Will Verizon’s New Pricing Plan Affect USPS Mobile Bar Code Promotion?

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Mobile Marketer, in an article describing the potential impact of Verizon’s new pricing plan on mobile marketing, raises the possibilities that marketers may find the Postal Service’s promotion less effective than they did prior to the introduction of the new pricing plan. QR/2D scanned codes? Negatively affected Similar to apps, QR and 2D bar codes contain content that can only be accessed when connected to a network, either Wi-Fi or data. There are many barriers to using a QR code, but in regards to Verizon’s newest pricing structure, subscribers will have to think twice before scanning QR code since there is no way to know what type of high bandwidth [...] Read more »

Why Mail Matters: It Works Better for Local Advertisers

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In its conference call, Harte-Hanks reported that it has shifted 85,000 pieces of Shoppers advertising tabloids from alternative delivery to the Postal Service.  The shift will raise Harte Hanks delivery costs by $2,000 per week, or around 2.3¢ per piece. Harte Hanks returned to using the Postal Service because recipients were accustomed to mail delivery as the PennySavers had been delivered by mail for 37 years.  Advertisers in its Shoppers also saw a higher response rate and greater sales (i.e higher return on their advertising investment) when the Postal Service made the delivery as compared to the early experience with alternative delivery. Other Harte-Hanks News: Harte Hanks Projects Weak Demand for USPS [...] Read more »

Harte Hanks Projects Weak Demand for USPS Delivered Products

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In its earnings release today, Harte Hanks reported revenue declines in both Shoppers and Direct Marketing in the Second Quarter and projected a continuing decline in the upcoming quarter. Discussing the performance of the business segments, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Doug Shepard said, “Direct Marketing revenues decreased $9.9 million, or 6.5%, in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the second quarter of 2011. Direct Marketing results reflect the impact of JC Penney changing its marketing strategy from direct mail to broadcast, with the reduction in mail services contributing about half of the 6.5% decline. Operating income margins were 11.6% versus 13.3% in the second quarter of [...] Read more »

Without Congressional Action, the Sun Will Not Come Out Tomorrow for the Postal Service

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The clock turned and the Postal Service went into default and as far as mailers and employees are concerned little changed. The Postal Service is still implementing its network optimization imitative along the lines allowed by S.1789. Facility closures are occurring at the pace announced over a month ago. Employees that accepted early retirement incentives are leaving Postal Service employment as scheduled. What default did not help are the systemic capital problems of the Postal Service: The Postal Service IT systems still do not have redundant systems that would allow system upgrades without disturbing business relationships with customers or suppliers. The Postal Service vehicle fleet continues to get older. Operating [...] Read more »

PRC Choosing Between Protecting USPS Customers or Competitors

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Currently the Postal Rate Commission is considering two three cases that illustrate the conundrum of United States postal policy. Should postal law and regulatory policy based on that law protect competitors or expand competition to benefit consumers? In both cases, opponents of proposals presented by the Postal Service represent competitors of the Postal Service who object to the Postal Service making improvements in service or offering lower prices. Both cases force the Postal Regulatory Commission to decide between competitors who have a focused interest in maintaining the status quo and a history of participation in postal policy and regulatory proceedings and consumers of mailbox and saturation advertising delivery services that [...] Read more »

Only Shutting the USPS Down Would Get Congress To Act

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The Roll Call article on the default on the retiree health benefit payment by the Postal Service explains why the House Republicans felt they did not have to bring H.R. 2309 or any other bill to prevent default prior to the August recess. The Postal Service makes “this an easy issue for Congress to ignore even as it faces a dire financial situation. The service’s website home page has no warnings about post office closings or delayed deliveries. To the contrary, an official statement issued Monday seems to downplay the severity of the problem.” “This action will have no material effect on the operations of the Postal Service. We will [...] Read more »