Postal Desperation: A Last Minute Call to Action to Protest the Pending Rate Hike
Your letters should be addressed to:
Postal Regulatory Commission
Regarding Order No. 8, Docket No. R2006-1
901 New York Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20268-0001
If you send a letter, send it by overnight express. FedEx, UPS, and DHL are suitable substitutes. Don’t send it by regular First Class Mail. You may also fax your letters to: (202) 789-6886. Or still, you can e-mail your letter using the web-based e-mail option on the PRC Web site at prc.gov/contact.asp
The following is the letter shell...
YOUR COMPANY’S NAME
Members of the Postal Regulatory Commission
Re: Standard Mail Flats
As a [catalog] mailer, I am writing to describe to the Commission the business disaster that my company faces unless the Commission reconsiders and adjusts the rates it has recommended to the Board of Governors applicable to Standard Mail [automation] flats. While we recognize that this unfortunate situation is not entirely of the Commission’s making, the Commission can and it must avert the catastrophe which will fall not only on our company, but upon the postal system as a whole if the current rates applicable to flats are left as the Commission originally proposed.
Our company is engaged in the business of _______________. Although the Postal Service is not the only marketing channel available to us, we rely heavily on the mail to inform consumers about the product(s) that we sell. In all, in 2006 [most recent fiscal year], we mailed approximately ___ flat-shaped pieces. Working closely with our printer and other service providers, we try, to the maximum extent possible, to take full advantage of the workshare discounts offered by the Postal Service. [Elaborate]
When the most recent Rate Case was filed, in May 2006, we anticipated an increase in our rates applicable to flats on the order of [12 percent]. We budgeted accordingly. Even at that level of increase, we projected that our volume of Standard Mail flats would basically remain unchanged [decline] in the period after the new rates took effect. Unfortunately, however, as a result of the Commission’s rates, we face rate increases of _______ times what we expected when the case was filed. Unless those rate increases are moderated significantly, we have no choice: we are going to reduce the volume of mail that we produce by as much as ___percent and we are going to reprogram our marketing budgets into other non-postal channels that, even if they are not as effective as the mail, are considerably less costly and will yield the kind of return on our marketing spend that we need to maintain our business. Once we pull out of the mail, we are very unlikely to come back in future marketing cycles.
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.