Looks like the USPS is back in the news again- it seems the five day work week issue has reared its ugly head.
The post office is claiming that declining revenue from reduced mail volume is the culprit.
The USPS bit the hand that fed them way too many times with it’s rate increases. They drive mailers out of the market, and they drove other mailers to look at alternative methods of customer acquisition and retention too. Loosely translated, they helped many marketers shift their dollars to the internet to the point where I would hope that the folks from Google sent them a thank you letter.
I’m going to keep it short this week. If John Potter and the post office want to get out of this mess, they need to take s few steps. Now I’m not naive enough to assume that my prescriptions to heal the USPS are alone a cure, but hey, it’s a start
So here in simple form even a gov’t run bureaucracy can understand are some tips for the post office to help increase revenue.
- Do everything in your power to seek out customers they lost and woo them back.
- By wooing them back I mean, come up with ways for these lost customers to lower their postal costs to the point where they can mail profitably again.
- I love the concept of mail sales and discounts. Keep that stuff up.
- Don’t make the rules so hard and the criteria to get sale prices so restrictive that the average mailer doesn’t get to take advantage.
- Create promotions for smaller companies. There are two kinds, companies who stopped mailing when prices went up, and companies who don’t mail because they get sticker shock looking at postage and printing costs.
- Get some postal ambassadors out to all of the local and regional direct marketing groups and clubs, plus internet/social media clubs and promote the heck out of small business discounts, first time mailer discounts, etc.
- Have those same representatives of the USPS start teaching more companies how to do direct mail buy the book. I know they do some of this now, but it’s not nearly enough. Teach stuff like analysis – the 40/40/20 principle and how to do mail right.
- Getting new mailers to test mail and smaller mailers back in the game will eventually create larger mailers!
Bottom line… USPS your image is damaged, and you need to rehab it. Create products we can grow with using direct mail, promote the heck out of them on a national and grass roots level, and you will eventually get volume and revenue back.
Note from Jim. Make a difference too. Contact John Potter, the Postmaster General here and make your voice heard:
The Honorable John E. Potter Postmaster General
U.S. Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0010