Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, March 09, 2021

Yet another trailing indicator of recessionary times: Direct mail volume last year dropped for the first time since tracking of such began in 1945.

That’s junk mail to the rest of you. To me, it means probably one or two fewer copywriting/design gigs (maybe compensated by email versions, but that’s always iffy).

I guess the reduction of hardcopy inbox-filler would be a happy consequence of this economic downturn, except that it’ll probably take down the entire Post Office with it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/09/2021 12:47:20 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business
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  1. The other day, I was amused at a news story that said - like Americans had all realized this in a formal sense - “the Post Office has just announced its annual postage rate hike,” when someone else in the room looked quizzically at the television about the announcement. We all *know* that postage has gone up (at least) once per year, but who really realized there was some science to it, and a formal process.

    All that said, DM must take up some serious part of the mail population, if you will - I haven’t looked in a number of years since I stopped being in the DM biz - but even with a mass-discount that it probably receives for pre-sorting, etc., the volume has to be tremendous. For a few years, I had thought Amazon and a few other services might also lead the way in bringing back up volume with the PO, but no such luck as they’ve made deals with other shipping organizations. Sad state of affairs, and a pecuilar one in that it’s a government organization that for all intents and purposes, stands on its own from a budgetary perspective.

    Comment by Tom Biro — 03/09/2021 @ 02:34:22 PM

  2. According to Newsweek from this past September, direct mail is 52 percent of total mail volume, and described as the “financial underpinning” of the Postal Service. So yeah, it’s crucial for the USPS.

    I’m no more a fan of receiving the junky stuff myself, but as with most things in life, you hold your nose and trudge on…

    Comment by CT — 03/09/2021 @ 02:44:58 PM

  3. I don’t get anything real in the mail anymore. If it’s not a package, it might not get opened.

    Comment by David — 03/09/2021 @ 03:06:54 PM

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