Kudos for the USPS, With Reservations
Over the last three years, I've been super vocal about my dislike for the U.S. Postal Service and its less-than-forward-thinking bureaucracy. When it slammed catalog mailers with 20 percent-plus postage increases in 2007, I went (pun intended) postal on it.
Earlier this year after it announced its summer postage sale, I was optimistic. But once I looked at the fine print (i.e., how much you had to mail to qualify), I was critical then, too.
I try to be fair and balanced in offering my opinions.
Therefore, I have to applaud the USPS for its announcement last week that there would not be a postal rate increase in 2010 for dominant classes.
For those of you not aware yet, last week Postmaster General Jack Potter sent out a memo announcing no 2010 rate increase, which has spread around the internet faster than a scandalous YouTube video goes viral. That memo can be reviewed here.
I know, I know: Postal rates are already ridiculously and restrictively high. But at least mailers can build their 2010 mail plans without having to cut circulation from marginal lists and housefile segments.
Along with my kudos to the postmaster and the USPS, however, I also want to put them on notice. Here goes:
Dear Mr. Postmaster General,
You've started a trend here. Between the postal summer sale and now this offer to keep postal rates stable in 2010, catalog and direct mailers believe that you may actually be interested in working to our benefit. We look forward to the next postal sale, and hope that the USPS opens it up to smaller mailers to take advantage of. We truly hope that you'll continue to stop thinking like a bureaucracy and encourage more mail volume with innovative special offers and such.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.