The United Postal Service (USPS) will increase prices on January 2, 2011. The most noticeable will be the increase in the price of a first class stamp from $0.44 to $0.46. The post office is doing many things to help. They are releasing some new forever stamps in October. The stamps, featuring evergreen trees, can be purchased for $0.44 and used “forever” to mail first class letters.
Prices for Standard Mail and Periodicals will also go up about 5.6%. Knowing the facts in advance can help in planning for end of the year advertising and direct mail.
In a recent article in Target Marketing Magazine titled To Mail or Not to Mail author Pat Friesen cited some surprising statistics.
“Fifty-six percent of Americans surveyed by InnoMedia say receiving mail is a pleasure.”
“Sixty-seven percent of Americans feel traditional mail is more personal than Internet communications, according to research from the U.S. Postal Service.”
“Among Gen Yers (born 1977-1994) and Gen Xers (born 1965-1976), more than 70 percent sort their mail immediately reports the USPS.”
Young consumers invest time with their direct mail knowing it is advertising. They are motivated to receive information to help make buying decisions.
“Studies show direct mail is favorably received by young consumers because it’s tangible-they keep and browse through catalogs; it’s private-there’s an advantage to NOT being able to forward it to everyone in someone else’s address book; and it’s secure-58 percent still prefer receiving and paying bills by mail.”
“There are people who are more comfortable receiving and responding to direct mail than e-mail, even when they have e-mail addresses. For example, marketers of products and services for older seniors (75+), continue to use direct mail to generate leads and sales. These seniors are motivated readers that open and keep direct mail. NOTE: Don’t assume that because you have e-mail addresses for any age group, e-mail is the preferred medium for hearing from you.”
“Mail is more private than e-mail according to 66 percent of those participating in a recent U.S. Postal Service study. They said the Internet is not a substitute for mail. Sixty-eight percent also said mail is more secure.”
The US Postmaster General, John Potter announced in November 2009 that “there will not be a price increase for market dominant products including First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, periodicals, and single-piece Parcel Post.”
We hope you all find this encouraging news as you begin your budgeting and planning for 2010.