large losses are expected to continue until planned restructuring efforts have taken place, the agency said Feb. 9.
Printer Quad/Graphics announced on Feb. 1 that it acquired Williamson Printing Corporation, a 128-year-old printer that specializes in short- to medium-run catalogs, books, direct mail and promotional products.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is, for the second year, planning a summertime promotion for direct mailers that use two-dimensional barcodes, USPS VP of domestic products Gary Reblin told Direct Marketing News on Jan. 31.
In response to feedback from the mailing industry, businesses mailing automated or presort letters first-class can now mail letters weighing up to two ounces at the one-ounce postage rate, said U.S. Postal Service (USPS) spokesperson Patricia Licata on Jan. 26. The "2nd Ounce Free" initiative became effective this week.
Eastman Kodak and its U.S.-based subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Jan. 19, as the company attempts to stay solvent and shift its core business from photography to digital printing.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been granted permission by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to allow direct mailers to pay postage via credit rather than requiring prepayment, said PRC chairman Ruth Goldway on Jan. 6. The new rules went into effect Jan. 5.
Agribusiness manufacturer Tate & Lyle is launching a b-to-b direct mail and email campaign this week to promote and generate leads for its new brand of sweetener, called Purefruit.
The embattled U.S. Postal Service (USPS) faces a host of new challenges, several of which threaten to directly impact marketers. However, many who rely on direct mail say that in spite of the tumult, they'll wait and see how things pan out before altering marketing strategy.
TechnoServe, a nonprofit organization focused on using technology to help fight poverty in developing countries, tapped Merkle subsidiary Response Management Group to manage its nonprofit direct mail donation processing, said TechnoServe senior director of communications Anna Gibson.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS), in response to a request made by multiple U.S. senators, agreed to a five-month moratorium on closures of post offices and mail processing facilities on Dec. 13.
As part of a previously announced $3 billion cost-savings initiative, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is moving forward with plans to change delivery standards for first-class mail, the organization said on Dec. 5. The cuts would eliminate next-day delivery for first-class mail and periodicals.
Fifty percent of U.S. consumers prefer direct mail to email, according to a study released by marketing services firm Epsilon on Dec. 1. The study also found that one-quarter of all U.S. consumers said they found direct mail to be "more trustworthy" than email.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) seeks to raise shipping service rates by 4.6%, the company said in a Nov. 22 statement. Priority Mail prices will increase on average 3.1%, Express Mail prices will increase 3.3% and First-Class Package Service prices will increase 3.7%
Coupon companies Valpak Direct Marketing Systems and Savings.com have partnered to provide more than 20,000 online coupons from national brands and retailers on Valpak.com, both companies said Nov. 21. The partnership aggregates coupons from retailers such as Macy's, The Home Depot and Best Buy, among others.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) closed the 2011 fiscal year with a $5.1 billion net loss, the government agency said on Nov. 15. Last fiscal year USPS posted an $8.5 billion net loss, the largest loss in its history.
Marketers will spend $163 billion on direct marketing in 2011, a 5.6% increase compared with last year, according to a report released by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) on Oct. 2.
Brands must offer engaging, personalized and relevant marketing experiences to compete in today's marketplace, said Christa Carone, CMO of Xerox Corp.
A postal reform bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate on Sept. 23, seeking to help the ailing U.S. Postal Service (USPS) with the establishment of two new control boards. One would oversee a kind of receivership for the USPS if it defaults on any of its government payments and the other is intended to prevent politics from influencing plans to reduce the USPS processing infrastructure.
The U.S. Postal Service said Sept. 15 that it is considering cutting its processing-facilities network by more than half and adjusting service standards to save up to $3 billion a year. However, the USPS also said the changes would also result in longer processing and delivery times for the mail.
Affluent consumers are more receptive to TV and magazine advertising than other media, according to a survey from market-research firm Ipsos Mendelsohn.
Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe told a Senate committee September 6 that the US Postal Service is "in a crisis" and will default on a $5.5 billion payment to the federal government if Congress does not enact legislation this month changing its business model.
Valassis has promoted Ron Goolsby to COO and Suzie Brown to EVP of sales and marketing, effective January 1, 2012.
Arts and crafts retailer Michaels Stores has selected procurement firm LogicSource to manage the company's consolidated five-year, $250-million print-procurement budget. LogicSource will assist Michaels in identifying cost-savings and operation enhancements through 2015.
The US Postal Service has asked Congress to allow it to cut about 220,000 positions by 2015, bringing its total workforce to 425,000. The move would decrease the USPS' employee costs by 30%, the Postal Service said.
Pitney Bowes has launched a b-to-b direct marketing campaign to promote its electronic billing, marketing and analytics technologies. The effort, created by ad agency Gyro, includes direct mail, social media, online ads, radio spots and events marketing.
The US Postal Service continued its downward spiral on Aug. 5, with the agency reporting a net loss of $3.1 billion for the third quarter of its 2011 fiscal year. The number is a slight improvement compared with the same period in 2010, when the USPS posted a $3.5 billion net loss, but the agency said that "absent substantial legislative change" it will default on payments owed to the federal government.
The US Postal Service said July 26 that it is studying the consolidation of as many as 3,700 post offices as it adjusts the size of its retail network.
Four business executives said they survived the "Great Recession" by returning to direct marketing fundamentals, while speaking during a July 14 panel discussion at the MeritDirect Business Mailers's Co-op and Interactive Marketing Conference.
B-to-b marketers should expect realistic growth, evolve with new technologies, and use data to drive business decisions, said Terry Jukes, president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence, a marketing services consultancy, on July 14.
Michael Curry, SVP of customer acquisition marketing at Direct Brands, died June 15 after a battle with lymphoma. He was 59. At Direct Brands, Curry worked on the launch of the Book of the Month Club's first e-commerce platform. Previously, he worked at The New York Times Co.'s educational media division.
US Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) introduced a sweeping postal reform bill June 23 that would create new oversight bodies to help the US Postal Service restore financial stability. The bill would also allow the USPS to move to five-day home delivery, close retail locations as it sees fit, and sell advertising on facilities and vehicles. Issa estimated that the changes included in the bill would save the USPS at least $6 billion a year.
The US Postal Service said June 22 that it will suspend its benefits contributions to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) to preserve liquidity through the rest of its fiscal year. The Postal Service said it expects to save about $800 million by the September 30 close of its 2011 fiscal year.
Domino's Pizza improved same-store sales growth by 9.9% in 2010 compared with 0.5% in 2009 with the launch of the pizza delivery company's "Oh Yes We Did" marketing campaign, said Russell Weiner, CMO of Domino's. The brand also received top honors in a consumer survey detailing the US's best-tasting pizza, Weiner said.
Postal industry stakeholders said June 15 that digital technologies must be a part of the US Postal Service's future, and that the organization has been burdened by government regulations.
Jeff Jarvis, author and associate professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, said the US Postal Service must look for consumer needs that the private sector does not meet in order to survive. The author of What Would Google Do? told attendees of the PostalVision 2020 conference in Arlington, Va. on June 15 that the USPS must adopt an entrepreneurial attitude as personal letters, business mail and First Class volume fade away in coming years.
The US Postal Service defended internal research that found it would save $3.1 billion per year by eliminating Saturday home delivery, calling into question the Postal Regulatory Commission's research that found it would only save $1.7 billion by doing so. PRC chairman Ruth Goldway also said the USPS declined to meet with the oversight body about the discrepancy in projections.
The US Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, NY issued a sources sought notice on June 6 looking for an agency that specializes in higher-education marketing to create a recruitment direct mail campaign. The USMA will select a firm to create an effort targeting prospective candidates for the academy, as well as parents, counselors and schools.
Financial services company JG Wentworth will launch a multichannel campaign later this year to build on its 877-Cash-Now TV ads, company CMO Phil Donahue told Direct Marketing News on June 3. The effort will include direct mail, email, search marketing and social media.
The US Postal Service literally guaranteed the effectiveness of integrating direct mail into marketing campaigns when it launched a postage-back assurance program in mid-May to attract the business of large marketers.
The US Postal Service ran a net loss of $747 million in April, raising its total net loss for its 2011 fiscal year to more than $3.3 billion. Volume dropped 4.5% to 13.8 billion pieces in the month, and revenue shrunk by 2.9%, compared with April 2010, to less than $5.5 billion.
A federal appeals court said May 24 that the Postal Regulatory Commission must reexamine the US Postal Service's request to enact "exigent" rate increases, or price hikes higher than the rate of inflation. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the PRC had incorrectly rejected the rate increase when it claimed the USPS had to show the impact of only the recession, and not other circumstances, on its finances.
The US Postal Service will conduct a promotion this summer rewarding mailers for using two-dimensional barcodes on their marketing materials as part of the organization's larger initiative to attract advertisers to the mail. The promotion, scheduled for this July and August, will give mailers who use smartphone-friendly barcodes a 3% postage discount on qualifying Standard and First-Class mail letters, flats or cards.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced a bill May 17 that would allow the financially struggling US Postal Service to modernize its pension payments system, eliminate Saturday home delivery, and expand its services. The Postal Operations Sustainment and Transformation Act of 2011 would also give the USPS the ability to close post offices as it sees fit.
The US Postal Service saw a net loss of $2.2 billion in its fiscal second quarter, which ended March 31, despite cutting work hours by 3.2%. The organization again warned that it will face a cash shortfall by the September 31 end of its 2011 fiscal year, and it will have to default on payments to the federal government without major legislative changes.
The US Postal Service is in an "absolutely critical" six-month to one-year period when it must reverse its financial fortunes, Ronald Stroman, the USPS' newly minted deputy postmaster general, told reporters on May 3. However, he said the organization has a difficult task in securing Congressional support because of the current legislative body's focus on financial responsibility and its large number of new members.
The US Postal Service will launch a b-to-b marketing campaign in September to promote the mail as an effective marketing medium for businesses, said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe at the National Postal Forum in San Diego on May 2. The organization is working with agency Campbell Ewald on the effort, which will include TV and direct mail components.
The financially struggling US Postal Service distributed its first round of "Sample Showcase" mailings last month, helping marketers reach a target audience of mothers in Austin, Texas, Chicago and Denver. Brand marketers reacted positively to the program's initial results.
The US Postal Service will begin to test a postage-back guarantee next month for large marketers that agree to advertise their products through First-Class and Standard mail. The USPS will offer the "Mail Works Guarantee" to a group of companies that spend at least $250 million a year on advertising, beginning May 16, in its latest initiative to attract large advertisers.
The US Postal Service began a product sampling initiative this week, targeting more than 250,000 consumers in Chicago, Denver and Austin, Texas, as well as about 75,000 opted-in consumers across the country. Brands including Wisk, Starbucks and Nestle are distributing products through the "Sample Showcase" program at launch.
The US Postal Service saw a net loss of more than $1.1 billion in February, when mail volume dropped 1.5% to fewer than 12.8 billion pieces. The USPS reported $5.1 billion in revenue for the month, a 1.5% decrease compared with the prior February.
The US Postal Service said March 24 that it will eliminate 7,500 positions in the next year as part of an effort to cut $750 million in costs. The USPS will cut the positions through a combination of buyouts, layoffs, and the elimination of some jobs.
The Postal Regulatory Commission said March 24 that the US Postal Service overestimated its potential savings and underestimated potential lost revenues in its proposal to move to five-day-per-week home delivery. The commission's five members issued varying opinions on the plan to cut Saturday delivery, which Congress is expected to debate this session.
MeritDirect has won list management responsibilities for 45 lists and databases owned by financial publisher SourceMedia, effective March 21. SourceMedia previously worked with Edith Roman.
The US Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union tentatively agreed to a new four-and-a-half-year contact on March 14. The deal, which would run through May 20, 2015, includes a 3.5% wage increase over the life of the contract, with the first raise taking effect in November 2012.
The US Postal Service reported a net loss of $451 million in January when mail volume at the organization decreased 1.3% year-over-year to 13.7 billion pieces. The organization, which has said it could run out of money this fiscal year, decreased work hours by 3.3% in January, compared with the prior year.
Lawn-care company TruGreen launched an integrated marketing campaign on February 28, using direct mail, a sweepstakes, a revamped website, pop-up stores in malls and TV ads. The company worked with AOR Publicis Dallas on the effort, with the goal of refreshing its reputation and improving the sale of service packages.
The threat of federal consumer privacy regulation has spurred marketers to take online privacy into their own hands.
Valassis reported fourth-quarter revenues from shared mail of $341.9 million, an increase of 2% compared with the prior year. Full-year 2010 revenues in the segment were $1.3 billion, a 2.2% increase year-over-year. The marketing services company's neighborhood targeted business saw Q4 2010 revenue of $149.9 million, an increase of 6.2% compared with the prior fourth quarter.
The US Postal Service saw a net loss of $329 million in its fiscal 2011 first quarter, which ended December 31, 2010. The organization also warned that, without reform, it could default on some financial obligations to the federal government by the end of this fiscal year.
The US Postal Service introduced three business-facing international flat rate shipping options on February 2. The USPS unveiled the products as it is trying to increase shipping volumes and increase revenue from shipping services.
Industry experts said the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act, passed in December, will protect some consumers by curbing dishonest practices, but it won't affect most ethical marketers.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said January 14 that he will cut additional positions at the US Postal Service, work to simplify its mailing processes, and promote the organization to potential advertisers. Donahoe also told reporters that he will return the Postal Service to profitability by making it leaner, smarter and faster and by improving the customer experience.
The US Postal Service filed proposed rate increases on January 13 with the Postal Regulatory Commission that would raise the rate of standard flats by 0.8% and increase the cost of carrier route flats by 1.4%. If approved, the rate structure will go into effect April 17.
US direct and digital advertising spending increased 2.7% to $154.4 billion in 2010, according to a report from the Winterberry Group, an advertising and marketing consultancy.
Nonprofit organization Children International has launched a long-form DRTV campaign developed by Northern Lights Direct.
The US Postal Service will cut the number of its VP-level officer jobs by 16%, from 44 to 37, it said January 7. It will also eliminate the SVP title across the organization and close its Memphis, TN-based Southeastern regional office, which has 119 employees. The number of job losses has not been determined. Some of those employees may be moved to other federal government positions, said Joanne Veto, senior manager of PR at the USPS.
The US Postal Service will test the sale of gift cards later this year at 2,000 post office locations in order to generate incremental revenue. The program might begin as soon as May 1 in postal retail locations that also sell greeting cards, USPS said.
Advertising spending in the first nine months of 2010 grew 6.4% compared to the same period of 2009. However, DRTV ad spending dropped 6.2% year-over-year for the same period, according to data released by media measurement firm Kantar Media.
LA Weight Loss has launched a direct-to-consumer campaign featuring two-minute national cable DRTV spots, direct mail, search marketing and social media.
The US Postal Service ran a net loss of $456 million in November, while its operating revenue, mail volume and work hours all increased at the start of the holiday season.
The US Postal Service said December 21 that it will ease its rules on simplified addressing to allow businesses to use the format for city delivery routes. The agency said the move will help it raise revenue and save small businesses money.
US consumers received approximately 1.2 billion direct mail offers for new credit cards in the third quarter of 2010, a sharp increase from the 391 million received in Q3 2009, according to data from Mintel Comperemedia. The top senders of credit card mail are Chase, Citi, American Express and Discover, according to Mintel.
3M will launch a direct response TV campaign for a headlight cleaning kit on December 14. It is the first DRTV campaign for the company's Automotive Aftermarket Division.
Google Hotpot, a local recommendation engine, launched a b-to-b direct marketing campaign in Portland, OR on December 9. The goal of the effort is to educate businesses about the benefits of using Google Places to gain exposure, increase online ratings and reviews, and boost traffic.
Patrick Donahoe, the US Postal Service's new postmaster general, announced his scaled-down leadership team this week, saying the group will work with him to create a more profitable and nimble USPS.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a new bill aimed at helping the Postal Service regain its financial footing, and upped the ante that some sort of bill to fix the Postal Service's legacy costs might pass in the New Year. The Senate now has two bills to reform the Postal Service to consider. Collins' bill comes on the heels of a comprehensive postal reform bill introduced by Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), and chairman of the the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and Information Technology.
American voters sent a clear message about government spending last month when they voted in a new House of Representatives class dominated by Republicans.
The US Postal Service filed a brief with a federal court on November 23, appealing the Postal Regulatory Commission's September decision to block the USPS from enacting an "exigent" rate increase in 2011.
The US Postal Service and its largest employee union, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), have agreed to extend contract negotiations until December 1. This is the second time the parties have agreed to extend talks on a new contract. Their previous deal was set to expire November 20.
The US Postal Service is planning to improve the customer experience as part of its broader effort to create new revenue sources, postal officials said November 17 at a Mailers Technical Advisory Committee meeting.
The US Postal Service relaunched its how-to direct mail website delivermagazine.com on November 16. The updated site, a companion to the USPS' print magazine on direct mail and multichannel marketing, Deliver, features a simplified layout and a downloadable smartphone application.
The US Postal Service reported a net loss of $8.5 billion for 2010, the largest loss in the organization's history.
Weight loss website eDiets is conducting a direct response TV campaign putting the spotlight on the quality of its food. The nationwide effort, which runs through the end of the year, is promoting the company's five- and seven-day home-delivered meal programs to health-conscious consumers.
PR software company Vocus is conducting a lead-generation b-to-b campaign, using direct mail and e-mail to connect with large companies.
Company of the week
R2C creates, produces, distributes and measures messages that inspire and compel consumers to do something with a brand to drive commercial advantage. The full-service advertising agency specializes in creative, production, media, analytics and performance.
What's in our mailbox this month: fitness postcards from Retro Fitness, American Woman Fitness Centers, Union's United Taekwondo Academy, and Bally Total Fitness. (We're totally pumped.)
Social data can improve a brand's bottom line and customer relationships. Just ask brands Infiniti and Diamond Nexus.
Here are three must-have data sets that every marketer should include in his or her email strategy.